Culinary matcha grade is a matcha grade that determines the quality of any matcha powder product. Typically culinary matcha grade is a quality of matcha that has more bitter notes than ceremonial matcha. This bitterness and depth of flavor allows culinary matcha grade to be paired with foods and other ingredients like milk. Common pairings with culinary matcha may include desserts and milk teas!
That was the short answer to what is culinary matcha grade.
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Want to dive into the full description behind what culinary matcha grade is?
How is Culinary Matcha Grade Made?
Culinary matcha grades are made and processed practically the same way as any other matcha grades are.
Another matcha grade you might be familiar with is ceremonial matcha grade. If you’re not familiar with that, allow yourself to learn that here too! (It’s a lot sweeter than culinary grade matcha if you’re wondering).
As far as culinary matcha grade goes, it has the same harvesting times and post processing techniques as any other matcha powder. The difference here is what part of the matcha plant (Camellia sinensis plant) is plucked. For culinary matcha, you’ll generally find that matcha farmers will pluck the lower end of the Camellia sinensis plant, the mature mature end of the plant.
After the matcha plant has been plucked, the matcha leaves will go through a rigorous process of rehydrating, drying and stone ground to a fine powder. Typically matcha farmers will do this by hand to ensure the highest of quality, which is why you’ll find that matcha powder in general is more expensive than just buying green tea leaves.
When plucking the mature end of the plant you’ll have more of a bitter taste with the powder than you would with the younger parts of the plant (ceremonial matcha grade). This bitterness is what allows the culinary matcha grade to confidently compliment other food pairings and ingredients.
Popular Uses of Culinary Matcha Grade
Let’s start with one of the most widely known uses of the culinary matcha grade, milk teas. After all, we’re here at Talk Boba to just talk about boba right? Duh!
You’ll find culinary matcha grades used in boba cafes and bubble tea shops all around you! Popular drinks made with culinary matcha include matcha milk teas with bubbles, green tea milk teas and fruit infused matcha (mango matcha milk tea)! Another popular use of culinary matcha can be seen in smoothies too. Doesn’t a matcha smoothie sound so refreshing right now?
For foods, culinary matcha grade powders are popularly used in baked goods like cookies, breads, pastries and other desserts. We’re talking about things like matcha infused loaves of bread, matcha infused macarons, matcha infused ice cream, matcha infused candy and more!
3 Popular Culinary Matcha Grade Brands
Jade Leaf Matcha
As you search for matcha powders whether it’s culinary matcha or ceremonial matcha, you’ll find that these powders can get quite expensive. Some powders are even $50+ depending on what grade it is. With Jade Leaf Matcha, you can expect a more modest price range that is fair for the normal consumer. With their premium quality and fair prices, it’s hard to beat them. Give them a try here if you like to grab some culinary matcha powder for yourself.
This brand is very much into the culture behind green tea and how tea in general has cultivated culture over the years. Starting from 1979 OSULLOC tea is by far some of the highest quality matcha you can find. Simply reading their story and how much passion is built in the craft of making their matcha powders, you’ll begin to realize why it’s such an art. Originating from Jeju Island, you’ll be able to experience the deep flavor and if you ever actually visit them, you’ll be able to experience their Jeju Museum too! How cool is that? You know they’re successful when they have their own museum.
Taste of Kyoto
Growing up in Japan, the founder of Taste of Kyoto, Michiko Araki, enjoyed the healthy lifestyle of tea drinking at an early age. After stepping foot in the United States he became saddened about how poor the quality of tea was over here. Embarking on his own journey to help people experience better tea in the U.S., Michiko started his own brand. Now it’s one of the best quality matcha powders you can find on the market. With great bitterness and balance, you’ll find yourself making more than one cup a day.
Think You’ll Want Some Culinary Matcha Now?
What will you use your culinary matcha for?
If you’re thinking about using it for some milk tea, be sure to check out our full recipe guide in how to make matcha milk tea! You’ll want to use culinary matcha just for that because the bitterness paired with milk will bridge together for the perfect balance. It won’t be too bitter and it won’t be too bland or sweet.
Comment down below what are some other foods that are made with culinary matcha that we haven’t discussed already. We’re always eager to learn more as well, go ahead and join the conversation below!
That’ll be it for Talk Boba for now, like always just talk about boba duh!
Other great matcha articles we have.