Culinary Matcha is our lowest matcha grade. It is still highly drinkable but is recommended for making lattes, sweetened drinks and cooking. This matcha is made from second flush shaded leaves and akiten – an unshaded autumn leaf blend. The leaves continue to be high in beneficial dietary polyphenols.
The main difference between ceremonial grades and lower grades is the picking time. Ceremonial grades must come from the first spring flush, the earlier the better. Later flushes will go into lower grades and autumn flush leaves are usually also unshaded. However the leaves are still always treated the same; they are steamed, dried, and baked in a tencha-ro. The unrefined (aracha) tencha then has the stems removed, dried to remove moisture and is finally ground by stone mills.
As it contains less theanine and more catechins, the flavour tends to be tangy, more bitter and less umami or sweet. The colour too is less vibrant green and more of a mossy or sage colour.
The flavour of powdered teas is fairly strong, so please experiment with amounts required for recipes.
If drinking as matcha, 1 or 2 matcha spoons (about 0.7g each) whisked into 70ml is enough. For lattes we recommend double; whisking 1 or 2 teaspoons with a small amount of warm water until frothy and then topping up with heated or frothed milk with optional sweetener to about 250ml in total. Alternatively you can use a drinks shaker to mix it, or spoon into a smoothie whilst blending.
Culinary matcha is still relatively delicate and should be stored in its packet, away from strong smells and light to keep its flavour and freshness. This way it will last a few months, and you will be able to tell from the vibrancy of its green colour how fresh it remains.