Why Ceremonial Matcha Costs More

February 16, 2022

Why Ceremonial Matcha Costs More
Iced matcha in a glass swirled
Why is the price so different between our reserve, premium, and ceremonial grade matcha? In the matcha industry, you will find a wide range of pricing, per oz. How the matcha was harvested, what care went into growing the tea, and where it comes from makes a big difference in pricing.

Premium matcha

This is the base for all of our flavored matcha. Our Premium Matcha is grown in Shizuoka, Japan, an area famous for its green tea. We consider our premium grade matcha on the higher end of quality, between a true ceremonial grade, and culinary grade. Our premium matcha is harvested by machine, which compared to harvesting by hand, is much cheaper. With that said, just because it’s cheaper than our other options, doesn’t mean it’s low quality. We love the smooth, vegetal base that easily pairs well with any of our flavors.


Ceremonial matcha

Our Ceremonial Matcha is grown and ground in Uji, which is near Kyoto, Japan. Its climate, soil, and water quality make it the optimal spot for growing tea. Geographically, tea cultivation in Uji is very small compared to that in Shizuoka. However, some areas in Uji never frost, which produces a very high-quality tea. In addition to the natural advantages Uji has over Shizuoka, Uji tea farmers often grow their tea in the shade. This laborious method protects the green chlorophyll and the umami in the leaves. What’s more, some farmers hand-pick only the most tender leaves during harvest season. The level of care that goes into Uji matcha is the reason it is more expensive than our premium and reserve matcha. Matcha grown in Uji is often used in Japanese tea ceremonies, or Sado, which is why we refer to this as “Ceremonial” Matcha. 

Reserve Matcha

The newest member of our matcha family is our reserve matcha. This gem rivals our ceremonial matcha in terms of quality and flavor, yet is noticeably cheaper. Our reserve is grown in Fukuoka, Japan. Fukuoka is not as famous as Uji and Shizuoka for tea but boasts an equally impressive tea-growing history. Our reserve is a variety of tea called, Okumidori, which means “deep green” or “dark green”. It was either by chance or fate that led us to Mr. Saito and his small tea farm. He mainly grows loose-leaf sencha as his main product but has agreed to grow a limited amount of matcha specifically for 3 Leaf Tea (he “reserves” a part of his crop for us). Mr. Saito determines the price of our Reserve based on the market but always cuts us a great deal. Matcha of this quality is often sold for much more. Unfortunately, because the amount of Reserve we get is limited, once it’s gone, we cannot restock until the next year so try some while it’s still in stock!

Higher Price = Better?

In our case, a higher price does reflect a higher level of care (however, we think that our Premium, Ceremonial and Reserve all taste excellent). Each types of our matcha have a story as special as its name and one way that uniqueness is reflected is in its price. Knowing all this, doesn’t it make you appreciate your latte a little more?

 



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