Here’s Your simple guide to different Matcha Grades

If you’re buying a morning matcha cup from your favourite coffee shop or purchasing a matcha packet for the first time, you’ll understand how difficult it is to choose from all of the grades and types available right then.

Although all matcha is made from the same plant, there are different grades of matcha that vary in colour, texture, quality, price and potential uses.

There are two primary grades of matcha, Ceremonial and Culinary. While the culinary grade has additional grades like Premium, cafe, classic, ingredient, and kitchen.

Let’s have a look at each grade in detail and highlight the differences between them, so you know how to utilize them.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Grades of Matcha

All matcha comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The difference in grades has to do with factors such as the age of the leaves, growing conditions, and how they are processed after harvest.

The two primary grades are Ceremonial and Culinary.

Ceremonial Grade:

The highest quality and best-tasting matcha powder available is ceremonial grade. As it’s meant to be used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, it falls into the realm of luxury and high-end items. To create ceremonial grade matcha, only the youngest leaves are harvested. Stone-grinding them into an incredibly fine texture results in a delicate flavour profile that has notes of airiness.

Ceremonial grade matcha is of the highest quality, and its flavours are light and sweet in comparison to other grades. It is traditionally consumed on its own with hot water since adding milk or sugar would alter the delicate flavour.

Ceremonial matcha is thick and delicious, with a slightly grassy fragrance. For every 8 ounces (1 cup) of hot water, use only 1/2 teaspoon of matcha powder. For a smooth and velvety texture, combine the powder and water using a matcha whisk or better yet, an electric mixer with a spoon attachment.

three primary Grades of matcha: culinary, premium and ceremonial Pin

Culinary Grade:

Culinary-grade matcha is made from the oldest leaves on the tea plant. These leaves have more caffeine and tannins, which results in a bolder flavour. The powder is also more coarse since the leaves are older and tougher. that doesn’t mean it’s a bad grade of matcha, it just has a different purpose.

Culinary grade is perfect for baking and cooking since the bolder flavour can hold up well in recipes. It’s also a great choice for making matcha lattes since milk or sweeteners can be added without affecting the taste too much.

Many prefer culinary grade matcha because it has a lower price point than ceremonial grade. It’s also more versatile since it can be used in a wider range of recipes.

There are five types of culinary-grade matcha: premium, cafe, classic, ingredient, and kitchen grades. Each of these matcha types has its own mode of production and harvest.

Premium Grade:

Premium grade matcha is made from the middle leaves of the tea plant. The leaves are larger than those used for ceremonial grade matcha, but they’re still young and full of flavour. Stone grinding results in a powder that’s slightly more coarse than ceremonial grade matcha.

Many coffee and tea shops use premium matcha to create lattes or blended drinks because it is less expensive than ceremonial matcha while still maintaining high quality.

The flavour profile of premium grade matcha is more robust since it’s made with older leaves. It has a bitter taste with a lingering bitterness.

Cafe grade:

Cafe matcha has a more robust flavour and a coarse consistency. It is made from the bottom leaves of the tea plant and has higher caffeine content.

Since cafe-grade matcha has a bolder flavour, it’s often used in blended drinks or smoothies. It’s also a popular choice for baking since it can add a pop of green colour without affecting the taste of the final product.

Classic grade:

A classic grade tea is one of high quality, with a fine texture and bright colour. it’s usually less expensive than a premium or café grade and is the most commonly available grade of tea and can be used for both drinking and cooking.

Classic grade matcha has a strong flavour with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Ingredient grade:

ingredient grade is a mix of younger leaves and older leaves blended together. It has a slightly strong flavour and a thicker consistency.

This type of matcha is often used as an ingredient in other foods, such as ice cream, cookies, shakes and other creamy drinks since the bitter flavour is not as noticeable when it’s mixed with other sweet flavours.

Kitchen grade:

Kitchen-grade matcha is made from the stems and leaves of the tea plant. It has a lower quality since it contains more stems than leaves. The flavour is very strong and bitter with high caffeine content.

This type of matcha is often used in cooking to add colour and flavour to dishes. It’s also sometimes used as a natural food dye.

Frequently Asked Questions?

What Matcha Grade Is The Best?

The Ceremonial grade is the best as it is exclusively used for drinking. It’s the highest-quality tea grade, which is why it’s been utilized in centuries-old Japanese tea ceremonies. You can drink it outside of a ceremony, though. This grade is made from the youngest tea leaves available.

What Is The Difference Between Grades Of Matcha?

The primary difference between matcha grades is quality. The finest grade of matcha is ceremonial, followed by the premium grade and then the Culinary grade. The different grades have different hues and tastes, with the ceremonial grade being the brightest green and having the smoothest, most monotonous flavour.

Is Ceremonial Grade Matcha Healthier Than Culinary Grade?

There is no difference in health benefits between grades of matcha. However, ceremonial grade matcha is made from younger leaves, which may contain more nutrients.

How Do I Choose The Right Matcha Grade For Me?

The best way to choose a matcha grade is to try different types and see what you like best. If you’re new to matcha, start with ceremonial grade. If you want a bolder flavour, try premium grade. And if you’re looking to add green tea flavour to your cooking or baking, the culinary grade is a good option.

Does The Grade Of Matcha Matter?

yes, the grades of matcha matter. There’s no such thing as “wrong” matcha powder. They’re all delicious, natural, and full of antioxidants and vitamins. The various grades just mean different flavour profiles and textures that are best suited for different uses – like drinking it plain or adding it to baked goods recipes.


So, what’s the best matcha for you? It all depends on how you want to use it. The Ceremonial grade is the best quality, but it’s also the most expensive. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, premium grade is a good choice. And if you’re looking to bake or cook with matcha, the culinary grade is your best bet.

No matter what grade you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the refreshing, delicious taste of matcha!