6 Reasons why your Matcha tastes bitter and how to solve it

Grassy, awful, and so bitter!

That’s how Matcha taste when I first tried it. And If you’re like me and find matcha to be bitter and unpalatable, know that you are not alone.

In fact, most people had the same experience when trying matcha for the first time.

That makes you wonder if it is supposed to taste this way, or are we making it wrong?

If that’s the case, This article is for you.

In this article, we’ll explore why matcha is bitter and offer eight proven ways to get rid of that bitterness so you can enjoy your refreshing beverage. We will give you three other replacements for matcha tea that still pack a lot of nutrients. 

Keep reading to learn all the secrets to getting your Matcha tea right every time.

Table of Contents

The taste of matcha is often described as grassy, vegetal, or earthy. Some people also find it to be bitter. You won’t know the actual taste unless you try it, but the best way to put it is earthy and bitter with a mildly sour aftertaste.

six reasons why is matcha so bitter?

There are a few reasons why matcha might taste bitter to you.

Phenolic compounds in matcha

First of all, matcha contains high levels of a compound called catechins. Catechins are a type of antioxidant, They have several health benefits. however, Catechins tend to have that taste of bitterness and astringency that give Matcha its bitter taste.

Some estimates say that matcha has 137 times more catechins than other types of green tea. (source)

The caffeine content in matcha.

Unlike green tea, matcha also contains more caffeine, making it too bitter for most people’s taste.

In fact, Matcha contains more caffeine than most regular green teas, with 19-44mg of caffeine per gram. (source)

Water temperature and steeping time

Another possible cause for matcha bitterness is Water temperature that is too hot. Matcha is filled with chlorophyll;  a water-soluble pigment that gives plants their green colour. When the water is too hot (over 190F), it can break down the chlorophyll and release a bitter taste.

The ideal water temperature for matcha is 175 degrees Fahrenheit or 79.44 degrees Celsius.

Steeping time can also affect the bitterness of matcha. If you steep your matcha for too long, it will become more bitter. The ideal steeping time for matcha is between 30 seconds to one minute.

Type and Grade of Matcha

The type of matcha can also make a difference in bitterness. ceremonial grade matcha is made from the youngest leaves and has a sweeter, more delicate flavour. culinary grade matcha is made from older leaves and has a more robust, bitter taste. If you find your matcha is too bitter, try using a different grade of matcha.

Finally, the way you prepare your matcha can also affect its bitterness. If you whisk your matcha too vigorously, it will start to foam and become more bitter. Try whisking your matcha gently until it’s smooth.

How to reduce the bitter taste of matcha tea

If you still find that your matcha tea tastes way more bitter than it should, Here are 8 tips to keep in mind when preparing matcha to fix it. 

  1. Use the right amount of matcha
    Try using less matcha powder when you make your tea. A good rule of thumb is to start with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of powder for a mug worth of water and add more if needed. 
  2. Use filtered water
    Use filtered water instead of tap water. This will help to remove any impurities that might make your matcha taste bitter.
  3. Rinse your cup and whisk with hot water
    Rinsing your cup and whisk before making matcha will help to warm up the cup and whisk and prevent the matcha from tasting bitter.
  4. Sift your matcha powder before using it
    This will help to remove any clumps that might make your matcha taste bitter.
  5. Try mixing Matcha with other ingredients
    You can also try mixing your matcha with other ingredients to mask the bitterness. For example, try adding milk, honey, mint, or lemon to your tea. You can add stevia or other natural or artificial sweeteners for a sugar-free option.
  6. Use the right water temperature
    Make sure the water you use is not too hot. Try using water between 160-180F for a less bitter cup of matcha. As mentioned before if the matcha powder is exposed to heat for a prolonged period, it will make it more bitter and also lose some of the health benefits of the leaf.
  7. Store your matcha properly
    Make sure your matcha powder is stored away from sunlight because the sun will break down the chlorophyll in the powder and make it more bitter.

Finally, make sure you’re using fresh, high-quality matcha powder. The older powder, the more it starts to taste bitter. 

Green tea brands that are less bitter than Matcha powder

Clipper Organic Natural Green Tea with Echinacea and citrus

This brand of green tea does not have any bitter taste because the citrus flavour masks it. You still get the benefits of green tea without the bitter taste. They also have decaf options, so it is safe to drink at night without fearing that it will keep you up at night.

VAHDAM Organic Chamomile Green Tea with Mint & Citrus

This is an excellent choice if you love chamomile’s taste with a citrus flavour kick.

Organic India Tulsi Green Tea Lemon Ginger

This is a great tea to drink if you want to lose weight because of the lemon and ginger. It is also good for relieving symptoms of cold and flu. You can have this drink a few times a day to replace coffee and black tea.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Matcha Taste more Bitter Than Coffee?

The bitterness in coffee is mostly due to the dark roasting of the beans. Matcha, on the other hand, is made from young tea leaves that are shade-grown and stone-ground into a fine powder. This process results in a sweeter, more mellow taste.

Of course, the level of sweetness will also depend on the quality of the matcha powder. ceremonial grade matcha is made from the youngest, most tender tea leaves and has a naturally sweet flavour. On the other hand, lower-quality matcha can be quite bitter.

When prepared properly, matcha should have a slightly sweet and umami (savoury) flavour with no bitterness. If your matcha tastes too bitter, it may be because it was made with lower-quality leaves or was not prepared correctly.

How do I make my matcha sweeter?

As mentioned earlier, you can use sweeteners like sugar, honey, or other low-calorie artificial or natural sweeteners. You can also use less matcha to reduce the bitter taste and enjoy a lighter beverage. If you have a specific amount of matcha you want to consume in a day, you can split it into two lighter cups of matcha tea. For instance, if you use two tablespoons of matcha in one cup of tea in the morning, you can split it into one tablespoon of matcha powder for one cup in the morning and evening.

How do you mask the taste of matcha?

The best way to mask the taste of matcha is by adding it to your smoothies and shakes with other sweet ingredients. My favourite recipe is blending celery parsley, carrot, and a tablespoon of matcha for a power smoothie. If you want a sweeter smoothie, you can make it with bananas, strawberries, and yoghurt.