The Matchaletic team has received this question numerous times over the last several weeks. There are numerous online retailers now stocking matcha and certain supermarkets have now started to stock it. We are happy that matcha is gaining in popularity but how can you be sure what you are buying?
Matcha prices vary, sometimes greatly. The reason for this is simple, quality, and quality means nutrition.
Matcha can usually be broken into 3 distinct categories they are cooking, premium and ceremonial grades. The cooking grade is made using a less selective process and dependent on the producer can include the stems and other mature parts of the plant. The taste is often more astringent than its higher grade counterparts. One clear indicator that a matcha is of a low grade is the price. If you are paying £9.99 for 100g of matcha then it is probably of a very low grade.
Ceremonial grade is used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies due its extraordinary quality and the selection of leaves used to make it. It is considered one of the highest grades of matcha and it’s price is usually reflective of this. The price of ceremonial is prohibitive for everyday use in sports drinks and smoothies and is more suited for sparing use.
Premium matcha balances the affordability of cooking grade with the sweet vegetal characteristics of ceremonial. For a good premium matcha you should be looking at spending between £15.99 – £20.00 for 30-50g. One thing to consider is that a retailer should always indicate the grade of the matcha they are selling. If a retailer is selling 100g of matcha for £9.99 and doesn’t mention whether or not it is premium in the product copy then it’s probably a lower grade and you are not going to get the full matcha experience and nutritional benefits.
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