Regarding differences of our Matcha products, the highest quality Matcha tea leaves are only the smallest, youngest, and greenest parts of the plant - the two leaves at the tip of each new shoot, and its taste is not solely sweet, but a distinctive complex taste that is full-bodied, rich, and mature, never chalky, bitter, or bland. This top quality Matcha from the first harvesting days (First Flush) in Japan is used in the Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, in which people enjoy and appreciate its delicate full flavor without masking with any additions.
Tealeaves get harvested several times throughout the year in Japan, but the First Flush of the year is considered the most delicious and has the most nutrients. Tea-plucking in Japan begins with the spring warmth. During the winter, tea plants store nutrients, and the tender new leaves which sprout in the spring contain concentrated nutrients. Second Flush tealeaves treated with special care are also bright green color and have natural sweet taste, but compared with First Flush, the color is less vibrant, and have slightly refreshing bitter taste. Usually Matcha from these tealeaves is used for culinary purposes mixing with other ingredients for baking, adding it in smoothies, lattes, and etc., so called “Culinary Grade Matcha”. It is less expensive than “Ceremony Grade Matcha” and easier to have full of Matcha’s health benefits on daily basis.
The Color and Taste of Organic Matcha Comparing the color and taste of Organic and Non-Organic Matcha, Organic Matcha has less vibrant green color, and less sweet to taste.
Matcha tea leaves (Tencha tea leaves) are shade-grown to produce the high levels of Chlorophyll and Amino Acids (L-Theanine), that gives Matcha its vibrant green color, and enhances the natural sweetness, however, as Matcha tealeaves do not get energy from the sun, they need to get it from somewhere else, usually fertilizers. The organic fertilizers need over 3 months to take effect and does not give the plants enough energy to develop maximum Chlorophyll and Amino Acid content. As a result, the plants grows, but tea leaves have inferior color, and taste weak and flat. The Safety of Non-Organic Matcha As the chemical fertilizers work rapidly, allowing the “boost” that the plants need during the most important part of their life under the shade, most of the farmers use them for their Matcha production. This does not mean they are just dumping them into their farms. What they do is using a little of both organic and non-organic ones. They start the year off with using organic ones, and will turn to a minimal amount of non-organic ones at the crucial moments. Also, the Positive System of Agricultural Chemicals in Japan strictly regulates what types of pesticides can be used, how much can be used, and when they can be used. Farmers are bound by strict regulations to record what was used, when it was used, and how much used, and then submit the reports to the authorities. Furthermore, the tea leaves are tested for chemical residue, and are not allowed in the market if they go even slightly above the safety standard.
All of our Matcha are from Uji, Kyoto, Japan, and since we are a traditional Japanese Uji Tea manufacturer based in Uji, Kyoto, Japan with over 180 years business history directly importing to the US and selling to consumers, our pricings are competitive.
Culinary Grade Matcha is less expensive than “Ceremonial Grade Matcha” and easier to have full of Matcha’s health benefits on daily basis.
Ceremonial Matcha is expensive because of the high costs on its super careful growing and processing, but has perfect balance of umami flavor and aroma from first harvest tealeaves, and is drunken like a World-Class wine. In Japan, usually Matcha is meant Ceremonial Matcha for special occasions such as having a special guest at home or ceremonies, and prepared with hot water using tea whisk just as in the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. For this grade Matcha, we would like our customers to concentrate on Matcha’s original truly great taste forgetting the health benefits for a moment.
Matcha is sensitive to heat, humidity, light, and odor from other substances. When exposed to them, it loses its vibrant color and sweet taste so quickly. It is recommended to keep it refrigerated. Once the bag is opened, it should be consumed within a short period because it begins to degrade. After opening the bag, please seal it firmly and keep it in a refrigerator.
When you take the bag out of the fridge, it is recommend to let it warm up to room temperature before opening it in order to avoid condensation.
As we have done the analysis on heavy metal contents at a third party laboratory, they were not detected or extremely low as below:
Arsenic: Not detected. Lead: 0.20 ppm Cadmium: 0.03 ppm Mercury: Not detected ***The serving size of Matcha is 2 grams, which has only 0.4 microgram lead content. We also have tested our Matcha and confirmed radiation free. All of our Matcha are manufactured in, Kyoto, Japan, where is more than 540km away from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. This distance is far enough for all products to avoid any radioactivity from Fukushima nuclear plant.
We have tested our Matcha and confirmed radiation free. All of our Matcha are manufactured in the same area, Kyoto, Japan, where is more than 540km away from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. This distance is far enough for all products to avoid any radioactivity from Fukushima nuclear plant.
In China, tea is not grown under shade, nor dried by steam to stop fermentation, which is not the proper method for growing and manufacturing Matcha. Also, an organization, the Positive System of Agricultural Chemicals, in Japan strictly regulates residual pesticides. Before being permitted to be sold on the market, the Japanese Matcha tea leaves under go various tests for heavy metals, pesticides, radiation, etc, thus ensuring the high quality and purity of the Matcha.