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We Tried 5 Matcha Powders — Here’s The Best Brand to Buy

June 21, 2023
Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

Whether it’s mixed into delicious treats or enjoyed in its purest form, we love matcha here at Clean Plates. The powdered green tea is typically regarded as a gentler source of caffeine and is chock-full of health benefits; it is incredibly rich in antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that matcha is absolutely delicious too! But, with so many different matcha powders on the market, we wanted to get to the bottom line: which ones are actually worth the investment. For our experiment, we tried five matcha brands across different price points and grades to uncover the best matcha powders to buy.

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Culinary grade vs. ceremonial grade

If you’ve shopped for matcha powder before, you may have noticed some packages boast a “ceremonial” grade. But what does that mean exactly? A ceremonial grade indicates that the matcha was made with tea leaves that were picked during the first harvest, whereas a culinary-grade matcha is made with leaves from the second harvest. The first harvest is widely considered to be better quality and typically yields a more vibrant color, sweeter taste, and, as a result, a higher price point.

Ceremonial-grade matcha is better suited for making tea, whereas culinary-grade matcha can be great for baked goods, smoothies, or even skincare. That being said, not all matcha is made equal, and some culinary-grade brands can still be used to make delicious teas and lattes at home.

How we determined the best matcha powder

When looking at the quality of matcha powder, there are a number of factors to consider, such as color, aroma, frothiness, texture, and flavor. A high-quality matcha is usually characterized by a vibrant green color and a sweet aroma. When whisked, the powder should dissolve completely and have tiny, uniform bubbles. Lastly, and most importantly, it should taste good!

Results from our matcha taste-test

1. Jade Leaf Organic Ceremonial Matcha (Teahouse Edition)

$19.95 / 1.06 oz

Given it’s the number one best seller on Amazon, we knew we had to try the well-regarded Jade Leaf Organic Ceremonial Matcha. Upon opening, it was a beautiful vibrant green color and had a wonderfully sweet aroma. Overall, it was well-balanced with earthy notes and very enjoyable to drink.

Buy now: Jade Leaf Organic Ceremonial Matcha

2. RISHI Organic Everyday Matcha Powder

$11.90 / 1.05 oz

Characteristically, the RISHI tea fit the bill for a culinary-grade matcha powder. Upon opening it, you could see the color was much more muted compared to the ceremonial-grade brands we tried. The matcha powder dissolved well and, while the flavor was more subtle than the ceremonial-grade teas, it was still very pleasant to drink and had minimal bitterness.

Buy now: RISHI Organic Everyday Matcha Powder

3. Ippodo Tea – Ummon

$30.99 / 0.7 oz

The Ippodo Tea Ummon matcha powder was the most expensive brand we taste-tested by a landslide, coming in at about $44 an ounce. Upon opening, there was no doubt that it was high quality — it had a sweet aroma and the most vibrant green color. The flavor was complex, and the texture had a creamy silkiness to it.

Buy now: Ippodo Tea – Ummon

4. Navitas Organic Matcha Powder

$20.97 / 3.0 oz

With a competitive price point and so highly reviewed, we knew we had to try the Navitas Organic Matcha Powder. After tasting, we determined this particular brand is not among our favorites. That being said, for a culinary-grade matcha powder, there was surprisingly very little bitterness and it did dissolve nicely. Its taste, however, was a little lackluster and grassy. While we wouldn’t recommend the Navitas brand for teas or lattes, it could be great for baking.

Buy now: Navitas Organic Matcha Powder

5. Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea

$7.49 / 0.37 oz

This round-up wouldn’t be complete without a review of Trader Joe’s branded matcha powder. Of the culinary-grade matcha powders we tried, the Trader Joe’s variety had the brightest color that actually rivaled the two ceremonial-grade matcha. Despite its promising appearance, we weren’t huge fans of the flavor. And at $20.24 an ounce, there were more affordable options we liked better.

Shop: Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea

The bottom line

When it comes to comparing ceremonial grade to culinary grade, there is a noticeable difference. The Ippodo and Jade Leaf brands were our favorites among the five matcha powders we taste-tested. The main difference we noticed between the two ceremonial-grade matcha powders was that Ippodo was a tad sweeter and smoother with virtually no chalkiness. That being said, the differences were so subtle that you may not notice unless you are a true matcha connoisseur or doing a side-by-side comparison. As a result, we found the Jade Leaf brand to have the best matcha powder given its more affordable price point.

If ceremonial grade matcha isn’t in the budget, the RISHI Organic Everyday Matcha Powder would be a great go-to. While it wasn’t as flavorful or smooth as Ippodo or Jade Leaf, we still really enjoyed it!

Read next: We Tried 10 Boxes of Healthy Frozen Waffles. Here Are the Best.

Disclaimer: We only recommend products we seriously love and want to share. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which includes affiliate links.

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