Over recent past years, matcha tea has grown in popularity. In 2021, the matcha tea market size was valued at $2.75 billion; in 2022, the same market was worth $3.15 billion and is anticipated to reach a valuation of $5.72 billion by 2027. Additionally, more people are interested to know the source of the matcha they consume and how it’s different from low-quality matcha available in the market.
Most of the organic matcha powder mainly comes from China and Japan. Therefore, this post explores the key differences between Japanese and Chinese matcha.
What is Matcha tea?
Before we understand the difference between the two types of matcha listed above, let’s first understand what matcha tea is. Matcha is a form of green tea (high-grade green tea) that is made from young tea leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant through grounding. This matcha, usually in powder form, is sifted and whisked with hot water to make matcha tea.
While matcha comes from the same plant as green tea, the main difference is influenced by farming practices, harvesting time, and overall processing.
Japanese vs. Chinese Matcha: The Differences
Matcha originated in China and spread to parts of Japan, where it has been now part of their culture for over 8000 years. The Japanese people also perfected their skills in farming and processing matcha. So how are these two types of matcha different? Differences are based on various elements, as discussed below.
One of the noticeable differences between Japanese matcha and Chinese matcha is color. Often Japanese matcha has a vibrant pea-green color due to the increased chlorophyll within the leaves. It’s because, in Japan, they grow matcha leaves under the shade in the last several weeks before harvest, giving the leaves a vibrant color.
On the other hand, Chinese matcha tends to have a duller hue with tones of brown and yellow. It mostly applies to matcha, whose leaves are grown over direct sunlight all along until picking.
The texture of the powder
Another notable difference between these two teas is their texture resulting from different manufacturing/processing methods. Japanese matcha is often processed using machinery, which results in a fine powder. Conversely, in China, matcha processing is done by both hands and machinery. Traditional Chinese matcha, often processed by hand, also has a fine texture but not like that of machines.
Taste and flavor profile
Japanese matcha has a sweet and savory flavor, while Chinese matcha has an earthy, slightly bitter taste and a note of sweetness.
The differences in taste and flavor also result from how the tea is grown and processed. Notably, how you prepare any of these matcha powders will affect the final taste and flavor in the cup.
Is Matcha from China any Good?
While Japanese matcha can have a more vibrant green color and finer texture than typical (culinary) Chinese matcha, high-grade ceremonial Chinese matcha is high quality. It has a lovely vibrant deep shade of green, a creamy soft texture, and savory sweet umami you could enjoy.
Notably, you don’t get the same outstanding taste from low-quality Japanese matcha. Therefore, it all boils down to the quality of matcha.
Anytime you choose Chinese matcha, consider selecting Ceremonial Grade first harvest and hand-picked matcha that has been shaded for at least two weeks. This type of Chinese matcha has many benefits, and you get value for your money.
Are you looking for Chinese matcha? You may consider trying Bluesea Tea organic pure matcha powder. In addition to being quality matcha that offers an excellent taste, it’s FSSC 22000 compliant, FDA and USDA certified.
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