Where to buy matcha powder is one of the most important questions when you are getting into the world of Japanese green tea.
There are a lot of matcha being sold online and all of them claim to be the best, so which one should you get? We’ll also show you what to look for when buying matcha, so you don’t end up overpaying for low quality tea.
Also, where to buy matcha powder depends on what you’re planning on using it for. We’ll show you where to get the best matcha powder for lattes and for drinking plain.
Let’s get started! 🙌🏻🍃🏆
Where to buy matcha powder for tea ceremonies?
If you’re looking for where to buy matcha powder, it’s important to first have an idea of what you’re planning on using it for.
If you want to drink the matcha plain like they do in the Japanese tea ceremony, we recommend you go for premium ceremonial grade matcha tea.
These matcha teas are smooth enough to drink plain, and they are made through a long, labor intensive production process to maximize flavor.
There are two different ways to prepare matcha during the tea ceremony and this will determine where you should buy your matcha powder : usucha and koicha.
But before going into the detail, we want to make sure that you're not familiar with the concept of matcha grades. So make sure to read our article 👉 A guide to Matcha Grades that actually makes sense before starting the next section!
Where to buy matcha powder for Usucha
Usucha or “thin tea” is likely the type of matcha you are familiar with. This is whisked into a bowl using a bamboo whisk until a light green foam appears on top. This foam creates a smooth and airy consistency, so the matcha ends up tasting almost like a latte.
If you want to know where to buy matcha powder to make Usucha, Mr. Henta, a small farmer in Kirishima, produces a great one. The Henta matcha is very smooth and complex in its flavor and it comes with an affordable price tag so it is one of the best tea for beginners.
Where to buy matcha powder for Koicha
Koicha, also known as “thick tea” is used in special tea ceremonies. This is made with double the amount of powder and half the amount of water. This creates a concentrated matcha paste that is passed from guest to guest.
When you concentrate the matcha like this, it magnifies not only the health benefits of matcha tea plant, but also the matcha taste profile. If you use a regular matcha, it will become incredibly bitter. That's why we recommend using a super smooth matcha like the Washimine Ceremonial Matcha Tea, which is made by Mr. Nakai.
Mr. Nakai also makes an even more premium matcha called the Wazuka Tea Nakai Superior, which you can also get on our website nioteas.com. The Nakai superior and washimine are both made from the Okumidori cultivar, which is known for having a well rounded and smooth flavor with no bitterness.
What to look for when you buy premium matcha
Now that we’ve given you a couple ideas on where to buy matcha powder, let’s talk about what you should be looking for when it comes to taste, appearance and the description of the matcha.
Of course the only true way to evaluate a matcha is by tasting it, but if you are looking for where to buy matcha powder online, you probably won’t have this option (unless you try our matcha samplers).
So what does matcha taste like? You want a matcha that can produce a good foam and has a smooth and complex flavor. It shouldn’t be too bitter, but a hint of bitterness is enjoyed by a lot of matcha drinkers. The flavor shouldn’t be too flat either, it should have a varied flavor profile to it, much like a fine wine.
Besides tasting it, the next best thing you can do to evaluate a matcha is by looking at the powder. A premium matcha should be a vibrant green color, not the dull green or yellow color you may see on a lot of cheap matcha teas.
Within premium matcha, there is a variation from a bright chartreuse to a duller kelly green, but there should always be a luminance to the color.
If you’re looking for where to buy matcha powder online, the only thing you’ll really have access to is the description, but there is still a lot you can tell about a matcha from this alone.
The key here is specificity. The more specific the seller is with the description, the better the tea is likely to be. If its simply sold as “matcha” it is probably from the cheapest possible source.
If the tea is named by region, cultivar or the farm it was produced on, this tends to be a good sign. It shows the seller is proud of where the tea comes from and wants to share information about it.
Where to buy matcha powder if you want the best deal
If you are looking to get the most for what you pay, you can buy some matcha tea from Mr. Noike. Most premium matcha can cost at least $1 per gram, but the Noike matcha costs a small fraction of that and it includes shipping.
This matcha is grown on a small farm outside of Kyoto in the middle of a pine forest. This forest provides the matcha plants with partial shade throughout the day, which renders the tea slightly sweeter. It is also made using the Okumidori cultivar which is known for its lack of bitterness.
How is premium matcha made?
Now that we’ve talked a little bit about where to buy matcha powder that is high quality, let’s discuss why quality matters. Matcha is more than just powdered tea leaves. They have to undergo a special process before they are ground, otherwise the result will be incredibly bitter.
First the matcha plants need to be shaded for 3 weeks before the harvest in order to maximize their sweetness and reduce their bitterness. Then the top 3 sprouts are selected as these are the highest in nutrients and the smoothest and sweetest in flavor.
Finally, the stems are removed from the tea leaves, as these will only detract from the flavor. Only then is the matcha ground into a fine powder in a large stone mill.
How can you tell that a matcha is made like this?
If you’re looking for where to buy matcha powder that is high quality, specificity is the key. If a tea seller invested the time and resources to make sure their matcha was made using these methods, they will want to share that information.
In the description of the product, or on the website, there should be a mention of how the tea was produced. You can see which of these steps were taken to produce the matcha and which ones were skipped.
Where to buy matcha powder for lattes
If you’re looking where to buy matcha powder, but you’re only planning on using it in lattes, you can go for a latte grade matcha. This matcha is made from later harvests but the upside is, the tea can be purchased for a fraction of the price.
This is important because if you’re making matcha lattes every morning, you tend to go through a lot of matcha powder. If you want great tasting matcha without breaking the bank, you can get the latte grade matcha from Mr. Masuda.
Who is Mr. Masuda?
Mr. Masuda is a talented tea farmer in Shizuoka, and he is committed to growing green tea without the use of pesticides or chemicals. When we visited Mr. Masuda, he taught us so much about tea cultivation and tea plant varieties.
We also fell in love with his premium matcha teas like the Kyoto Matcha Masudaen and the Masudaen Makinohara Matcha. These teas can also be purchased at nioteas.com
Advantages of Latte Grade Matcha
In addition to being more cost effective, the latte grade matcha provides another advantage. When you are adding milk and sugar into your matcha latte, often times it can overshadow the flavor of the matcha itself.
Ceremonial grade matcha is smoother, but in the case of a latte that is not always a good thing because you want a strong flavor that you can taste through the milk. This is where the latte grade matcha comes in.
So if you’re looking for where to buy matcha powder for lattes, Mr. Masuda is your guy, and you can find his matcha on our website where we offer free worldwide shipping.
Where to buy matcha powder for recipes
If you’re planning on using matcha powder for recipes like ice cream, cakes and cookies, you can go for an even more inexpensive matcha powder. This is where we recommend the Basic Latte Grade matcha from Mr. Masuda.
The more ingredients you add to the matcha, the less important it is to go for the premium stuff. If you are going to be making matcha cookies for example, the premium matcha will be wasted by mixing it into the dough, so you can go for the more inexpensive matcha powder.
Even if you’re looking for where to buy matcha powder to cook with, you still want to go for matcha that is grown without the use of pesticides or chemicals. These chemicals will make their way into the matcha, and can have a negative impact on health.
Where to Buy Matcha Powder online
Of course it would be great if we could all go to Japan and buy from farmers directly, but if you’re looking for where to buy matcha powder online, we can handle all of the hard work for you.
After traveling around Japan for the past few years, we’ve met with dozens of farmers and sampled hundreds of different teas. We’ve put them altogether in one collection at nioteas.com and we offer free shipping to tea lovers all around the world.
We would really appreciate it if you could order some teas from these small farmers and let us know what you think.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this article. Hopefully by now you have a better idea of where to buy matcha powder. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. Until then, we’ll see you next time!