Everyday, we got questions from customers asking about matcha, we found that some customers actually has misconceptions about matcha. Here we list out a few common misconceptions.
1. Higher grade matcha is better for cooking.
Higher grade matcha has better aroma, low bitterness. Higher grade is better for drinking. But when comes to cooking or blending with other ingredients (such as matcha latte), lower grade is actually better. Lower grade has higher bitterness and stronger taste, which make matcha taste to stand out. Higher grade has milder taste which can easily overwhelmed by other flavor.
Almost all food chains or famous matcha food brands use lower grade for matcha food. The sweeter and stronger the matcha food need lower grade matcha powder.
2. I should purchase matcha with longer shelf life
Matcha doesn't have expired date, it will not go "spoilt" even after years. Matcha will only degrade over time, color will turn yellowish and taste become more bitter. That's why there is no expire date, it has only "Best before" date or shelf life.
All matcha has same shelf life which is 6-12 months depending how you keep it. In Japanese standard, matcha shelf life is about 5 months from the manufacture date. But due to demand of oversea food production companies, matcha manufacturer adjust the shelf life to 12-24 months. In other words, how long is the shelf life mainly depend on the manufacturer or seller.
You should check the manufactured date instead of shelf life. In greentea.sg, our matcha are all fresh and has life less than a month from date of manufactured.
3. Green tea powder is Matcha powder
Matcha is the finest Japanese tea product which produced by grinding Tencha (shade ground) into powder form. In order to be labelled as "Matcha", there are several requirements.
Powder produced from other green tea can only be labelled as "Green Tea powder" but not Matcha. Even the powder form of Gyokuro is not allowed to use "Matcha" as label.
In short, Matcha powder is green tea powder, But green tea powder not neccessary matcha powder.
3. Matcha is produced from Gyokuro
Matcha is produced from Tencha tea leaf. Both Gyokuro and Tencha are share grown, they have many similarities but they are processed in a different way.
4. Uji produce the best matcha, I should buy only Uji Matcha
Uji is one of the main Matcha production region in Japan. Matcha from Uji has characteristic of good aroma ,deep color and strong matcha taste, therefore it's good for food making. Matcha from Uji normally priced higher due to its popularity. In facts, matcha from Nishio, Shizuoka and Yame are also very good in quality too, and lower priced.