Matcha green tea is customarily divided into two grades: ceremonial grade Matcha and culinary grade Matcha. The separation lies in each grade’s color, flavor and uses. Below is a basic comparison of the two.
|Type||Ceremonial Grade Matcha||Culinary Grade Matcha|
|Color||Vibrant green||Less vibrant green|
|Flavor||Fresh, delicate taste||Bitter taste|
|Typical Uses||Drinking||Cooking and baking|
History of Ceremonial Grade Matcha
Ceremonial grade Matcha has been around for centuries. Drinking green tea was first done way back during the 4th century in China by Buddhist monks and Zen masters and students. The practice then spread to Japan, where priests and nobles began drinking it during the mid-14th century. In the two ensuing centuries, military commanders and wealthy merchants started participating in these traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, and during the late 1800s, women were allowed to begin taking part in them.
Since the green tea craze came to Japan, ceremonial grade Matcha is now primarily grown in Uji, Japan. For centuries now, this area is regarded around the world as producing the best ceremonial grade Matcha thanks to its near-perfect weather conditions and carefully detailed growing practices.
Ceremonial Grade Matcha Benefits
Besides consuming an extremely fine texture of tea with an appetizingly pure and delicate taste, ceremonial grade Matcha offers the same health benefits of culinary grade Matcha. Some of those benefits include:
In terms of its nutrition facts, ceremonial grade Matcha has 6 calories; less than 1 gram of carbohydrates, dietary fiber and protein; Vitamin A, Vitamin C and iron, in a 2 gram serving size.
Purpose of Ceremonial Grade Matcha
Unlike culinary grade Matcha, ceremonial grade isn’t used as an added ingredient in baking, cooking or garnishing foods. One reason is that its delicate flavor doesn’t make it ideal for baking or cooking, and another reason is that because ceremonial grade Matcha is the highest-quality Matcha tea grade, it’s also the most expensive per gram.
Ceremonial grade Matcha is exclusively used for drinking on its own—sweeteners and other ingredients that you might add to other teas shouldn’t be mixed with this grade of green tea.
To make ceremonial grade Matcha, you mix the Matcha powder together with hot water, typically using ¼ to 1 tsp. of Matcha powder and 2 oz. of hot water, to make a thick, frothy drink. If you wish to make this green beverage the traditional Japanese way, you’ll need to use a bamboo whisk, ceramic bowl and bamboo spoon.
If you’re newer to Matcha, check out this blog post to learn more about the two different grades of Matcha green tea powder.