In the world of teas there are really really yummy teas and so not so yummy teas. Matcha is a type of tea and hence there are great tasting, flavour packed quality matcha teas and some not so great matcha teas.
A well produced, shade grown leaf is a must. Our leaf is organically grown in the hills of the Nishio region. The growers pluck the leaves and as soon as it is arrives at the factory it is graded for quality (within hours of being plucked). Tea leaves (like all plants) have veins and are attached to stalky stems. The fresher, greener, less veiny, less stalky the higher the grade. The leaves are steamed and then tasted - at this stage there are over 3000 different grades!
Once the matcha is ground and produced it is tasted and graded again. It is easy to tell the quality of matcha by looking at it – the bright green matcha is always better than the yellow/ green grades. Another way to tell the different quality is by feel – the finer qualtiy grades feel smooth ( like fancy moisturiser) compared to a lower grade which feels chalky and dry.
Some of the lower grades go to making food products – some of the sweet treats we had in the office. The finer grades are packed for matcha lovers to enjoy as a drink. The very very very super grades come to teapigs of course.