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Best Matcha Review! | Minimalist Baker

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Tins of ceremonial matcha for our review of the top matcha brands on the market

What is Matcha?

Matcha is a powdered green tea containing 137 times more antioxidants than brewed green tea (like, whoa). Both come from the tea plant (camellia sinensis), but with matcha, the entire leaf is consumed.

It has traditionally been consumed as part of Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries, but has become more widely known and popular in recent years and is now enjoyed around the world in tea lattes, smoothies, desserts, snacks, and more! Learn more about the fascinating history of matcha here.

Health Benefits of Matcha

Research suggests that green tea supports brain health and has anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, and anti-inflammatory effects. And we’ve already established that matcha is even more potent than green tea!

Plus, matcha is a gentler source of caffeine than coffee (we’ve noticed there’s no head rush or jitters with matcha). And it’s rich in vitamin C, the calming amino acid L-theanine, and a flurry of antioxidants (most notably, the powerful EGCG).

Best Matcha Brands

Since not all matcha powders are of the same quality, we did a formal, side-by-side review of some of the most popular and high-quality brands of matcha powder on the market.

Our goal was to test color, aroma, texture, flavor, and overall quality. We wanted to see which brands stood out and which ones weren’t worth the hype in order to save you the time and money of doing the research yourself. Plus (selfishly), we love matcha and wanted to have the best matcha for ourselves, too.

Ceremonial vs Culinary Matcha

Although there are currently no regulations to differentiate “ceremonial” and “culinary” matcha, ceremonial matcha is typically higher quality.

Ceremonial matcha is intended to be mixed directly into hot water and consumed as tea. It usually comes from the youngest tea leaves from the first harvest.

Culinary matcha is more affordable and is intended to be used in smoothies, tea lattes, and baking. Depending on the brand, it can vary in terms of the age and quality of the leaves picked.

In our experience, the quality of culinary matcha varies more greatly than ceremonial powders, making it especially important to choose a high-quality brand when buying culinary matcha.

The Ground Rules

  • We tested 8 brands of ceremonial grade matcha powder and 8 brands of culinary grade matcha powder. Most were purchased from Amazon (for accessibility’s sake).
  • This review is not sponsored in any way. We were not given free product or compensated for any of our reviews, and we had no contact with any of these brands prior to reviewing the products.
  • We selected brands that were organic, grown in Japan, and seemed to be high-quality.
  • Shade-grown matcha produces more chlorophyll in the leaves, leading to a vibrant green color. Many of the brands we tested specified that they were shade grown.
  • We tried to be as unbiased and objective as possible when reviewing.
  • We graded the powders on a scale of 1-5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent) on:
    • Color vibrancy
    • Aroma
    • Texture
    • Flavor
    • Overall thoughts
  • When testing for texture and flavor, we added 1/2 tsp of matcha powder to a small bowl and slowly poured in 1/3 cup filtered, hot (not boiling) water while whisking with a bamboo whisk.
  • For consumer awareness, we also examined:
    • Cost per ounce (US $) — subject to variability
    • Grade: ceremonial or culinary
    • Location of origin
    • Additional claims/perks (i.e. shade grown, stone ground, etc.)
    • If we would repurchase

Results: Ceremonial Grade

Spoonfuls of our top three favorite matcha brands beside their canisters

First place: Kyoto Dew Ceremonial Grade Matcha
Second place: Matcha Konomi Akira Ceremonial Grade Matcha
Third place: Matcha Moon Ceremonial Grade Matcha
Fourth place: Kiss Me Organics Ceremonial Grade Matcha
Fifth place: KENKO Ceremonial Grade Matcha
Sixth place: Encha Ceremonial Grade Matcha
Seventh place: Jade Leaf Ceremonial Grade Matcha
Eighth place: Mizuba Nagomi Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Containers of ceremonial matchas for our review of the top brands of matcha

The Review: Ceremonial Grade

Spoonful and jar of our favorite ceremonial matcha brand

#1: Kyoto Dew Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 4.75 – A true vibrant lime green.
Aroma:
5 – Very sweet aroma. Strong vanilla and rose scent. Punchy green tea aroma. Awesome.
Texture: 4.75 – No visible bits left undissolved. Very slight coating on sides of bowl with a tiny graininess. Very silky.
Flavor: 4.5 – Classic green tea flavor. Peppery quality that drops quickly. Subtle bitterness. Nuanced in a good way. Really solid.
Overall thoughts: 4.75 – Seems to be one of the highest quality ones we tested in regard to color, texture, and aroma, which were all exceptional. Maybe the only improvement would be in the flavor category, but it would be very minor.
Approximate cost per ounce: $24.99
Grade: Ceremonial
Location of origin: Uji, Japan
Additional claims/perks: Shade grown, hand picked, air dried, stone ground.

Overall score: 23.75/25
Would we repurchase? Yes

Spoonful and jar of Matcha Konomi Akira Matcha Powder for our review of the best brands of matcha

#2: Matcha Konomi Akira Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 4.5 – Deep green apple color. Slightly more green than yellow.
Aroma:
5 – Very sweet on the nose, almost has a rose scent, subtle vanilla note, and cacao undertone. Probably the sweetest I’ve smelled. Intoxicatingly sweet — in a good way.
Texture: 4.25 – Easy to whisk, but it does leave a little graininess on the edges of the bowl.
Flavor: 4.5 – Well-rounded bitterness. Very subtle sweetness detectable. Peppery and really pleasant.
Overall thoughts: 4.5 – Exceptional color and aroma. Wish it was a slightly smoother texture, but really enjoyed the flavor.
Approximate cost per ounce: $25.00
Grade: Ceremonial
Location of origin: Uji, Japan
Additional claims/perks: Premium quality, stone ground.

Overall score: 22.75/25
Would we repurchase? Yes

Spoonful and jar of Matcha Moon for our review of the best brands of ceremonial matcha

#3: Matcha Moon Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 4.75 – Quite a vibrant green, maybe slightly less than Kyoto Dew.
Aroma:
4.75 – More peppery aroma. Quite a bit of sweetness.
Texture: 4.75 – Very silky. No visible bits. Very slight coating on sides of bowl with slight graininess.
Flavor: 4.25 – Subtle bitterness that drops off. Classic green tea flavor. Pleasant, with more intensity on the front that drops off toward the end.
Overall thoughts: 4.25 – Noticeably high quality. Would do very well as a daily matcha as it’s easy to blend. Pleasant flavor. Not the best, but very good.
Approximate cost per ounce: $24.95
Grade: Ceremonial
Location of origin: Uji, Japan
Additional claims/perks: Shade grown, stone ground, small batch, family-owned farm.

Overall score: 22.75/25
Would we repurchase? Yes

Jar of Kiss Me Organics Matcha Powder for our review of the best matcha powders

#4: Kiss Me Organics Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 4.5 – Slightly more of a yellow-green, but still quite vibrant.
Aroma:
5 – Noticeable sweetness. Slightly stronger vanilla aroma. Really pleasant.
Texture: 4 – Pretty smooth, but a few little bits remained undissolved.
Flavor: 4.25 – Bitterness that is stronger on the front end and drops off at the end. Classic green tea flavor. A kick that is reminiscent of pepper and ginger. A little punchy, but pleasant overall.
Overall thoughts: 4.25 – Could use some improvement on texture. Loved the aroma. The flavor was pleasant overall, but not mind-blowing.
Approximate cost per ounce: $27.97
Grade: Ceremonial
Location of origin: Shizuoka, Japan
Additional claims/perks: Third-party testing for chemicals.

Overall score: 22/25
Would we repurchase? Yes

Spoon and jar of Kenko ceremonial matcha for our review of matcha brands

#5: KENKO Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 5 – Very vibrant green. Has the fewest yellowish and brownish tints.
Aroma:
4.75 – Classic green tea scent. The sweetness builds in the aroma. Definite rose undertones. Very pleasant.
Texture: 4.25 – Pretty smooth, but took a little effort to get it completely blended. There were a couple bits still undissolved.
Flavor: 3.75 – The flavor drops off quickly, which leaves it a little flat and had us wanting something more.
Overall thoughts: 4 – Despite a very vibrant color and pleasant aroma, the flavor was one of the least enjoyable of the ceremonial matchas. Promising but ultimately a little underwhelming.
Approximate cost per ounce: $27.50
Grade: Ceremonial
Location of origin: Nishio, Japan
Additional claims/perks: Youngest, greenest, most delicate leaves used. Shade grown, first harvest.

Overall score: 21.75/25
Would we repurchase? Yes

Spoonful and packet of Encha matcha powder for our review of the best brands of matcha

#6: Encha Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 4.75 – Almost identical to Jade Leaf — vibrant, deep green apple color.
Aroma:
4.5 – More detectable bitterness on the nose. Very subtle sweetness. Almost has a black tea aroma. Not what I expected.
Texture: 4.25 – Pretty smooth, but took a little effort to get it completely blended. There were a couple bits still undissolved.
Flavor: 4 – Bitterness on the front end that lingers. Not as complex as some of the other ceremonial matchas. A couple sips in, I got a wasabi undertone.
Overall thoughts: 4.25 – High quality, beautiful aroma and color, could improve slightly on texture and more balanced flavor.
Approximate cost per ounce: $18.82
Grade: Ceremonial
Location of origin: Uji, Japan
Additional claims/perks: Premium first harvest, tested for radioactivity.

Overall score: 21.75/25
Would we repurchase? Yes

Spoonful and jar of Jade Leaf Ceremonial Matcha for our review of the best brands of matcha

#7: Jade Leaf Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 4.75 – Vibrant green apple color. Subtly more green than Konomi.
Aroma:
4.75 – Smells more true to a classic green tea. Not overly sweet. Earthy in a pleasant way. Very subtle bitterness detectable in the aroma.
Texture: 3.75 – There were little bits that would not fully dissolve.
Flavor: 4 – Quite zesty on the front end. Bitter, but not overly so. Punchy, but not unpleasant.
Overall thoughts: 4 – Texture could use refining, but the flavor was good overall. Not bad, but not the best.
Approximate cost per ounce: $24.95
Grade: Ceremonial
Location of origin: Uji, Japan
Additional claims/perks: Shade grown.

Overall score: 21.25/25
Would we repurchase? No

Spoonful and jar of Mizuba Ceremonial Matcha for our review of the best brands of matcha

#8: Mizuba Nagomi Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 4.25 – Very bright green apple color.
Aroma:
4.25 – Pleasantly sweet, a little floral, earthy, and subtle vanilla notes.
Texture: 4.25 – Blended easily, but there was a tiny grainy coating on the sides of the bowl.
Flavor: 3.75 – Slightly bitter, a little harsh, has a gingery undertone. Good, but not great.
Overall thoughts: 4 – Definitely high quality, however, there is a slight grittiness to the texture and the flavor is mostly a harsh bitterness. That said, the color is vibrant and the aroma is lovely.
Approximate cost per ounce: $25.00
Grade: Ceremonial
Location of origin: Uji, Japan
Additional claims/perks: First flush, farm direct, shade grown, stone milled.

Overall score: 20.5/25
Would we repurchase? No


Results: Culinary Grade

Spoonfuls and containers of our favorite brands of matcha

First place: Aprika Life Premium Culinary Grade Matcha
Second place: Leopard Fine Culinary Grade Matcha
Third place: Mizuba Culinary Grade Matcha
Fourth place: KENKO Culinary Grade Matcha
Fifth place: Jade Leaf Culinary Grade Matcha
Sixth place: Matcha Moon Culinary Grade Matcha
Seventh place: Kiss Me Organics Culinary Grade Matcha
Eighth place: Epic Matcha Culinary Grade

Packages of culinary matcha for our review of the best brands of matcha

The Review: Culinary Grade

Spoonful and package of Aprika Life Matcha for our top favorite brand of culinary matcha

#1: Aprika Life Premium Culinary Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 3.75 – Green apple color, but not as vibrant as Mizuba. Not a neon green, but definitely vibrant. Stays a nice vibrant green after adding to water, too.
Aroma:
4.5 – Aroma is mildly sweet. Almost has a subtle vanilla aroma. Smells really nice and fresh.
Texture: 4.75 – Almost completely blended, but there are tiny bits not blended. Easy to whisk overall.
Flavor: 4 – Noticeable bitterness. A little bit of a lingering spice. No sweetness. Overall really pleasant.
Overall thoughts: 4 – Seems to be a really high-quality matcha with a nice color and flavor. I feel like it would be great for a daily matcha or for cooking purposes, especially for the price.
Approximate cost per ounce: $5.69
Grade: Culinary
Location of origin: Japan
Additional claims/perks: Shade grown.

Overall score: 21/25
Would we repurchase? Yes

Container of Leopard Matcha for our review of the top brands of matcha

#2: Leopard Fine Culinary Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 4.25 – The color is beautiful — deep, vibrant lime green.
Aroma:
4 – Peppery, slightly bitter, slightly sweet, almost has a subtle rose scent. Really nice overall.
Texture: 4.75 – Basically completely blended and smooth. Only tiny bits remained unblended.
Flavor: 3.5 – Mild bitterness that carries throughout. Grassy. Not mind-blowing, but really pleasant overall.
Overall thoughts: 3.5 – Seems to be really vibrant and fresh and high quality and would make a good daily matcha. The flavor left me wanting more from it, but really good overall.
Approximate cost per ounce: $8.30
Grade: Culinary
Location of origin: Kagoshima, Japan
Additional claims/perks: Shade grown, hand picked, stone ground.

Overall score: 20/25
Would we repurchase? Yes

Spoonful and package of Mizuba Culinary Matcha for our review of the top matcha brands

#3: Mizuba Culinary Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 4 – Nice bright green apple color, but not quite as vibrant as other matchas I have seen.
Aroma:
4 – Pleasantly sweet. Almost has a vanilla scent to it. No noticeable bitterness. Smells intoxicating.
Texture: 3.5 – Visibly it looks very finely ground. After whisking, it appears mostly combined with some small undissolved bits on edges of the bowl. It doesn’t matter how long you whisk, it feels like there will always be some bits that don’t dissolve.
Flavor: 3.75 – Slightly bitter, but not overly so. Grassy. Pleasant overall, but not amazing.
Overall thoughts: 3.75 – A really good option for an everyday matcha at a good price. The color is vibrant and quality seems fresh, but the flavor left me a little underwhelmed.
Approximate cost per ounce: $8.57
Grade: Culinary
Location of origin: Uji, Japan
Additional claims/perks: Farm direct, shade grown, stone milled.

Overall score: 19/25
Would we repurchase? Yes

Spoonful and package of Kenko Culinary Matcha for our unbiased review of matcha brands

#4: KENKO Culinary Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 4 – Nice bright apple green color.
Aroma:
3.75 – A little sweet on the nose. Grassy. Little bit of vanilla and a little bitter. Smells really nice overall.
Texture: 3.5 – Did blend okay, but there were still undissolved bits on the sides that didn’t seem like they could be blended with more whisking.
Flavor: 3.25 – Subtle bitterness, grassy, a little peppery. Not amazing, but also not bad. Middle of the road.
Overall thoughts: 3.25 – It was good, but wasn’t as nice and smooth as some of the others. The color is vibrant and the texture is smooth, but the flavor could use some improvement.
Approximate cost per ounce: $6.57
Grade: Culinary
Location of origin: Nishio, Japan
Additional claims/perks: Shade grown, hand picked, first harvest, sorted by tea experts.

Overall score: 17.75/25
Would we repurchase? No

Package of Jade Leaf Culinary Matcha for our review of the top brands of matcha

#5: Jade Leaf Culinary Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 3 – Color is a slightly muted lime green with some brownish, yellowish undertones.
Aroma:
2.75 – Aroma is noticeably bitter and sharp. Grassy, not sweet.
Texture: 5 – It appears to be slightly more clumpy than others before whisking. Completely whisked without clumps in just 10 seconds.
Flavor: 3 – Quite a zesty spice to it. Almost tastes reminiscent of wasabi. Not sweet at all and definitely grassy and very punchy.
Overall thoughts: 3.25 – Seems to be decent quality, but clearly not the highest. Loved the easy whisking, but the flavor was too bitter and overpowering.
Approximate cost per ounce: $9.95
Grade: Culinary
Location of origin: Uji, Japan
Additional claims/perks: Shade grown.

Overall score: 17/25
Would we repurchase? No

Jar of Matcha Moon Culinary Matcha for our unbiased review of matcha brands

#6: Matcha Moon Culinary Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 3.25 – Not quite as vibrant as the others in the culinary group, but still a nice lime green.
Aroma:
2.75 – Has a grassy bitterness and peppery smell. Not sweet.
Texture: 4.75 – Basically completely dissolved with little tiny specks undissolved.
Flavor: 2.5 – Peppery and bitter. Not sweet. Very bitter aftertaste.
Overall thoughts: 2.75 – Not a bottom-of-the-barrel matcha, but not as good as some of the others in the group. Would recommend for cooking, but probably not for a daily matcha.
Approximate cost per ounce: $6.27
Grade: Culinary
Location of origin: Uji, Japan
Additional claims/perks: Fair trade, family farm.

Overall score: 16/25
Would we repurchase? No

Packet and spoonful of Kiss Me Organics Culinary Matcha for our roundup of the best brands of matcha powder

#7: Kiss Me Organics Culinary Grade Matcha

Color vibrancy: 2.75 – Quite a muted lime green. It has a reddish, yellowish, brown undertone.
Aroma:
2.75 – Not sweet. Definitely peppery. Smells bitter.
Texture: 4 – It did whisk pretty well, but there were visible undissolved bits on the sides of the bowl.
Flavor: 2 – Strong bitterness on the front end and absent on the back end. Noticeable bitterness, grassy, not sweet, and unpleasant.
Overall thoughts: 2.75 – It seems to be noticeably lower quality by the color and flavor. I think it would be okay for baking, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a daily matcha.
Approximate cost per ounce: $9.99
Grade: Culinary
Location of origin: Japan
Additional claims/perks: Third-party testing for chemicals.

Overall score: 14.25/25
Would we repurchase? No

Package of Epic Matcha for our roundup of the best brands of matcha

#8: Epic Matcha Culinary Grade

Color vibrancy: 2 – Muted brownish-green.
Aroma:
1 – Super bitter, peppery, and almost chemically. Smells like a mix between wasabi and paint. It’s bad.
Texture: 3 – There weren’t large bits intact, but it looked sandy on the sides. There were little specks that looked like they wouldn’t dissolve.
Flavor: 1.5 – Super bitter, peppery in a bad way. Quite unpleasant, plus sandy texture.
Overall thoughts: 1.75 – Clearly low quality based on color, texture, and flavor. I wouldn’t recommend it at all.
Approximate cost per ounce: $6.99
Grade: Culinary
Location of origin: Japan
Additional claims/perks: Shade grown.

Overall score: 9.25/25
Would we repurchase? No


We hope you found this review helpful! We would happily recommend any of the top 6 brands of ceremonial matcha and top 3 brands of culinary matcha.

Have you tried other matcha brands and enjoyed them? Want to see us review other products? Let us know in the comments!


Curious what other products we’ve reviewed? Check out our:

NUT & SEED BUTTER REVIEWS

SUPERFOOD REVIEWS

PROTEIN POWDERS & BAR REVIEWS

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