It is no secret that matcha is extremely powerful and beneficial to your body – both inside and out. Matcha comes in a powder form as opposed to the traditional tea bag or loose leaf because it maintains 100% of the nutrients in this manner.
While it serves as an alternate beverage to your daily cup of traditional tea or coffee, were you aware of the various grades of the stronger version of green tea?
The grade of the matcha powder depends on numerous factors, some including:
- The quality of the color, density, fineness, and texture
- Exposure level to oxygen
- Leaf or Stem
- Preceding handling
- Method of grounding
Depending on the quality and processing methods, the matcha powder can be determined by one of the two grades – ceremonial or culinary.
What is Ceremonial Grade?
This traditional form of matcha tea can be dated back to being consumed by ancient Japanese monks and warriors. The ceremonial grade maintains the best and most superior quality green tea obtainable. The powder is created from carefully nurtured, young tea leaves that are then stone grounded to achieve a thicker texture.
One factor that allows the ceremonial grade to stand out is the vibrant, bright green color that is effortlessly distinguishable from other green tea powder grades. You should be greeted with a refreshingly sweet, yet mild taste with each sip. The aroma of the hot cup is tenderly received with a fresh smell with a slight hint of a grassy scent.
How Do I Prepare It?
The ceremonial grade matcha powder should be prepared with hot water and whisked. Other ingredients or sweeteners are not recommended to be mixed with this specific grade. You should have roughly half a teaspoon of ceremonial grade matcha powder for every 8 ounce cup of hot water. Whisking your concoction thoroughly is essential to achieving the best results.
We do not suggest utilizing this grade as an ingredient for cooking or baking. This specific grade will not improve and add to your dish and could, instead, make it taste worse because it is not intended to be used as an ingredient. There are other grades that are refined for cooking and baking purposes.
What is Culinary Grade?
It is perfectly fine to prepare culinary grade matcha the same way that ceremonial grade is prepared, as the quality is not any less than ceremonial. The only difference would be the slight flavor difference between the two grades. The most common use for culinary grade, however, is for cooking and baking. This type of matcha blends extremely well with other flavors, making it a diverse ingredient that can be used in a plethora of recipes. Culinary powder can be thrown into delicious beverages, such as lattes and green tea smoothies. It can also be found in baked goods, like cookies, brownies, or even cakes.
The taste of this specific grade can be described as less sweet than its counterpart and more on the bitter side, but the flavor stronger and more pronounced. Its appearance may not be as bright green as premium grade, but should maintain the grassy and fresh smell with an unmistakably green color.
The abundance of uses for culinary powder matcha powder allows for a multitude of sub-categories and more specific purposes catered to each use.
Specific Types of Culinary Grade Matcha Powder
1. Premium Culinary Grade
This versatile grade can serve as an ingredient to anything ranging from your daily matcha latte to your mid-day cookie snack. The diverse range of uses allows this grade to be an alternative to ceremonial grade, providing a flavorsome mix with a slightly differing taste. Premium grade maintains a delicate consistency that allows for effortless blending in water. While the color appears to be not as bright green as ceremonial grade, there is no loss of quality and satisfaction of consuming premium culinary grade matcha.
2. Classic Grade
If you’re looking for an economical, affordable matcha blend that maintains the high quality, classic grade is exactly what you’re looking for. This grade has a robust taste that allows for various uses, making it the perfect additive for any dish or beverage you decide to consume. Culinary classic grade is very common and more readily available than other matcha green teas. Overall, this is the go-to culinary grade ingredient for almost any dish, beverage, or even facial masks and scrubs!
3. Café Grade
Café grade, sometimes referred to as latte grade, is created with much stronger matcha leaves. This is among the higher end grade available due to its more distinguished and robust taste, therefore may cost a bit more. Nevertheless, this high-quality grade does the job perfectly for any dish or beverage you add it to. One can easily notice the exclusive shade of green with Café grade in comparison to other lower end grades. Overall, this grade of powder maintains a texture that mixes easily, providing the consumer with a variety of options ranging from your morning matcha latte to your afternoon matcha and mango shake.
The Bottom Line
It’s widely known that matcha green tea yields a wide variety of benefits to your body, but the different grades are more geared towards specific needs. If you want your typical hot tea in the morning, then ceremonial grade is your cup of tea! Feeling a nice matcha brownie for dessert? Then you’re going to want the premium culinary grade, the most versatile of all culinary grades. Matcha green tea masks that utilize the classic culinary grade are perfect for eliminating wrinkles and rinsing out your pores, providing a rejuvenating feeling right before bed time.
Ultimately, just remember that ceremonial grade is only consumed whisked with hot water, while the culinary grade can be used as an ingredient to a wide variety of beverages, dishes, and natural beauty enhancers!