Meet Matcha: An Intro To Your New Favourite Green Tea

These days, everyone seems to be talking about matcha. From baked goods to beauty products, this magnificent Japanese green tea is turning up just about everywhere. But what makes it so special? Rich in flavour, energizing and incredibly good for you, it’s hard finding a reason not to love it!

Where does matcha come from?

Our straight matchas are sourced from the Nishio region of Japan’s Aichi prefecture, an area renowned for years as one of the world’s best green tea producers. With its fertile soils and abundance of fresh water, Nishio is the ideal place to grow matcha. And the proof is in the pudding. Today, the region is responsible for over 60% of all Japanese matcha production.

How is matcha made?

Matcha is made unlike any other tea. Before being harvested, the Camellia Sinensis plants used to produce matcha are covered from the sun and left to grow in the shade for between 2-4 weeks. This process boosts the amount of chlorophyll in the leaf, which gives the tea its brilliant green colour. Once the leaves are plucked, steamed and dried, the stems and veins are removed, leaving nothing but the meat. This “meat,” known as tencha, is then ground into a fine powder, and the process is complete. But trust us, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Just grinding tencha into matcha powder is so labour-intensive, that it takes up to 7 hours to make 100 g/4 oz of tea!

How is matcha made?

What does matcha look like?

Identifying matcha is incredibly easy. If you come across a bright-green, powdered tea, chances are that it’s matcha. The tricky part is determining the grade of the tea by its appearance.
As a powder, higher quality matchas are generally a brighter and more vibrant green. When whisked, each successive grade of matcha will appear richer and frothier. However, the best way to test the grade of your matcha is with a smear test. To do this, place a bit of matcha on a white piece of paper. Then, using your finger, smear the tea down the page. The higher the quality, the longer the smear will be! Below are three of our matchas to give you an idea of what this looks like:

Matcha Smear Test

As you can see, our highest grade is Ceremonial Matcha. However, high grade doesn’t mean it’s better for everyone. Despite having a shorter smear, Matcha Matsu is perfect for tea drinkers who love grassier green teas. Its stronger flavour also makes it perfect for baking and smoothies!

How does matcha taste?

Depending on its grade, matcha can range in taste from grassy to sweet to creamy, with textures that are smooth or even crisp. This table will help highlight the different flavour characteristics.

Matcha Tasting Notes

Got a question about matcha? We’d be happy to answer it for you! All you’ve got to do is write it in the comments.


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41 Responses to Meet Matcha: An Intro To Your New Favourite Green Tea

  1. Melanie September 5, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    Very informative, love the information on production of matcha!

  2. Rosanne October 13, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

    Is there a difference in the level of antioxidants with your different grades of matcha?

    • DAVIDsTEA February 1, 2016 at 8:34 pm #

      Hey Rosanne! We couldn’t say for certain, although our straight matchas would likely have more benefits than our flavoured ones (since they’re 100% matcha).

  3. Carol October 25, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    Great post: informative and good pictures. For someone that likes less grassy flavour, what matchas are recommended?

    • DAVIDsTEA October 26, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

      Hey Carol! If you’d like to give matcha a try, we’d recommend starting with one of our flavoured ones; the Vanilla Matcha in particular is the most similar to the straight matchas. Hope that helps 🙂

  4. Symbo January 10, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    What about levels of caffeine? I’m currently pregnant, and hopefully will soon be breastfeeding. I need to carefully monitor my caffeine intake. Does matcha have more, less, the same amount of caffeine compared to, let’s say, jasmine green tea?

    • DAVIDsTEA January 13, 2016 at 8:19 pm #

      Hey Symbo! We’ve listed both Butterfly Jasmine and our matchas at a level 2 caffeine rating.

  5. Jen January 10, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

    Hi – How much caffeine is there in each?

    • DAVIDsTEA January 13, 2016 at 8:16 pm #

      Hey Jen! All our matchas have medium caffeine.

  6. TAPU January 10, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    Which Matcha has the least amount of caffeine and the most amount of anti-oxidants?? Is there a lot of caffeine in Matcha green tea? I don’t really taste any or feel like there is but I wanted to confirm since reports say there is a ton of caffeine in green tea.

    • DAVIDsTEA January 13, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

      Hey Tapu! All our matchas have a medium caffeine rating.

  7. Jacqui P. January 10, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

    How does matcha compare to green or white tea in terms of caffeine content?

    • DAVIDsTEA January 13, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

      Hey Jacqui! Matcha has a medium caffeine rating (2) on our scale.

  8. Cheryl January 10, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    Hi I’m wondering if the flavored matcha has the same health benefits as plain matcha. Thank you

    • DAVIDsTEA January 14, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

      Hey Cheryl! The flavored matchas definitely have their benefits, but given that they’re not 100% matcha (blended with other ingredients), your probably won’t see entirely the same effects as our straight matchas.

  9. Tina January 10, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    How do I prepare it? Do I have to whisk it or can I put it in a tea bag?

    • DAVIDsTEA January 13, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

      Hey Tina! Matcha is a powder so you’ll have to whisk it 🙂

      • Wanda January 27, 2017 at 8:35 pm #

        If you don’t have a whisk handy, what else can u do?

        • DAVIDsTEA February 8, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

          Hi Wanda! You can use a fork and move it in an “M” motion.

  10. Bev January 10, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

    Can people with caffeine sensitivity drink matcha tea?

    • DAVIDsTEA January 13, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

      Hey Bev! Matcha has a medium caffeine rating, so depending on your sensitivity it may be best to consult your doctor before drinking.

  11. Carole January 10, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    Great info, however, you say matcha is very good for us … but in which way … what will it do for me?

    • DAVIDsTEA January 14, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

      Hey Carole! It’s invigorating and revitalizing, and reports have shown that it contains huge amounts of antioxidants. This is probably just scratching the surface, but there are lots of really cool studies out there about the benefits of matcha 🙂

  12. Barbara January 10, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

    Can you recommend one that is Creamy, Smooth, and Delicate?

    • DAVIDsTEA January 14, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

      Hey Barbara! Our Ceremonial Matcha fits into all three of those categories 🙂

  13. Cathy Dietrich January 10, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

    Is there any sugar in the vanilla matcha?

    • DAVIDsTEA January 13, 2016 at 8:22 pm #

      Hey Cathy! Due to the coconut nectar, there is 5 g of sugar per 240 ml in our Vanilla Matcha.

  14. Eileen January 10, 2016 at 7:44 pm #

    Do you make a caffeine-free matcha, or does all matcha contain caffeine?

    • DAVIDsTEA January 13, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

      Hey Eileen! All of our matchas contain medium caffeine.

  15. Sarah January 10, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

    I do love matcha but the last tin of grand cru I bought has left me disappointed. The tin itself broke-the top and bottom halves of the lid have separated. But I can deal with that.

    I use the matcha maker, but no matter how I make it or how long I shake it, the tea is so. Incredibly. Clumpy. It’s also very bitter, even if I use just a very small amount. Is this normal, or just a funny batch?

    • DAVIDsTEA January 14, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

      Hey Sarah, so sorry to hear about your negative matcha experiences! The first thing we’d recommend is using less than boiling water for your matcha (about 74ºC), as boiling water will burn the leaves and cause the tea to taste bitter. As for the clumps, the Matcha Maker should definitely break them up. One thing worth noting though is that matcha isn’t actually a dissolution, but a suspension. So if you’re finding big clumps of it at the bottom of your mug, that’s because the tea has settled back down to the bottom. To avoid this, be sure to give your Matcha Maker a good shake or two before sipping.

  16. Margie January 10, 2016 at 9:42 pm #

    Really like the smear test have bought it at different places so curios now. Is it true matcha has nutritional value? If so what?

    • DAVIDsTEA January 14, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

      Hey Margie! While we don’t typically speak to its nutritional value, we can say that matcha is super energizing and reportedly has a number of benefits.

  17. Donna January 12, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

    What about the caffeine? Is there a lot?

    • DAVIDsTEA January 13, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

      Hey Donna! Matcha has a medium caffeine rating. It’s great for a boost of energy 🙂

  18. Diana November 5, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

    Can I use the Blueberry Matcha for baking?

    • DAVIDsTEA November 7, 2016 at 3:05 pm #


  19. Tara February 24, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    Approximately how many Perfect Matcha spoonfulls can you get out of 50g of Matcha?


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