Its greenish color has many people wondering what does matcha taste like. The unique look of the drink, alongside its nutritional benefits, convinces people to drop dollars on the drink without hesitation.
Describing the mouthfeel you get when you drink matcha tea isn’t the easiest; the emerald green colored drink has a rich, vegetal taste.
It’s made from stone-ground green tea leaves whose plants have been shaded for at least three weeks prior to harvest.
Matcha has an earthy flavor and can be enjoyed on its own or added to lattes, smoothies, and baked goods.
What Does Matcha Taste Like?
If you aren’t familiar with matcha, you are definitely going to wonder what it tastes like. Matcha can be used on its own, as an ingredient in tea lattes or to flavor baked goods and other concoctions. How it tastes is greatly influenced by other ingredients used alongside it.
Pure ceremonial grade matcha has a bold flavor profile and different tasting notes.
Here are the depths of flavor you can unlock with matcha!
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A grassy vegetal flavor is one of the most prominent tasting notes that hits your tongue the moment you take a sip of high-quality matcha.
Matcha is made from powdered green tea leaves that have been steamed after harvest and grounded into a fine powder.
The steaming method is, however, only peculiar to Japanese green teas, which gives the leaves, stronger vegetal notes compared to Chinese green teas, which are nuttier and milder as a result of being pan-fried instead of steamed.
Matcha being made from whole ground tea leaves also gives it an even stronger and more concentrated “green tea” flavor.
If you have high-quality matcha, another notes that grace your tongue is the umami flavor. Umami is a rich, savory flavor prominent in foods like bone broth and miso soup. In matcha, this umami flavor presents what many describe as an oceanic feel, similar to seaweed.
The umami flavor in matcha tea plants is also intensified due to the shading process the plants undergo.
Before they are harvested, the plants are shaded for up to three weeks prior; this increases the chlorophyll levels in the plants, giving them a rich, savory flavor. Shading also increases the levels of caffeine and l-theanine in the plant.
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Matcha is slightly sweet, but keep in mind that pure matcha won’t be as sweet as a matcha latte. Matcha has a light natural sweetness that balances out the other flavor notes present.
During festivities like the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, matcha is served alongside small sweets; this adds extra sweetness to the one naturally present in the tea.
People who have low quality or improperly prepared matcha will be hit with an unpleasantly bitter taste, but the best matcha only has a slight earthy bitterness; its bitter notes combine with and complement the other flavors in the tea. Matcha is pleasantly bitter.
A good ceremonial grade matcha has a smooth feel with a rich and almost buttery aftertaste that lingers for a while.
A matcha sifter and whisk are important tools when preparing matcha using a traditional method, as they help to ensure that your matcha is smooth, rich, and frothy rather than thin and clumped together.
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Types Of Matcha
Matcha has two main grades or categories: ceremonial grade matcha and culinary grade matcha. Ceremonial grade matcha has a subtle and complex flavor and is best enjoyed on its own.
Culinary-grade matcha has a bolder flavor and is best for flavoring smoothies and other concoctions. Both types of matcha are delicious tasting, and none is necessarily “better” than the other. They each have different suited uses and flavors!
Matcha Tea Benefits
Matcha offers a concentrated amount of benefits, just like green tea. These include:
- High in EGCG
- Boosts energy
- Reduces stress
- Improves cognitive function
- Good for your teeth
- Good for your metabolism
- High in antioxidants
- Good for your heart
- Improves longevity
- Good for your skin
- Boosts your immune system
- Reduces inflammation
- Good for digestion
Matcha is a tasty drink, and everyone should get the privilege of knowing what does matcha taste like, as it is not only tasty but offers a handful of matcha tea benefits.