Advertisement

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Advertisement

Best matcha powder 2022: The best everyday, premium and flavoured varieties

Jamie Stedmond
6 May 2022
Advertisement

Bright green, foamy and deliciously earthy, we’ve rounded up the best matcha powder available

The best matcha powder creates a drink that has a vibrant green colour, a slightly bitter, vegetal taste and a very pleasant foamy texture. This Japanese tea powder was once a niche product in the UK but nowadays you can find matcha products in shops, cafés, restaurants and ice-cream parlours across the country, with its versatile form and flavour adding an earthy kick to a wide range of drinks and foodstuffs.

For those new to matcha or just wanting to learn more, our handy buying guide below will answer any questions you might have. A little further down the page you’ll find our mini-reviews, which point out some of the strengths of our favourite matcha products, including our favourite traditional matcha powders, flavoured varieties and portable options. If you want to expand the horizons of your daily cuppa even further, be sure to check out our full roundup of the best green tea.

READ NEXT: The best kettles to buy


Best matcha powder: At a glance


How to choose the best matcha powder for you

What is matcha powder?

Matcha is a form of powdered green tea that’s a staple drink in its native Japan. It’s made from green tea leaves that are heated soon after harvesting to prevent oxidation, preserving the bright green colour and earthy flavour. More specifically, matcha is made from Tencha, a delicate shade-grown tea leaf that is also used to make high-quality Gyokuro green tea. These leaves must be grown in Japan for it to be called matcha – akin to Champagne – otherwise it must be referred to as green tea powder. Once harvested, the leaves are slowly and carefully ground into a powder using large millstones.

When used to make tea, matcha produces a drink with a strong green colour, a creamy texture and a deep vegetal, umami flavour (for those unfamiliar with the term umami, it refers to a strong savoury flavour), but with notably sweeter and smoother notes than leaf-based green teas.

I’ve seen different “grades” of matcha when shopping, what do these mean?

Like many products, there are different quality levels available when it comes to purchasing matcha. However, what might confuse matcha newbies is that matcha also has an official grading system. The two main grades of matcha are ceremonial grade and culinary grade.

Ceremonial grade matcha is grown and harvested in such a way as to preserve the pure, earthy flavour of the tea leaves. This grade of matcha is intended for drinking without additives and not for use in cooking or baking, as its delicate flavour is too easily overpowered. It’s also the grade used for traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.

Culinary grade matcha has a stronger and more astringent flavour than ceremonial grade, as it’s intended for mixing with milk, sweeteners and other additives when making tea, as well as for use in baking and cooking.

One thing that should be noted about these two grades is that neither is necessarily superior – both ceremonial and culinary grade matcha can be either well-produced or of poor quality. Companies can tend to be a bit misleading when marketing these different grades and it can be hard to know how high quality a product actually is. If you want to get the best matcha powder, simply look out for a bright green colour and buy products that are stone-ground, as this painstaking process preserves flavours and nutrients best.

What can I make with matcha powder?

The simplest way to make something with matcha is to whisk it into hot water (not boiling; matcha prefers a temperature of around 80°C) to make tea. You can also use the same process using milk to make yourself a matcha latte. Besides these two main methods, there are many other culinary applications for matcha – it can be used to flavour and enhance smoothies, baked goods, ice cream and more.

READ NEXT: Our roundup of the best tea bags you can buy

The best matcha powder to buy

1. Marukyu Koyamaen Chigi no Shiro Matcha: Best everyday matcha powder

Price: £19 | Buy now from Japan Centre

There are plenty of flavoured and premium options on this list, but those looking for a reliable, straightforward matcha will be most interested in this offering from Marukyu Koyamaen. This historical tea purveyor has been growing, procuring and blending tea in the famed Uji region of Japan since 1704 and has long been associated with quality and dependability.

This stone-ground matcha comes in an aesthetically pleasing tin and brews a cup of tea with an intense yet delicate flavour, which should appeal to matcha lovers and newcomers alike. Available at a reasonable price for its quality, this is the best option for those seeking a full-bodied matcha for daily enjoyment.

Key details – Size: 40g; Form: Loose powder

Buy now from Japan Centre


2. PureChimp Matcha Whisk Set: Best matcha for lattes

Price: £22 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re ready to dive head first into the world of matcha, this starter kit will have you fully kitted out with a few simple tools. It includes a measuring spoon sized for the perfect cup, as well as an electric whisk that will whip your morning matcha latte, cappuccino or smoothie to a fine, foamy consistency.

It also contains a 50g jar of PureChimp ceremonial grade matcha, a tasty, delicate blend that holds its own when used with milk and other ingredients. Once you’ve got the hang of your kit, you can experiment with recipes and flavours by trying some of PureChimp’s flavoured matcha varieties, such as mint, cinnamon and lemongrass.

Key details – Size: 50g (includes measuring spoon and whisk); Form: Loose powder

Buy now from Amazon


3. Heapwell Superfoods Culinary Grade: Best culinary-grade matcha

Price: £6 | Buy now from Amazon

This culinary-grade matcha powder from Heapwell Superfoods can trace its origins to tea plantations in Nara and Kyoto, Japan. It’s a stone-ground powder, with a strong, green colour and can produce delicious matcha teas and lattes, as well as being a tasty addition to smoothies and baked goods. This is the product for you if you’d like your matcha to act as a versatile kitchen supply, rather than solely as a tea.

Key details – Size: 50g; Form: Loose powder

Buy now from Amazon


4. Ippodo Unmon-no-Mukashi Matcha Powder: Best luxury matcha

Price: £93 | Buy now from Amazon

Ippodo opened its Kyoto-based tea shop in 1717 and since then its business has grown to include large-scale manufacturing and distribution, selling quality Japanese tea worldwide. This Unmon-no-Mukashi matcha powder is the highest-quality variety of matcha available and is something of a sensation among matcha connoisseurs. It’s by far the priciest powder that we’ve come across, but also the only one we’ve seen matcha lovers reliably describe as the best matcha they’ve ever tried.

Most everyday matcha is consumed as a thin-tea, or usucha, whereas this powder is best enjoyed as a thick-tea, or koicha. Prepared with less water, this powder will produce an intensely savoury, syrupy koicha, often paired with a sweet treat during tea ceremonies to balance the intense umami flavour. It comes in a beautiful tin and would make the perfect gift for any friend or family member who is interested in Japanese traditions or obsessive about green tea.

Key details – Size: 40g; Form: Loose powder

Buy now from Amazon


5. Pukka Clean Green Matcha Herbal Tea: Best matcha tea bag for beginners

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

Herbal tea aficionados will be familiar with Pukka, the most notable purveyors of tasty herb and fruit-based teas. If you’re not quite ready to invest in a sizable jar of matcha powder or just want an easy option for your daily cuppa, these Clean Green matcha tea bags are a good way to enjoy matcha without the fuss.

This organic blend contains dandelion, fennel, lemon myrtle, licorice, Vietnamese Sencha green tea and, of course, matcha. Mellow, herbaceous and lemony, brew one of these plastic-free bags for up to 15 minutes to produce a cup of tea that will satisfy your desire for a balanced, mild matcha flavour.

Key details – Size: 30g; Form: Tea bag

Buy now from Amazon


6. Tsuboichi Powdered Lemonade Matcha Drink: Best flavoured matcha

Price: £7 | Buy now from Japan Centre

Matcha lovers looking to try something new should look no further than this powdered lemonade and matcha mix from Tsuboichi. Tart, powdered setouchi lemon juice and velvety, bitter tsuboichi matcha are balanced by the addition of sugar and glucose – producing a drink that is rich, tangy, sweet and smooth in equal measure.

This powder mix can be enjoyed hot, cold or frothed with milk or water. Whatever way you try it, the interesting array of flavours will do their strange, fizzy tap-dance across your tongue. We recommend this product as a fun entry-point for newbies, as well as a breath of fresh air for seasoned matcha drinkers.

Key details – Size: 100g; Form: Loose powder blend

Buy now from Japan Centre


7. Organic Moya Matcha to Go! Sachet Tea: Best matcha sachets

Price: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

While it is delicious and relaxing to drink, making matcha on the go can be a bit of hassle. Bringing a jar of powder and a measuring spoon into the office or along in a suitcase isn’t an ideal scenario. That said, if you can’t do without your daily dose of rich, earthy matcha, then these handy sachets from Moya Matcha might be the answer to all your woes.

Each Moya to Go sachet contains a single serving of matcha from the Uji region of Japan, well known for its high-quality tea. Using a blend of leaves from spring and summer harvests, these sachets produce a quick and easy cup of tea with a deep yet balanced flavour.

Key details – Size: 24 x 1.5g; Form: Powder sachet

Buy now from Amazon


8. Kunitaro Green Tea with Uji Matcha Pyramid tea bags: Best authentic matcha tea bag

Price: £8 | Buy now from Japan Centre

If you want to enjoy a full-flavoured cup of matcha but want the simplicity of a tea bag, then Kunitaro’s matcha-enhanced green tea is the ideal product to add to your tea cupboard. These tea bags contain Kunitaro’s standard green tea, which has a light, crisp taste. The addition of Uji matcha in every bag sweetens and balances the overall flavour.

These pyramidal tea bags also have a handy tab and string which makes them easy to brew and dispose of. It’s the perfect product for those who want to keep things quick and easy without sacrificing flavour or authenticity.

Key details – Size: 100g; Form: Tea bags

Buy now from Japan Centre


Read more

Best Buys