Cooking vs. Premium vs. Ceremonial Grade

Understanding the differences between grades of matcha is very easy. We carry three grades of matcha at 3 Leaf Tea; cooking grade, premium grade, and ceremonial grade. Each grade has an intended use and has been grown and prepared in a way to fulfill that purpose. Not every green tea leaf can become the highest grade of matcha. The age of the leaf, the amount of sun it received, how the leaves were harvested; a multitude of factors determine what grade matcha will be. Selecting the proper matcha is important to fully enjoy your matcha experience.

Cooking Grade

cooking grade matchaThe tea leaves used in cooking grade matcha are the most mature of the three because they received the most exposure to the sun. Premium and ceremonial quality matcha only use freshest, young leaves which have a more mellow, sweeter, smoother flavor. Cooking grade tea leaves are generally harvested by a machine and are processed in the same way as its higher quality siblings, however, the end result will look slightly different. Cooking grade matcha will be yellow-green in color and have a flat, slightly bitter, stronger taste. Also, it's not ground as fine as other grades, so this matcha is much harder to get a nice froth. The price reflects these differences, making cooking grade matcha perfect for use in larger amounts.  Adding this type of matcha to your favorite foods and baking recipes is a great way to add the benefits of matcha to your diet in a cost effective way.

Premium grade

premium grade matchaBright green and smooth tasting, this type of matcha most consistently produces great tasting results, even without special tools. This matcha is still ground very fine but doesn't have a tendency to clump as much as the ceremonial grade would. We use the premium grade matcha as a base for all our flavored blends. Our premium grade matcha is made from young, sweet, tea leaves. It has a very smooth, well-rounded taste, without any bitterness. These leaves are also harvested by a machine but undergo a thorough quality check to ensure only the best leaves are ground into matcha. We import our premium grade directly from a farm in Shizuoka, Japan. We have cut out the middleman so we can offer this high-quality tea to our customers at a very reasonable cost.

Ceremonial Grade

ceremonial grade matchaLooking for the ultimate matcha drinking experience? Ceremonial grade is the highest grade of matcha. Almost all matcha classified as ceremonial grade is grown in Uji, Japan. The climate and soil in Uji are perfect for growing the best tasting matcha. Plus, since the area has been growing tea since its importation to Japan, it employs the most highly knowledgeable workers and practices. Only skilled hands pick the tea leaves and the matcha is made in small batches to ensure top-notch quality. Ceremonial grade matcha undergoes a similar but more refined method of processing than the premium grade. Therefore, the price reflects the time and wisdom needed to grow ceremonial grade tea. Visibly deeper green than premium grade, this grade of matcha has an exceptionally full-bodied, creamy, sweet, vibrant taste. Words alone cannot describe it's true, delicious taste. It's something one must experience for themselves. Our ceremonial grade matcha is ground very fine, which makes it easier to produce a nice froth while whisking. Because of this, we recommend using a sifter and a bamboo whisk to avoid clumping.