The 5 Best Matcha Green Tea Powders (Our 2019 Review)
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Curious about including matcha in your diet?
Recently, matcha has been lending its bright-green hue to donuts, lattes, and pancakes.
Matcha is powdered green tea produced in Japan and China. It is stone-ground, and has a long association with the Japanese tea ceremony and the tranquility of Zen.
You’ve probably heard that tea is a very healthy beverage—and green tea has even more health benefits than black tea. Matcha is considered the most healthful drink of them all, courtesy of the special process used when making matcha tea.
When you drink tea, you enjoy the healthful benefits that the tea leaves impart on the water after the leaves have been discarded. With matcha, however, you are drinking the entire leaf.
The whole world currently seems focused on matcha’s health-boosting benefits. In this post, we’ve reviewed the five best matcha green tea powders, based on how they are consumed.
But before we introduce the top products in these categories, let’s talk about why you need the healthful benefits of matcha, and what things you need to consider when selecting your matcha.
Don't have time to read this entire review?
If you're a busy person who doesn't have time to read this entire review, we've simplified everything for you. Here is a table to show you a quick rating of the best matcha green tea powders.
Why Do You Need the Health Benefits Of Matcha?
Your cells are often damaged by free radicals due to stress, which can lead to ailments such as cancer, atherosclerosis, Parkinson's disease, cardiovascular disease, and more. An accumulation of free radical damage has also been linked to accelerated aging. Free radicals can start a chain reaction of negative impacts to your health, but this can be mitigated by the consumption of matcha.
Additionally, people with heart disease usually cannot consume coffee because of the negative side effects on the functioning of their hearts. Studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee can increase one's chances of suffering a heart attack, and researchers have also found that coffee can increase blood pressure and possibly cause cardiac arrhythmias.
So what are people supposed to do if they have heart disease but need a boost during the day, or have a job that requires them to be alert? These people need a healthier substitute for other types of stimulants that they might use. Plus matcha provides you with a stable level of increased energy and mental clarity.
People can benefit from a wide variety of beverages for refreshment, but matcha tea benefits are especially significant because the drink is low in sugar and loaded with essential vitamins and nutrients, such as chlorophyll, l-theanine, and catechins.
Taking matcha can help address the issues mentioned above in the following ways:
Matcha contains high levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a type of antioxidant that fights cancer and promotes a healthy heart. In fact, matcha offers 137 times the amount of antioxidants that regular green tea does.
It also promotes heightened alertness due to its caffeine content, but without the buzz or negative side effects of coffee. Matcha doesn't raise your heart rate or blood pressure.
Additionally, the l-theanine contained in matcha can help improve your memory and mental capabilities without the possible side effects from caffeine. In other words, a cup of matcha can increase your concentration and mental clarity without adding the nervous energy that can be found in coffee.
When it comes to free radicals, matcha protects your cells from oxidative damage and strengthens your immune system. The antioxidants found in matcha negate the harmful effects of free radicals that you are exposed to through pollution, UV rays, and chemicals, which often lead to cell and DNA damage. Because more than 60% of the catechins in matcha are EGCg, drinking matcha regularly can help restore and preserve your body.
Consuming matcha supports brain function by improving memory, attention, and reaction time. Matcha's l-theanine increases alpha waves in the brain, allowing it to work more effectively. Studies have also shown that matcha has beneficial effects on one's psychological function, and can improve work performance and creativity.
Matcha contains EGCG, which is a thermogenic component known to boost metabolism. Because you don't discard the tea leaves when drinking matcha, you consume all of their healthy nutrients. And by giving your metabolism a boost, matcha also helps promote weight loss.
Now that you know how drinking matcha can benefit your health, let's look at the things you should keep in mind when shopping for your matcha.
What Are the Things You Need to Look for When Choosing Your Matcha?
The matcha must be stone ground in cold temperatures. Heat can ruin the quality of matcha. Matcha looks and feels like a fine powder, unlike your typical loose-leaf tea. The texture of the powder can reveal the quality of the product, because high-quality matcha will be silky like baby powder. A lower-quality product will be more granular and coarse.
The place is essential. Matcha harvested and made in Japan is usually of better quality than the matcha made in China. Further, there are two regions in Japan that are widely known to produce the best matcha: Nishio and Uji. These two cities account for 80% of all the matcha that is currently produced in Japan.
Look at the label before buying matcha. If it’s referred to as “powdered green tea,” it is likely a low-grade product. If you see “Chinese matcha,” you can assume it's junk. Look only for products originating in southern Japan, which is the modern heartland of matcha production.
Do not choose a very cheap brand. Pricier matcha is usually made from premium ingredients. Look for a product that costs over $2 per gram so you are assured that you are getting a high-quality product. Remember, you get what you pay for. Yes, you can buy 100 grams of matcha for $15, but you will notice the difference.
Light and moisture can ruin the quality of matcha. Choose a brand that’s stored in a container that blocks out light and moisture. Matcha is similar to a live product, so if it is simply stored in a bag or in foil, it won't be properly preserved. You want to find a matcha that comes in a resealable container, such as a tin. This airtight packaging will prevent oxidation and preserve quality.
Speaking of color, your matcha should be closer to electric green than yellow. The greener, the better. Because matcha is grown in the shade, the tea leaves have to overproduce chlorophyll, giving it a bright green color. Alternatively, low-quality matcha tends to be made from old leaves, or leaves that haven't been properly shaded, therefore giving them a yellowish/brownish color.
The flavor should have a hint of sweetness, and no bitterness. If you aren't a fan of the taste of matcha, you may not have tried a quality product yet. It should have a balance of natural sweetness and a vegetal tea flavor, which should taste clean and smooth. If your matcha is chalky or bitter, it is probably low-grade.
When buying matcha made in Japan, make sure that it has been cultivated away from radioactive areas such as Fukushima (the site of a nuclear disaster). In recent years, samples of matcha that were imported from Chiba, which is just southeast of Tokyo, had traces of radioactive cesium 137 in them. Because this was not the first discovery of its kind, it is best to stay away from matcha that originated in this area.
Choose 100% organic to avoid ingesting lead and other toxic chemicals. Because you are ingesting whole leaves when you drink matcha, you should treat it as you would any other fruit or vegetable that you eat, and choose organic. Because the leaves are grown above ground, they have the possibility of being exposed to a variety of chemicals.
Say no to “instant” matcha powders. These contain a lot of unhealthy additives, and the quality is questionable. If the powder is instant, it will say so on the packaging—but you will also be able to tell by looking at the product. The color will not the be bright green that you are looking for, and the powder will not be the fine texture that high-quality matcha is.
You now have a solid grasp on what you are looking for in matcha. Let's look at five of the best products on the market today.
The 5 Best Matcha Green Tea Powders
This option is the best for overall health. It contains a blend of healthy ingredients so you reap the benefits from the matcha tea, as well as 10 other ingredients that are classified as being superfoods. This organic product is gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and made without GMOs. Not only will this matcha powder help flush the toxins from your body, it will also give you healthier and younger-looking hair, skin, and nails.
The superfood ingredients in this powder (aside from matcha) include spirulina, chlorella, morninga, mint, beets, wheatgrass, ashwagandha, turmeric, coconut water, and lemon. Together, these ingredients work to boost your health and mental clarity while also improving your immune system. It comes in an easy-to-make, gently dried drink mix that will save you time in the morning because there is no need to mix multiple ingredients in with this powder.
This is the best option for people looking for a matcha powder to use in green smoothies and for other culinary needs. It has an authentic Japanese origin and is mainly sourced from the Uji region, which is on the southeast border of Kyoto and known to be the premiere matcha-growing area of Japan.
This product is 100% USDA-certified organic, which is rare, yet it is still offered at a fair price. The tea leaves that are used for this product are shade-grown for about four weeks before they are harvested in order to ensure a high nutrient content. After the stems and veins are removed from the leaves, the leaves are stone-ground into a fine powder, which maintains the nutritional integrity of the product.
This matcha is packed in an airtight, high-quality packaging that seals out UV light to prevent oxidation. Finally, the product is tested in a lab (in addition to its farm of origin) to ensure purity and potency.
This matcha is culinary grade, which makes it the best matcha powder for smoothies. You can use this matcha as an affordable way to add a healthy boost to your smoothies, lattes, and even baked goods. Here is a popular matcha green tea smoothie recipe:
- 1/2 mango
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 handful baby spinach
- 1 1/2 tsps matcha powder
- 1/2 cup almond milk
Blend ingredients together until they are fully incorporated, and enjoy!
Culinary-grade matcha is different from a ceremonial-grade product because it is from later harvest tea leaves, which gives it a bolder flavor. On the other hand, ceremonial-grade matcha is made out of the leaves from the first harvest, giving it a smoother flavor that is more suitable for being made into a tea, and is also more expensive.
This is the best choice if you want to make traditional matcha green tea for drinking. This premium-quality, organic, Japanese matcha mixes up into a delicious cup of high-grade tea. It is made from 100% organic green tea leaves that originate from the highest-quality tea plantations in Japan. All of the matcha is tested by a third-party lab to ensure its quality and purity, and all test results are made public so you know you are getting a pure product. You will get a strong physical and mental boost from this ceremonial matcha powder.
This tea is a great coffee replacement, and is ideal for drinking by itself. However, you can also add a sweetener and milk or non-dairy product. The negative side effects from the caffeine that is contained in this tea are counteracted by the potent amino acid, L-theanine.
Just one teaspoon per cup of water will provide you with a long-lasting boost of energy to last you through the day. This matcha comes in a one-ounce tin, which is a great size to keep with you during the day or at your desk so you can have it available whenever you need it.
Midori Spring Organic Ceremonial Matcha is the best when it comes to Japanese tea makers. It is both vegan and kosher certified. It is made with the finest and darkest tencha leaves, which leads to a rich, smooth, and creamy drink that offers a bit of sweetness. This matcha offers a fresh, sweet smell and a vibrant green color that clearly shows its quality.
This powder is made in a top-notch facility where the leaves are shade-grown and cold stone-ground into fine perfection. Midori Springs only selects the best raw materials to ensure that you get amazing results after brewing this tea.
This is the best overall product, both for texture and flavor. This ceremonial matcha is the highest-grade matcha, meaning it comes from the most tender green tea leaves and is ground into a fine powder. It has a bright green color and offers a smooth and rich taste, making it a true ceremonial-grade matcha.
When made properly, a bowl of Encha matcha tea has a clean and refreshingly grassy taste, and a frothy, full-bodied texture that is a bit nutty. The after-taste is subtly sweet, yet vegetal at the same time. Users can add as much or as little water as necessary to attain their desired taste.
Because this matcha is so palatable, it is the best matcha tea for weight loss. You are more likely to stick with a product that is pleasant tasting, such as this one, so if you are drinking matcha to lose weight and want to drink it for the long-term, this is your best bet.
The recommended serving size of this matcha powder is one teaspoon, which is about two grams of powder. One serving contains about 240 mg of antioxidant catechins, which includes 120 mg of EGCG, about 60 mg of caffeine, about 24 mg of l-theanine, and just eight calories.
All of the matcha green tea powders reviewed today are top picks, but today’s review winner is Organifi Green Juice Powder, for its healthy combination of ingredients and focus on providing a superfood drink every day. Start with this product if you are new to matcha so you can enjoy the best matcha powder at a reasonable price.