| In this article, we will discuss what matcha tastes like and what goes into the flavour profile of our favourite green powder! At Koko Riko Tea we often get asked by new and potential customers what does matcha taste like?
Although nothing replaces drinking a high-quality cup of matcha prepared correctly for yourself, we’re going to try to describe it in this article.
Matcha’s Flavour Profile
You see matcha everywhere for a reason! Matcha is one of those flavours that is complex, interesting, yet so refreshing and delicious. Matcha is a unique taste everyone must try in their life!
A high quality matcha like our Koko Riko Tea Matcha is sweet and earthy. Some people describe the taste as vegetal or grassy as well.
Alongside these primary tasting notes, high quality matcha powder has an umami flavour. In Japanese, Umami means “essence of deliciousness”, and its taste is often described as savoury deliciousness.
Most people associate matcha with being sweet, but don’t be fooled! A Lot of places and matcha companies add sweeteners to their matcha to mask the low quality aspect of their matcha powder. Just like salt, sugar can enhance the flavour profile of foods, so often times lower quality matcha powder is prepared with a lot of added sugar.
What Determines The Taste Of Matcha?
There are three major factors that affect how your matcha will taste:
- Grade of matcha
- Location where matcha is grown
- How the matcha is prepared
1. Grade of Matcha
The quality grade of your matcha determines the most in the flavor profile of your matcha powder. Since its explosion in popularity, matcha has a wide range of quality types. To put it simply, ceremonial grade matcha is at the highest quality (our Koko Riko Tea Matcha is the highest grade possible) and classic grade is the lowest quality.
The good thing about matcha is that you can distinguish high quality Matcha from low quality matcha very easily. Low quality matcha is an almost yellow colour or a muddy swampy green and has a very gritty, coarse texture. On the other hand, high-quality matcha is almost like a thick paste when spread on paper, the powder is very fine, and it’s a bright vibrant green colour.
2. Where The Matcha Is Grown
Like coffee and wine, where matcha is grown has a lot to do with the taste of the matcha powder you consume. Generally speaking, matcha powder from Japan is tastier and more umami than matcha grown anywhere else in the world because of Japan’s strict traditional growing practices, climate, and soil.
Chinese matcha tends to be lower quality because of the very loose growing regulations of matcha allowed by the Chinese government.
3. How The Matcha Is Prepared
Since matcha is so popular, there have been many recipes that people have created to incorporate the flavour of matcha in both food and beverage. We at Koko Riko Tea love putting matcha into anything we can, but the best way in our opinion is the traditional Japanese tea ceremony method. Preparing matcha in this way allows the drinker to enjoy matcha in its purest form without anything distracting from the naturally great taste.
To read up on the Japanese tea ceremony, check out our article, Matcha Tea Ceremony in Japan
What’s Matcha’s Mouthfeel?
The feeling of high quality matcha, when prepared in the traditional Japanese method, is silky, smooth, and frothy. Water ratio is of course important when preparing your matcha, so we wrote an article as a guide for beginners to matcha, The Right Matcha Water Ratio on our blog.
Even prepared outside the traditional Japanese method, the texture of matcha powder should never be noticed in whatever recipe you incorporate it into! Again, top quality matcha should be tasted and never felt in the mouth.
What Flavours Go Well With Matcha?
Although matcha has a distinctive flavour on its own, it can pair well with a lot of
different flavours, and that’s why we’re crazy about matcha at Koko Riko Tea!
Some popular flavours matcha pairs well with are:
- Salty Flavours
- Citrus/Acidic Flavours
- Nutty Flavours
- Creamy Flavours
Trying Matcha for the first with our Koko Riko Tea Matcha?
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