If you are a green tea enthusiast and have heard of the health benefits of Matcha, you are probably dying to try a cup for yourself. And it is not just you; Starbucks has even started producing Matcha lattes due to the growing popularity of Matcha tea. So, what’s the big deal about? It’s obviously a tea that offers exceptional health benefits, but what does it taste like? It is enjoyable? There is a lot of conflicting information about the actual taste of Matcha green tea. Some say it tastes repulsive and others claim it has a delightfully earthy taste, so what is the truth? Will you love it or hate it?
What does Matcha green tea taste like? Matcha green tea has a full-bodied taste that is complex, aromatic, rich, alluring and slightly bitter. Many Matcha Green Tea lovers describe the taste as vegetal or similar to an earthy spinach flavor. When you first taste Matcha green tea, expect it to be sharp and somewhat astringent and then unexpectedly, it leaves a sweet after taste that tea lovers around the world are addicted too.
For many, Matcha green tea is an acquired taste. It is not for everyone, but those who get used to the almost exotic taste of the tea become addicted to it. And those who are addicted to it are undoubtedly salivating for their next cup right now. Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to have an expertly prepared cup of Matcha Green tea and have to make it themselves, so it’s best to know what to expect before you get started.
There is a lot of information that points to the taste of Matcha being directly related to how it is prepared. For instance, someone with no knowledge of the product and poor quality supply will not be able to make a cup of Matcha that is nearly as delectable as a Japanese tea ceremony expert. To ensure that you have the very best first-time Matcha green tea experience, read what we have found out about its taste and how to get the best out of it below.
What is the Flavor of Matcha?
The flavor of Matcha can only be aptly described as unique. It is actually the high amino acid and chlorophyll content that gives Matcha its unique taste. Naturally, the taste of Matcha is earthy and vegetal with a bit of sweetness to follow each sip. When Matcha is combined with other ingredients, the sharp taste becomes more subtle and almost similar to regular green tea flavor. Because Matcha is used to make tea as well as cook with, you will find that there are culinary and ceremonial grades of Matchas on the market.
The Difference in Taste between Ceremonial Grade & Culinary/Café Grade Matcha
If you have tried a cup of Matcha Green Tea before and thought it was bitter and unpleasant, chances are that the tea has either been prepared incorrectly, or you have an inferior quality café grade (culinary grade) Matcha.
When buying Matcha, look for ceremonial grade Matcha as this is the traditional form of the tea and when prepared correctly, tastes absolutely incredible. Unfortunately, most people end up buying the café grade Matcha which is actually culinary grade. This means that it is intended for the purposes of baking cakes, making smoothies, or cooking sauces and does not taste so great when made into a tea.
There seems to be a general trend of sellers packaging their Matcha and labeling it “ceremonial grade” when it is actually culinary grade. So, you expect to get a creamy sweet tea that is earthy and delicious to drink and you end up with a strong-tasting tea that is full-bodied and astringent.
How do you make sure that you get Matcha Green Tea that tastes great and is actually ceremonial grade? The first step is to look for brands that actually come from Japan. You can also take a look at the color of the powder. The brighter the green of the matcha powder, the more likely it is to be ceremonial grade. This is because ceremonial grade Matcha is grown in the shade. As a result, the plants produce a lot of chlorophyll which makes the leaves, and thus the powder, vibrant green. Dull green teas are not the real thing or are inferior quality.
Does Matcha and Green Tea Taste the Same?
Matcha and green tea both come from the plant called Camellia Sinensis. You will find that Matcha is sold in powder form, whereas green tea is available in tea bags. Matcha is far more concentrated and while both have a vegetal taste that takes a bit of getting used to, those who enjoy Matcha find that it has a more rich and buttery flavor in comparison.
Green tea and Matcha do not taste quite the same, but do they offer the same health benefits? Now, here is the clincher. Matcha green tea is far superior when it comes to nutritional value. In fact, it has 137 times more antioxidants than green tea and 10 times the nutritional value – that is impressive. In terms of calcium, Matcha has 130 times more calcium than green tea and in terms of protein, Matcha has 172 times more than regular green tea. This is not to say that regular green tea is not effective. It just means that Matcha green tea offers superior nutritive value.
Brew Matcha Green Tea Your Way to Match Your Taste Preferences
Just like any tea, how it is brewed will determine how enjoyable it is. You can hot brew or cold brew Matcha Green Tea and you can also add a few elements to enhance the flavors that you prefer in the tea.
- Hot brew Matcha Green Tea:
Matcha is not like regular tea because it is supplied in a powdered form. This means that making the Matcha at home is fairly easy. Simply boil some water and let it cool slightly so that it is not piping hot when you use it. Follow the instructions on the label. Usually, it just requires one or two spoons of powder in a cup with warm to slightly hot water added. Stir well. The powder dissolves and goes frothy fairly quickly. All that is left to do is enjoy it. With this type of brewing method, the earthy astringent flavors come to the fore.
Because Matcha is powdered, it means that you actually drink the leaves of the tea. There is no need to steep the tea – the flavor is immediately there. Drinking just one cup of Matcha hot brewed tea is like drinking 10 cups of anti-oxidant rich tea for boosting the metabolism, lowering blood pressure, and preventing cancer.
- Cold-brew Matcha Green Tea:
Cold-brewed Matcha tea is the option preferred by tea lovers with a palate that prefers something that is sweet and mild. It is made exactly the same as hot brewed Matcha except with cool water. In some instances, ice and a fresh mint leaf is added. Cold Matcha is far less sharp and astringent. Instead, it is sweeter, creamier and richer.
Even cold brewed Matcha Green Tea has the same high anti-oxidant content and nutritive value as regular hot brewed Matcha Green Tea.
- Additive options:
Not everyone loves the natural flavor of cold or hot brewed Matcha Green Tea. However, they still want the nutritive benefits of consuming it. The good news is that the taste of Matcha can be transformed with a few simple ingredients and additives. If the tea tastes too bitter for you, you can add a bit of natural sweetness with a spoon of honey. If it tastes too bland and you want a bit of zest, try adding a few squeezes of fresh lemon or some ginger.
If you are wondering what Matcha Green Tea tastes like and want to know if it is something that you would enjoy, the only way to find out is to try some for yourself. It is safe to say that if you like earthy flavors that are vegetal and natural-tasting, you will absolutely love the taste of Matcha Green Tea. What is more, is that you will absolutely love the health benefits too.