How is it Classified?
Matcha Tea is classified in two grades: Premium and Culinary and within each grade there are different qualities. The factors influencing Matcha Tea quality are: place of origin and soil, shade cultivation, harvest time and season, drying form, quality of selection and type of grinder used.
In premium grade you could find:
- The newest leaves from the first spring harvest are used to produce the highest quality Matcha Tea Grade used in the Tea Ceremony in its most concentrated and thick form called Koicha.
- The Premium Grade is used to prepare Usucha, lighter textured tea for daily consumption as a cold or hot beverage and that retains all the properties of Matcha Tea of the highest quality.
The second main category of Matcha is culinary grade, which is most often used for cooking and baking. It’s also fine to drink culinary Matcha, which is still a very high quality tea, just with a slightly different flavor profile than Premium grade Matcha. Culinary grade Matcha isn’t necessarily a lower quality product, it’s just prepared differently for a different use.