Like all good things, all matcha powders are not created equals. This is why you'll often see matcha categorized by grades : ceremonial grade, culinary grade, A grade, etc.
Descriptions like those are actually only marketing terms to help us better understand what we are drinking and what we should be expecting.
So why are there different "grades" of Matcha and how can you tell ?
Different steps of the process lead to different type of matcha. The best matcha, usually called ceremonial grade, is made from the youngest green tea leaves and its harvest follow some very specific steps.
Here are some tricks to identify your matcha grade :
1) The Color
The greener the matcha, the better. A very good matcha will be super vibrant green meaning it has been shade-grown with care and that the matcha is packed full of chlorophyll and picked from higher up on the plant. A dull looking matcha is usually a matcha of a much lower quality.
2) The Taste
High quality matcha have an earthy fresh tast with a hint of a natural sweetness coming from the L-theanine in the leaves. Lower quality matcha will be much bitter.
You can also tell by the texture : a good quality matcha will be a fine powder whereas a lower quality matcha will be much thicker.
3) The Origin
Matcha is usually found both in Japan and China. Although it was originally produced mainly in China, the best matcha is now found in Japan. Unlike japanese, chinese farmers do not always follow the meticulous process of making good matcha (growing their tea in the shades, air drying the leaves, etc). This usually makes the chinese matcha duller in color.
When you are looking for a good matcha, make sure you're getting it from a farm in Japan. All our matcha is sourced from amazing fields in Japan and we take pride in offering the best matcha you can find !
4) The Price
Because of the complex cultivation process, good quality matcha is usually pretty expensive to produce as it is not automatized by machines. See here the careful steps to producing the best matcha : https://www.thematchareserve.com/pages/what-is-matcha?hv=qweqf
Those 4 characteristics can help you identify a very well "graded" matcha.
Our commitment is to offer only the best matcha you can find in Japan.