Matcha Quality – How to Identify Good vs Bad Matcha

Matcha Tea LeafsMatcha is quite popular due to its natural benefits. Many people drink it daily but they don’t know how to identify the quality of matcha green tea.

Basically, it is not as difficult as we think, I will share the best tips with you to easily understand the difference between good and bad quality matcha.

Today’s tons of brand selling matcha but some are good and some are bad. So it’s not easy to identify for first time buyer like you. If you didn’t purchase it before.

So, All below points will help you to identify the difference between good & bad quality matcha. These points not only help you to understand the difference but also explain you, how matcha tea is prepared from tea plants.

Before going to deep. I want to share some basic details.

As you know generally, people define matcha in 3 grades ceremonial, premium and culinary grade. But In my opinion, it’s not the best way to define quality. Also, there is no standard definition to divide matcha into above 3 grades. Because what you understand from these terms ceremonial and premium grade is high quality whereas culinary or cooking grade known as low quality matcha, right?

But actually, if the person packs the low or standard quality and labels as ceremonial grade what you understand. Nothing right?

So, You should have some basic knowledge about matcha. Here are some easy ways to identify the quality of matcha. These tips definitely help you to choose the right quality matcha at the right price.

10 Ways to identify the quality of Matcha Tea

Colour – Original matcha has always vibrant green in colour. If the matcha colour is yellowish or brownish that indicates poor quality matcha. It means the plant is not properly shaded from direct sunlight for 3 weeks before harvesting. Hence leaves has very low chlorophyll that makes end matcha powder yellowish and brownish in colour. We will discuss it later in depth.

Texture – By touching matcha powder you can easily judge the texture. If it is very smooth and silky. That means it is very well grounded in stone grounding machine that produces very thin matcha powder about 10 microns. If the powder is rough, means it is not real matcha also it doesn’t dissolve easily in water.

Smell of Matcha – Authentic high quality matcha always smells sweet. Because it is produced from fresh first flush hand-picked quality tea leaves. Which is genuinely very sweet in the taste itself.

Taste of Matcha – Tastes play a major role in identifying the quality of matcha. Good quality matcha is always sweet, creamy and vegetal taste. Whereas bad quality matcha is more bitter in taste and makes very less froth in water.


Tip: Good quality matcha foam disappears in a long time about 30 minutes whereas low-quality matcha foam in 5-10 minutes.

Shading – Proper shading of matcha tea plants before harvesting of 3 weeks is very necessary. Because it gives vibrant green chlorophyll-rich tea leaves. This process also produces L-theanine and amino acids. Which helps to prevent disease like cancer.

Raw form of Matcha (Tencha) – Tea leaves are plucked from shaded green tea plants, also it is steamed and then carefully removed all veins from tea leaves. These high quality leaves called Tencha which is finally used to produce a fine vibrant green colour powder is called Matcha.

Stone Ground – Grounding is one of the most important parts in producing high quality matcha. A single granite mill produces 30gm fine matcha powder in 1 hour of rotation and the powder is approx 10 microns thin.

Organic – Make sure you buy organic matcha from Japan. Basically, the farm where the tea plants are grown should be organic and not any pesticides used. If your matcha not organic it’s ok but you should have the test report. It really helps to understand all value are in the range and there are no harmful ingredients in the matcha.

Origin – Source (Japan vs China)
High quality matcha always comes from Japan, not from China. While China is the founder of this tea. It was founded by Zen monks in the 18th century.

Japan produces high quality matcha because of less pollution and strict farming rules, regulation, and process than China.

In this article, I have explained how to identify ceremonial grade matcha and low quality matcha in another word culinary grade or cooking grade matcha and last which is not matcha at all. You can easily differentiate the difference between various matcha quality.


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One reply on “Matcha Quality – How to Identify Good vs Bad Matcha

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    Freja Hammer

    This means you know that the stems and veins have been removed from the tea leaf and that you are consuming the best quality. In fact, the matcha particles should be around 5 microns in size, similar to baby powder. Compare that to a strand of human hair which is around 75 microns thick and you get the idea of how fine good quality matcha really is. It should be cold and warm water soluble and should dissolve without clumps in a water bottle after shaking for around 15 seconds. When the matcha is this fine you know that the stems and veins have been removed and that you are drinking the best part of the tench (green tea) leaf. Lower quality matcha needs to be whisked in a bowl to remove clumps before it can be consumed and this prevents most people from getting their matcha goodness on the go. No one wants to be whisking their matcha at the gym or work!


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