Matcha powder is a versatile preparation of ground green tea leaves with a unique flavour and beneficial effects. It is produced in a precise way that boosts the number of nutrients it contains.
To help you find the best matcha powder for you I’ve compiled this list of high-quality, organic, ceremonial matcha. Each product has been imported from Japan and is made from the finest, young, green tea leaves.
What is matcha powder?
The young leaves of green tea plants (camellia sinensis) are harvested and finely ground to produce matcha powder. Between two to four weeks before the harvest, they are covered over so they must continue growing in the shade. This stimulates the production of more chlorophyll in the young shoots and increases their nutrient content giving them the vivid green colour you see in the finished product.
Once the powder is ready, it’s mixed with hot water to produce a caffeine-rich drink. The matcha powder itself stays in the liquid, allowing you to consume all of the plants’ active ingredients.
To find out more about matcha and why it’s so good for you, read; The Health Benefits of Matcha Tea.
How do I know I’m getting the best matcha?
Each harvest season produces matcha in three different grades:
Ceremonial- This is the highest grade and the best you can get. Manufacturers use the youngest leaves picked in the first harvest. The flavour is slightly more delicate than other grades. As the name suggests, this is the grade used for special occasions and ceremonial use.
Premium – Made from the second harvest, premium matcha is often seen as everyday matcha and is either prepared as a tea or mixed into lattes.
Culinary – Because this powder comes from leaves of the third harvest, they have a more intense flavour. This grade is used in some drinks, but it’s most often used in cooking or added to smoothies.
What is the best way to drink matcha?
The beauty of matcha is its versatility. It can be added to a broad selection of drinks to great success. However, now that I’ve drunk it regularly for a few years, I’ve begun to realise that there’s only one way to do it. The traditional way!
The flavour of matcha is somewhere between green tea and seaweed. Despite many retailers descriptions of ‘creamy with a hint of sweetness’ it still takes some getting used to.
When you get started, adding the powder to a latte is a great way to disguise and dilute the flavour. But once you’re more familiar with it get yourself a bowl-shaped mug or a matcha bowl and a bamboo whisk and do it properly.
It won’t take you long to see that despite the intensity of flavour, it’s something exceptional that should be experienced and appreciated. It’s also incredibly simple.
- Add half a tablespoon of matcha powder to your bowl.
- Pour in a dash of almost boiling water.
- Whisk it vigorously until smooth.
- Add 100ml of just almost boiling water (different brands suggest different amount of water with their product).
- Drink and enjoy.
Always use a bamboo whisk and matcha bowl
At first, I was sceptical about the matcha bowl and whisk. I started with a standard mug and a teaspoon, but it only took me a couple of times of having to spit out large bitter lumps of congealed powder to realise I needed to up my game.
I’ve tried battery powered whisks, different shapes of cup yet inevitably concluded that the traditional way is the only way. The bowl shape allows you to properly use the bamboo hand whisk without any powder hiding in the corners or edges. For me, the battery whisk was great but still missed bits and never gave me the smooth consistency you can get with a bamboo whisk.
How I chose the best matcha powder
Each of the items on this list has been rigorously tried and tested and has made the grade. They are all made in Japan and is certified organic. I’ve also only included ceremonial grade tea, so you know you’re getting the best.
They make a rich, vibrant brew and have the best flavour of all those I tried. As well as my experience with each of these, I conducted in-depth research into each brand. I looked for verification of quality and safety standards as well as an excellent reputation and lots of positive reviews from other customers.
The best matcha powder available in the UK
According to our experience and rigorous selection criteria, we’ve carefully selected the best nootropic supplements available in the UK.
Organic Ceremonial Grade Hearthy Matcha
Hearthy Matcha’s organic ceremonial grade powder combines incredible colour and flavour with an excellent price. It is made from the first harvest of young leaves in Uji, Kyoto, Japan. Each packet consists of recyclable paper and foil, can be resealed and protects the contents from sun damage. The recommended serving is half a tablespoon of matcha to 100ml of hot water. This should give you about ten cups of matcha per packet.
Not only does Healthy Ceremonial grade matcha have depth of flavour and vibrant colour, but it’s also completely carbon neutral. Because it’s imported from Japan, Hearthy’s founder wanted to find an effective way to off-set the carbon footprint. They do this by making contributions to reforestation projects, and after your purchase, you will receive an email from Tree-Nation informing you that trees are being planted in your name. For me, this was just the icing on the cake for a fantastic product. Whether you’re new to matcha or already drink it daily, this is a product that’s going to impress you.
Hearthy matcha has numerous organic certifications from the organic authorities in Japan, the USA, the EU and Canada. Their matcha is suitable for vegans and perfect if you want a stunning beverage for a special occasion.
- Certified organic
- Great depth of flavour
- Vibrant green colour
- Excellent value
- Imported from Uji, Japan
- Carbon footprint off-set by donation to reforestation projects
- I’m glad that the packet is recyclable, but it’s tricky to get an accurate scoop out without spilling powder. (Update: Hearthy Matcha now supply additional matcha canisters to decant your powder for easy use.)
Ceremonial Grade Japanese Matcha – NO.58
This ceremonial matcha from the award-winning Tea Makers of London is also incredible quality. It’s pricier than some of the other brands, but you can select packets from 40g up to 1kg, so you have greater choice. The smaller amounts also come in a stylish caddy that allows you to scoop out a precise amount with ease. If you prefer, you can also buy it in premeasured sachets.
Tea Makers’ matcha is imported from the tea district of Ise Bay in the Mie Prefecture region of Japan. Not only do I love this tea, but the Tea Makers of London report that Japanese tea connoisseurs and food bloggers can’t get enough of it either.
The directions for use allow you to choose the tea consistency of your preference; for thin tea use approximately 1.75g of matcha powder with 75ml hot water. For thick tea, use 3.75g of matcha powder with 40ml of hot water. A 40g caddy will make about 22 servings of thin tea and ten servings of thick tea.
- Comes in a small caddy
- You can choose amounts from 40g to 1kg
- Grown in Ise Bay, Japan
- 40g and 100g come in attractive caddies
- Bright green colour
- Intense flavour
- No organic certification
OMGTea Organic Matcha Green Tea
Holland & Barrett sell an impressive range of matcha powders all varying in price and quality. My favourite was the ceremonial grade OMGTea. A packet contains 30g, and the recommended serving is half a teaspoon (about 1g) to 80ml of hot water. This is weaker than most products, but it’ll make it last longer and give you about 30 cups of matcha.
The young leaves are imported from the Kagoshima province of Japan, and the Organic Farmers and Growers certify them. OMGTea was awarded two stars in the 2017 Great Taste Awards and has a nuanced bitter flavour that matcha lovers will appreciate. It is also suitable if you follow a vegan diet and comes in a useful caddy.
- Certified organic
- Suitable for vegans
- Great matcha taste
- Grown in Kagoshima province, Japan
- Awarded two stars in the 2017 Great Taste Awards
- Comes in a small caddy
- This is the most expensive product on this list.
Best value budget brand:
Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder – Ceremonial Grade
If you’re looking for budget matcha that still provides excellent value, then this organic matcha from Buy Wholefoods Online is the one for you. For £13 you get 50g of powder, which the directions suggest should provide you with about 50 cups of matcha. Grown in Japan, this green tea powder is ceremonial grade and has a distinct flavour that is great as a tea, in a latte or when added to recipes.
- Organically grown
- Suitable for vegans
- Grown in Japan
- Great value
- Low price
- This is an excellent product, but when I tried it, I didn’t think that it quite matched the flavour of the others on this list.
Further reading: To find out more about matcha, read my article on The Health Benefits of Matcha Tea. You may also be interested in visiting The 9 Best Herbal Teas and Why You Should Drink Them. I also reviewed the Modern Matcha Starter Set from Pure Chimp.
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