Drinks News

Matcha: A look at the bright green Japanese drink of the moment

Plus an edit of quality matcha powders to try.

A cornerstone of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies since the 16th century with earlier origins dating back to the Tang Dynasty in China, matcha is also the drink en vogue in western 21st century specialty haunts and roastery circles.

“There’s always been an element of Japanese cuisine taken up and becoming a trend,” says Taku Kimura, General Manager at Haymarket Japanese coffee roastery Edition Roasters about the rise of matcha in the Australian scene, “I think a couple of years ago, it was miso then it became yuzu and I feel like matcha is just getting the spotlight at the moment”.

Boasting a unique flavour profile and distinctive green hue, matcha is made from finely powdered dry green tea leaves. The highest quality grade is widely considered to hail from Uji Kyoto, a region in Japan where matcha is prepared with the youngest tea leaves – and where the powder Edition Roasters uses in their lattes and Japanese soufflé pancakes is from.

“We’ve tried a whole bunch of different matchas from different regions and this one from Kyoto Uji seems to have the most pungent aroma and colour…” says Kimura, “it’s not jarringly bitter – it has a balance bitterness between the aroma and sweetness”.

6 quality matcha powders to try at home

Taste and aesthetic aside, matcha is also rich in L-theanine, antioxidants and vitamins – seeing many swap their morning cup of joe for something more green. If the yearning for homemade matcha has long been brewing within you, below we’ve rounded up some quality matcha powders.

The Healthy Chef organic matcha tea powder, $68.50, THE ICONIC

An award-winning finest grade organic matcha that comes with 100 servings of powder.


Ceremonial grade matcha, $39 at Sipspa

Made from handpicked green tea leaves of the finest quality, this matcha powder is sourced exclusively from Kyushu, Japan, is JAS-certified organic and boasts a vibrant green hue.


Tropeaka tea powder, $34, Tropeaka

Rich and full-bodied in flavour, this A-Grade certified organic matcha tea powder has a prolonged sweetness and can add another depth to your breakfast smoothie.


100 per cent organic certified matcha, $49, T2

Brimming with fresh and grassy notes is this certified organic matcha from T2 that is sustainably sourced.


The Pink Tea Box Organic Japanese ceremonial matcha, $46.95, Hardtofind

Grown in iconic matcha region Kyoto, this organic ceremonial grade matcha is handpicked, steamed and stone-grounded with the leaves of Camellia Sinensis.


Stone ground single origin Japanese matcha powder, $34, Orchard St

Orchard St’s matcha is made from 100 per cent pure whole stone ground young green tea leaves organically grown in Wasuka, Kyoto prefecture.


How do you prepare matcha?

Due to its agile flavour and texture, matcha can be sipped on hot or cold, and pairs well with flavour notes like cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate. The signature Uji matcha latte at Edition Roasters, for instance, is mixed with a signature matcha paste and the milk of your choice – served either hot or over ice.

While cafes and roasteries differ in how they mix their matcha, whisking by hand with a bamboo whisk in a matcha bowl is the most straightforward and traditional way of preparation – with matcha being prepared like so in Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries.

Complete 6pc matcha glass tea set, $129 (usually $139), Sipspa

Complete with a jar of ceremonial grade matcha, a glass bowl with a spout, a bamboo scoop, bamboo whisk, whisk holder and tea sieve, you’re all set for matcha mornings at home.


T2 Everyday matcha whisk, $36, T2

This whisk is handcrafted from a single piece of bamboo that is split around 80 times to produce smooth and foamy matcha.


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