As I mentioned in my previous post about matcha, not all matcha is equal. This is something most matcha lovers know. More importantly than any other tea, you have to do a bit more research before hopping on the matcha bandwagon and purchase it online. We ingest the whole leaf after all, so it’s important to check the origin in view of the lead contamination concerns on Chinese tea, and Japanese radiation levels. It is actually totally fine to request a radiation testing before purchasing your tea online but do your own research first (I’ll link a good post about Japanese tea and radiation here). I mentioned the lead contamination concerns on Chinese tea because most lower grade matcha comes from China and is processed in Japan. So make sure you purchase Matcha grown and processed in Japan to get the real thing, believe me, it’s totally worth it!
Below my current list.
- Aiya (A family owned company specializing in Matcha green tea since 1888)
- Breakaway Matcha (Specializing in hyperpremium matcha)
- in pursuit of tea (Sourcing teas from origin)
- Ippodo (A 300-year-old company based in Kyoto with a store in Manhattan)
- Nohohon (Matcha from Shizuoka directly imported by owner)
- O-Cha (Focusing on the freshness of their product)
Here another good list combined by a fellow tea blogger worth checking out.
Matcha is packed with polyphenols, which are very good for you. For a long time, I thought it had more caffeine than an espresso but apparently, it isn’t true. The effect of the caffeine are released slowly, so you don’t have a crash after ingesting it. The polyphenols contained in matcha are responsible for boosting your metabolism. Matcha is also rich in fiber, chlorophyll, and vitamins (vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium), so just go for it!
I needed a Chasen-tate (Whisk stand) which isn’t an item that easy to find so I got a gift set at Ippodo containing a brand new whisk with a Chasen stand and some Breeze Matcha. You can take a look at their online gift sets. I find it really useful to have a Chase-tate to keep the whisk in a good shape otherwise it just get straight and doesn’t last that long and looks like that ↓
(old one on the left and new one on the right)
I have introduced Matcha to some friends and family members and they told me it isn’t that easy at first to get used to the bitter taste. But I had them try several grades and they could tell when it was more smooth, more sweet, grassy etc. so go for a good one, try several grades but in the ceremonial department. Just like coffee, you have to get used to the bitter taste at first, then you’ll start to notice the different notes and you’ll get hooked 😉 hehe. Myself, I got to discover how much variety there is in matcha not that long ago thanks to a Japanese friend.
Also remember to consume your matcha quickly, as its shelf-life isn’t as long compared to black teas and Oolong teas.