Nobody will disagree with the fact that ryokucha (green tea) is one of the typical and internationally known foods which symbolizes Japanese culture. While it’s commonly appreciated as a beverage, matcha, or also called green tea powder attracts a great number of foreign customers that some got addicted to it more than Japanese do.
Matcha can be rephrased as an edible green tea. Since it’s made from freshly harvested tea leaves, it has richer nutrition than the beverage green tea. Besides, matcha is pretty versatile that you can use it for both foods and drinks; there’re even some cosmetics and hygienic goods that contain matcha. But if you’re a beginner of matcha powder, you may wonder which one is best suited to you. In this article we would like to introduce the 10 recommended matcha powders. It's our pleasure if the article will be helpful in choosing your best one.
Even though all matcha powders look the same, each has different aroma, taste, color, etc. To fully appreciate matcha to your heart's content, it’s ideal to choose the one in accordance with your purposes. But in reality, this is pretty difficult especially if you aren't familiar with matcha.
The solution for this is to try a versatile type matcha. In this sense, the matcha powder produced by Itoen, the mega company of green tea products in Japan, is a safe selection. This is a pure matcha powder from Uji, the most famous green tea production site in Japan, and has a vivid green color and smooth taste. It’s designed to be used for both drink and confection making. If you don’t know which matcha to choose, try this first.
This matcha powder is produced by Morihan, one of the matcha makers in Kyoto. It's originally designed to use for tea ceremony lessons, but you can use this for foods and desserts. The flavor is lighter than average matcha, but this means it's suitable before trying the pricier ceremonial-grade matchas.
The advantage of this large size matcha powder is you can use it beyond the culinary purpose. For instance, you can use a cup of matcha tea as a gargling mouthwash, which has become fashionable in Japan since it was introduced on TV. Green tea has antioxidant and antibacterial effects, and you can obtain more of these benefits than the green tea drink.
There’re many organic matcha powders in Japan but perhaps those made by Honjien is one of the bests because it not only has JAS Japanese organic certification but also the USDA, EU, and COR. For those who’re seeking truly organic Japanese matcha, Honjien’s matcha is a must-try.
Honjien’s matcha powders are classified into several ranks depending on matcha’s quality. This Gold Grade version is standard class; it has a good balance of richness, sweetness, and greenness. Designed to enjoy both in edible and drinkable. For those who're looking for ceremonial-grade matcha featuring supreme rich flavor, try Honjien’s highest grade powder.
Some matcha powders are sweetened so that those who dislike a bitter taste can appreciate the green tea. Mixing with milk is the best way to enjoy it with comfort, and Kataoka Tsujiri’s prepared matcha milk powder is a great starting point for a matcha trial.
Kataoka Tsujiri is one of the most popular matcha companies in Japan because their products are widely available in the Japanese supermarkets from matcha snack to matcha ice cream. Easy to drink because of the high density of milk flavor. We also sell a thicker matcha version for those who prefer bitter taste to milkiness.
Here’s another instant matcha latte we recommend. AGF is a product brand specializing in coffee and tea products, owned by a Japanese food manufacturer Ajinomoto. Compared with Kataoka Tsujiri’s matcha milk, this one has stronger, more full-bodied matcha flavor.
This product also puts an emphasis on creaminess. The creamy foam has a rich taste and soft mouthfeel so consumers can enjoy this drink as if you’re having a real fresh latte at a coffee shop. Each serving is individually packed in a plastic sachet, which makes this products easier to have at workplace, office, or travel destination. A pack of 3 boxes is also available.
An organic pure matcha powder from Harimaen, a family-run matcha producer in Kyoto who adopts organic farming for decades. Their tea garden locates in the Ujitawara area which is geographically and climatically perfect in matcha farming. Their matcha has a vivid light green color, less astringent taste, and fine foaming especially when consumed in a thick tea.
Harimaen’s dedication to organic farming was a milestone for Japan in terms of exporting organic products. In 1973, when the current president got ill due to the pesticide, the family decided to operate all their gardens organically. What makes their endeavor remarkable is when the officials of the EU Agricultural Department visited Harimaen’s tea garden for inspection in 2009, the EU decided to certify that Japanese organic systems have the same validity as that of the EU; before this event Japanese organic certification wasn’t recognized as internationally valid. Perhaps without Harimaen, matcha couldn’t be a globally popular product.
This one is a sugar-blended matcha powder that enables you to enjoy a sweet green tea. Perfect choice for those who feel a straight matcha is too strong or too bitter. Free of artificial colorant and fragrance, the only ingredients are matcha and sugar. Simply mix 2~3 tsp of the powder with water (both cold and hot are okay), mix them well, and it's ready to drink.
Sweetened matcha has various applications. For instance, by adding milk or soy milk you can make a matcha shake; likewise, if you add some ice cubes and mix them with a blender, you can make a homemade matcha frappe. Also, if you create a thick matcha from this product, it can be a syrup for ice cream and shaved ice. Furthermore, it can be used as an ingredient of matcha sweets like pancake, jelly, bavarois, tiramisu, etc.
8. Marukyu Koyamaen Kinrin Uji Matcha Japanese Green Tea Powder 40g
Marukyu Koyamaen is a long-established green tea producer established in Uji since 1704. Their products' quality is superior because they’re the repeat winner of the annual Japanese National Tea Competition (won 1st prize 21 times so far). The main buyers of their products are the prestigious tea ceremony schools, luxury hotels, prominent shrines and temples, and gourmet grocery stores, which also proves the excellence of quality.
Kinrin matcha powder has a unique balance of taste and aroma that there're some core fans, according to manufacturer. It can be enjoyed as both thick koicha and thin usucha. This product is sold in a steel can to keep the matcha fresh; matcha deteriorates quite fast and is very vulnerable to humidity, heat, direct sunlight, and smell migration.
9. Yabuzaki-en Rich Grand Matcha Latte 15g
Although Uji is the most famous matcha producer both in name and in reality, that doesn’t mean Uji is the only matcha production site. Matcha is available at the Asahina area too, which is located in Shizuoka Prefecture. Based in this location, Yabuzaki-en's organic matcha are well worth attention, especially their rich instant matcha latte.
This latte powder is made with the tastiest and rarest 1st-picked organic Asahina matcha. Yabuzaki-en wants the consumers to appreciate matcha, so the matcha content accounts for 17%, which is the top-class amount among instant matcha lattes. For this reason, it contains less sugars and milk than other instant matcha lattes, yet you can enjoy a faint sweetness and milky aroma. Another recommended usage is to mix this powder with alcohol such as sweet potato spirit, gin, or vodka.
10. Takada Tea House Chanoka Koro Koro Matcha Freeze Dried Cubic Matcha 30 Pieces
There’re many freeze-dried Japanese cuisines such as miso soup, tofu, rice bowl, but did you know that there’s a freeze dried matcha? Takada Tea House Chanoka, the Kyoto-based tea firm offers an innovative block-type matcha powder which is designed to enjoy matcha more conveniently.
The base ingredient is the organic Uji matcha free of milk, sugar, and sweetener. Each matcha block has only 0.3g, making this product very convenient for carrying around. It melts fast so you don’t have to prepare a whisk. Just put some of the matcha blocks into a mug or plastic bottle, and stir lightly or shake for a few seconds, respectively. You can even eat this as it is like a snack!