What's the difference between ceremonial, premium and culinary matcha - Teaologists

The Different Grades of Matcha: Ceremonial, Premium and Culinary

by Suranjana Banerjee March 16, 2016

The Different Grades of Matcha: Ceremonial, Premium and Culinary

One of the most common Matcha related questions is 'Which type of Matcha tea is right for me?'

With the choice of Ceremonial (Best), Premium (High Quality) and Culinary (for mixing or blending), each Matcha has a distinct flavour (umami) and can be used differently.  

Ceremonial Grade Matcha:

This is the best tasting and highest quality Matcha available. Usually Ceremonial Grade Matcha is whisked with hot water and drunk without additional flavours or blends. Enriched with a huge number of health benefits, ceremonial Grade Matcha is 'the' tea of traditional Japanese tea ceremony. It has a fresh, delicate flavour and which means it can be enjoyed by itself without being sweetened or added to anything.

Typically Ceremonial Grade Matcha is not used as an ingredient for cooking, baking, or garnishing. This is due to the price per gram being the highest of all Matchas and that the flavour is delicate and gentle - not ideal as a baking ingredient. Ceremonial Grade Matcha is very bright green in colour and fine powdery soft to the touch. 

ceremonial-grade-matcha-green-tea-free-sample

Premium Grade Matcha

Not quite as sweet as Ceremonial Grade and not quite as intense as Culinary Grade, Premium Grade Matcha contains all of the goodness and nutrients found in Ceremonial Grade, but the crop is likely to come from the second harvest which means that it will be stronger in taste and slightly more bitter than Ceremonial Grade. This means that some people prefer mixing a little apple, lemon or elderflower juice with Premium Grade Matcha powder and water to sweeten it.

Many people enjoy drinking Premium Grade neat and will have more servings per day due to the fact that it is typically less expensive than Ceremonial Grade. Others will use it in place of Culinary Grade Matcha. 

Culinary Grade Matcha

Also known as Cooking Grade Matcha, this is meant to be used as an ingredient in cooking, baking and beverages. Like Ceremonial Grade, Culinary Grade Matcha is also made from young tea leaves and has a fine, powdery texture. But the leaves that are used to make Culinary Matcha are a little older than those that are used for making Ceremonial or Premium Matcha - most probably from the third harvest. Hence, the differences in colour and flavour between these two.

There’s a common misconception that Culinary Grade Matcha tea is basically an inferior quality Matcha tea. That’s not the case. It’s just a different kind of Matcha tea. There’s no high grade Matcha or low grade Matcha, the grades are just indications of their different flavour profiles, colour and use.authentic-japanese-matcha-green-tea

You can see Culinary Grade Matcha being used in smoothies, frappes, cakes, pastries, pies, tarts, soufflés and practically all possible kinds of desserts, beverages and frozen treats. It’s even used in savoury dishes and also as garnishing. With a more bitter taste and more astringency than Ceremonial Grade Matcha, it has quite an interesting flavour profile which goes so well with a variety of other flavours.

How to know your Matcha:

The cultivation of Matcha is really a unique process which leads to its delicate and fresh umami (flavour) and preserves its extraordinary nutrients. The best way to tell Matcha from green tea powder is the colour. Ceremonial Grade will look more vibrant and deep green in colour. Lower grades will be more yellow in colour and in some cases even brown. It also depends on the country of origin and whether it is organic. 

Teaologists Types of Matcha

Knowing the differences between the two grades of Matcha is very useful. It makes it easy for you to choose the right Matcha for your specific purpose. You can try a free sample of the finest Ceremonial Grade Matcha from Japan by clicking here

click-to-learn-more-about-matcha-tea

 

 

 
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Suranjana Banerjee
Suranjana Banerjee

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