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Discover the world of tea, from the history of its cultural significance to the science of its benefits and the art of its preparation.

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Discover the world of tea, from the history of its cultural significance to the science of its benefits and the art of its preparation.

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What’s the best Matcha?
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What’s the best Matcha?

1 Min Read | February 13, 2019

“MATCHA” VS “GREEN TEA”

The terms “matcha” and “green tea” are sometimes confused for one another, which is understandable since all matcha is green tea, but not all green tea is matcha. Put simply, matcha is made from whole, shade-grown green tea leaves, ground into a powder and then ingested entirely when prepared as a drink with milk or water. The phrase “green tea” on its own, whether ordered from a cafe menu or bought from a grocer, refers to dried green tea leaves that are prepared the same way black, white or herbal tea would be prepared: steeped in hot water and discarded.

Tf Tn Matcha Greentea Inline 300X250 2 X
Green Tea Vs. Matcha

Matcha tends to taste earthier than regular green tea, has a fuller mouthfeel and blends well with milk. Because we’re consuming entire leaves in powdered form each time we drink it, we receive more antioxidants and more caffeine than we would from a regular cup of green tea. A naturally-occurring amino acid called L-Theanine balances out the boost caffeine gives us, bringing about a calm state of alertness rather than a jolt of energy.

It has other perks, too: a specific type of antioxidant found in matcha, called catechins, have been associated with cancer prevention, weight management and the ability to lower cholesterol.

MATCHA GRADES + PREPARATION

Matcha is available in three categories, also referred to as grades: culinary, premium, and ceremonial. Culinary grade matcha, also known as cooking grade matcha, is best used in kitchen recipes like baked goods and ice creams. Premium grade matcha is considered the best type of powder for daily or near-daily consumption, while ceremonial grade matcha is the most costly of the three categories, generally reserved for traditional tea ceremonies.

Matcha Ceromy Kit

Preparing matcha in a suspension of milk or water is a straightforward process. To follow the classic methods used in tea ceremonies, it’s preferable to use traditional ceremonial teaware, including a bowl (chawan), bamboo whisk (chasen), and measuring ladle (chashaku). Matcha may be prepared thin (usucha) or thick (koicha), whisking one teaspoon of matcha powder into an 8-ounce serving of hot water for usucha and two tablespoons for koicha. For an updated take on this Japanese drink, milk is a delicious alternative, using the same ratio and method.

WHAT’S THE BEST MATCHA?

There is no single answer to the question, “What’s the best kind of matcha?” Really, it all comes down to personal preference. Using premium or ceremonial grade powder, a koicha suspension in water is the strongest way to prepare matcha and enjoy its flavor to the fullest, while an usucha suspension in milk offers just a hint of earthiness. Adding steamed or frothed milk can transform a cup of matcha tea into a creamy indulgence with plenty of health benefits, and culinary matcha is always a welcome addition to sweet pastries and desserts. Whichever way you prefer matcha, in short, is the way that’s best for you.

To learn more about matcha, explore this Tea Notes guide to the legendary green powder. To treat yourself to some whole green tea, shop Tea Forte’s matcha offerings and raise a cup to your health.

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