This Is Why Your Matcha Tastes Like Crap
It's sad to me when I hear people say that they don't like matcha. My first question is always "where did you try it?", and most people follow up with one of the following:
- Other Random Cafe
- The Grocery Store
This is partly where the problem lies.
Now, I'm not saying that all matcha from the grocery store is garbage. Nor am I saying that about cafes. (I am pretty much saying that for Starbucks, Amazon and Costco, though.)
Some of it is decent. 99% of it is utter crap.
Since matcha has become so popular, a lot of companies are trying to profit off the rage, and are doing some pretty shady stuff to do so - namely:
1) Buying 3rd or 4th harvest matcha and marking it as ceremonial (ceremonial matcha is only 1st flush, or "spring harvest" - 3rd and 4th flush is not for drinking, only for baking/cooking).
2) Marking up their prices to what you'd typically charge for ceremonial/first flush/spring harvest matcha, even though that's not what they're selling.
Because there are no strict regulations around the word "ceremonial", companies are using it to over-charge for shitty matcha and it's, in turn, not truly representing matcha in the best light.
Along with buying matcha that is, sadly, subpar, you're likely also preparing it incorrectly (or the place you're buying it from is preparing it incorrectly).
If you're not using a blender to prepare your matcha, you need to do 3 things correctly:
- You need to use the right temperature of water. NOT BOILING. (Any more than 170F will BURN the matcha leaves and give you sad, bitter matcha.)
- You need to sift your matcha with a high-quality sifter to remove any lumps.
- You need to whisk your matcha vigorously, using a bamboo matcha whisk.
If you use boiling water, you will scald the tea leaves and be left with a sad, bitter matcha (aim for 170F or less).
If you do not sift, you will likely end up with clumpy matcha which is... not the tasiest.
If you do not whisk (and whisk with the proper tool), your matcha won't be as smooth and creamy as you may hope for it to be.
My advice for you is simple:
>> Buy premium matcha from a source you trust. If a company is claiming that their matcha is "ceremonial", confirm that it is 1st-flush (spring harvest).
>> Prepare your matcha properly. Use the right water temperature, sift your matcha powder, and whisk with a bamboo whisk (or put all ingredients into a blener!).
If you do these 2 things, you're guaranteed to have a delicious, creamy cup of matcha every time and you'll no longer be able to say that you don't like matcha. ;)