Ceremonial vs. Culinary Grade Matcha

You may have been wondering about the difference between the two grades of Matcha green tea powder that we offer – Ceremonial and Culinary. Is one better than the other, and which one should you get?

Ceremonial and Culinary grade matcha teas are made from the same tea plants, however different harvest times, leaves used, and processing methods result in two very different matchas. Which one to use really depends on how you will use it.

Ceremonial Grade Matcha

How to use it:difference between ceremonial and culinary grade matcha

Ceremonial grade matcha is ideal for straight matcha tea: just the matcha powder and hot water. While you can make matcha lattes with ceremonial matcha, the milk and sweetener tend to mask the complexity of its flavor so if you want that clean, amazing matcha flavor at it’s purest, go for a traditional cup of matcha. However, if you love a creamier and sweet brew go ahead and add make a latte. For some inspiration, here are four easy ways to make matcha.

Taste and Appearance:

Veritable ceremonial grade matcha has a bright, vibrant green color and is incredibly smooth, creamy, nutty, complex, grassy, sweet yet savory, light and uplifting, with notes of dark chocolate.

How it’s made:

Ceremonial grade is the highest matcha grade available. It is made from the youngest tea leaves that are harvested in early spring. In the weeks prior to harvest, the tea plants are deliberately shaded. Shade-grown leaves are sweeter and have higher levels of amino acids and chlorophyll, which gives Matcha that unmistakable brilliant green hue. All the stems and veins are removed from the leaves, resulting in a very smooth and fine texture. Original flavor, quality, and high antioxidant levels are preserved by slowly grinding the leaves, without creating any heat from friction in a granite mill. A single mill, with its meticulously slow process, can only produce about one ounce of Matcha powder per hour.


Culinary Grade Matcha

How to use it:

difference between ceremonial and culinary grade matcha

If you love making Matcha lattes or adding Matcha to your smoothies or baked goods, Culinary Grade Matcha is the way to go. It’s much more affordable so you can really get creative in your culinary adventures.

Taste and Appearance:

Culinary matcha is lighter in color and more robust in flavor, making it perfect for recipes. While ingredients like milk and sweetener can overpower delicate ceremonial matcha, culinary matcha shines through with its powerfully nutty, green, bitter, and umami flavor.

How it’s made:

Culinary grade matcha is made with young tea leaves, but usually more mature than ceremonial grade matcha. The leaves are picked in the second round of harvest, known as second-flush, in late spring. These leaves have a stronger flavor and coarser texture. Culinary matcha is ground at higher speeds, which makes the final product more affordable.


By Chloe Bolton