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10 Best Matcha Powders of 2023, Tested by Experts

May 03, 2023May 03, 2023

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Our top picks for the best unmatched quality, flavor and grade.

Derived from finely ground tea leaves, with its bright green color and calming taste, matcha is gaining popularity because it offers a smoother caffeine experience than coffee without the jitters. Its origins lie in Zen Buddhism where it was used in tea ceremonies and as a tool for meditation. In its finest form, matcha takes the name ceremonial from its origins and can be consumed either hot or iced. Culinary matcha, on the other hand, is primarily used in baking but can occasionally be found in drinks as well. Packed with antioxidants, matcha has been promoted for offering such health benefits as improved cognitive performance and heart health as well having anti-cancer properties.

"Matcha is basically green tea in powdered form, however its nutritional profile differs due to the slight difference in the way each is grown and processed," says registered dietitian Sydney Greene, MS, RDN, founder of Greene Health. "Green tea leaves are steamed, stemmed and ground into a powder form known as matcha." Unlike traditional tea bags that are removed after steeping, matcha powder is made from the entire leaf, which you are consuming, and leads to the higher antioxidant consumption.

The Good Housekeeping Institute's Nutrition Lab tested dozens of matcha powders to bring you the best of the best. We tested multiple top-selling matcha tea brands by analyzing ingredient lists, taste, popularity and flavor profiles including bitterness, sweetness and umami. All of our picks hit the mark when it comes to taste, quality, flavor and packaging claims. We favored organic and non-GMO options, and looked for sustainably sourced ingredients.

You can learn more about how we tested matcha powders at the end of this guide, as well as the health benefits. If you're in search of additional health and wellness focused supplements and antioxidants, check out our picks for best turmeric supplements, best greens powders and best probiotics for women.

Sayaka Matcha is from Ippodo, a family-run Japanese tea company with a long history dating back to 1717. They offer more than 30 blends of tea and their Sayaka matcha is known for its exceptional light and slightly sweet taste and medium body with a hint of umami. It has a vibrant green color and smooth texture and is made from shade grown and stone ground tea leaves. It can be enjoyed on its own hot or iced and with milk or non-dairy milk. It is a great choice for matcha lovers of all levels but especially for beginners due to its subtle flavors.

Encha offers hand-picked USDA-organic matcha sourced from farms in Uji, Japan. The tea is made from finely ground, shade grown tea leaves. Encha matcha uses first harvest tea leaves which are known for having a richer green, vibrant color and a well-rounded sweeter taste that is slightly grassy and earthy but still smooth. There is approximately 60 milligrams of caffeine in each serving, higher than some others we've listed here but still lower than the approximately 95 milligrams found in a cup of coffee. It also contains 24 milligrams of the calming amino acid L-theanine. The combination of these attributes plus the low price makes this our choice for best value.

Golde's matcha is sourced from shade grown tea leaves. The shading process boosts the amount of chlorophyll and theanine, the cognitive boosting amino acid found in the tea leaves. Golde uses stone ground matcha leaves from Uji, Japan, a region known for producing some of world's best matcha. It is a ceremonial grade green tea powder, which means it is better for drinking over culinary grade matcha that's preferred for baking. It has a sweet and grassy flavor and tastes great hot, iced or served as a latte.

Naoki ceremonial grade matcha has a smooth and mellow taste with minimal bitterness and is another recommended choice for beginners. It is also a suitable option to be used in lattes and prepared using more water to make a thinner consistency or "thin matcha tea," as the company recommends. It is grown in the popular matcha region of Uji, Japan and made using leaves from the first harvest which are favored for their robust flavor and quality. This was one of our nutrition pros favorite picks because of the well-rounded flavor profile. According to the company, each crop of tea is tested for a "different source of contamination (including radiation and heavy metals)" and the Japanese government also conducts independent purity tests. This is our runner up choice for best value because of our reviewers enthusiasm for taste while still relatively low price.

NOW foods is best known as a family-owned supplement company but they also offer many superfood products including this USDA-certified organic matcha powder. This pick is culinary grade, making it a great choice for adding to smoothies or for use in baking, although it can be enjoyed mixed with water, milk or non-dairy milk. It is very low in caffeine and a great choice for those that are more caffeine sensitive. It contains approximately 16 milligrams of caffeine in a 1 gram (1 teaspoon) serving which is much lower than the average cup of coffee that has approximately 95 milligrams of caffeine. Our nutrition pros appreciate that NOW uses rigorous testing practices throughout their manufacturing process to ensure safe products.

A female-founded company, Matchaful offers "farm-to-whisk," sustainably farmed matcha powders. The teas are grown on a fourth-generation family farm in Shizoka, one of the largest green tea growing regions in Japan. Matchaful offers multiple flavor profiles including both ceremonial and culinary grades. Kiwami, a single origin, shade-grown matcha was one of our favorites from this company because of the bold but smooth and naturally sweet finish with honey and cream notes. The company conducts third-party testing on their products for radiation, heavy metals and over 700 herbicides and pesticides, with quality control reports available on their website. Matchaful also has cafes in the New York City area and offers a range of matcha related products and both ceremonial and culinary teas at different price points.

Jade Leaf is shade grown and offers both ceremonial and culinary grade matchas. We taste tested the ceremonial grade which is grown in the Kagoshima and Uji regions, both popular areas for cultivating matcha. This pick is USDA-certified organic and CCOF organic, as well as Whole30 approved for those following the dietary plan. It contains approximately 30 to 40 milligrams of caffeine per serving or the equivalent of one-third of a cup of coffee. It has a light and very smooth flavor, making it the perfect choice for an iced latte or served hot or with milk or non-dairy milk.

Grown on an organic farm in Uji, Japan, Kyoto Dew Matcha uses shade grade, first harvested leaves to produce a well-balanced matcha. The USDA-certified organic tea leaves are stone ground into a powder that produce a naturally sweet and herbal flavor tea with a slight bitterness. The matcha is tested for radiation and heavy metals with lab reports available on the company website. This pick is low in caffeine with each serving of Kyoto Dew containing 25 milligrams of caffeine. Our nutrition pros appreciate that the company offers a full nutritional breakdown of their matcha on their website. Enjoy this one hot or iced.

A top pick from Consumer Lab, SuperFoods Matcha passes their test for lead and heavy metal contamination. It is a culinary grade matcha and a good choice for baking and even for making ice cream. All matcha contains a specific type of antioxidant called catechin, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is believed to contain many of the health-promoting and immune boosting properties. Superfoods matcha may provide a much higher amounts of EGCG when compared to brewable teas. We like this pick for smoothies — it adds a nice balanced flavor with a boost of antioxidants.

These convenient and portable matcha tea sticks from Rishi are a great way to enjoy matcha on-the-go. They are USDA-certified organic and have a naturally sweet and smooth flavor. Each individual stick contains 2 grams of stone-milled, ceremonial grade matcha. There is 54 milligrams of caffeine per serving, more than many other options on our list but still lower than the average cup of coffee. Rishi works with organic farmers from the volcanic region of Kirishima, Japan to source this matcha.

The registered dietitians, food and nutrition experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab rigorously evaluate hundreds of teas year-round including matcha tea powders. For this review of matcha powders, we analyzed over 30 brands and specifically looked for choices that had higher quality ingredients and were especially flavorful with well-rounded tasting notes. We also prioritized brands that were free from additives and artificial ingredients. Our top picks provide a variety of matcha powders that we believe stand out from the rest.

The world of matcha tea powders can be overwhelming with so many varieties to choose from. We spoke with Darla Murray, Co-Founder of MAKE, a premium matcha brand launching June 2023 and a student of ceremonial tea. We also spoke with TJ Steele, a Michelin-starred chef and owner of Claro Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY and matcha enthusiast, for what to look for when purchasing matcha. Here are their tips:

✔️ Shade grown: Traditional matcha is "shade grown for approximately two weeks before harvest to limit the amount of sunlight that reaches the plant," Murray says. "By limiting the sunlight it allows the flavor of the leaf to become more balanced."

✔️ R egion: In addition to looking for shade grown varieties, Steele advises to look for which region the tea comes from. "I look for pretty much the same thing I look for when I buy wine in terms of information transparency: region, shade grown, how many farms the product was sourced from, the cultivar, etc.," he says. "I only want something that is shade grown and I prefer to purchase from a region I know is a good producer of green tea."

✔️ Single origin: Much like wine, there are blends and single origin teas. "Single origin implies you are getting a consistent and likely higher quality matcha," Murray says. "Sometimes with blends, farms take a higher quality tea leaf and cut it with a lesser quality to achieve a lower price point. Not all blends are bad and a benefit is that there is more control of a flavor profile." However, she adds matcha purists "may want to go with a single origin, because you know what you are drinking in terms of how it was grown and even the soil it was grown on."

✔️ Harvest time: Spring harvest is what is referred to as ceremonial grade. According to Murray, "if you are drinking matcha pure or even mixing it with milks to make a latte, this is the type you want to use." You can see and taste the difference. She adds, "the first harvest leaves have the highest concentration of L-theanine which gives it a smoother flavor and as the season goes on the flavor becomes more astringent." That said, spring harvest matchas can be pricier due to the limited availability and the more labor intensive, shorter harvest time.

✔️ Stone ground: Murray recommends looking for options that "adhere to traditional Japanese production methods which include stone milling or stone ground. It helps to preserve the delicate flavors and nutrients. It also result in a finer and smoother texture."

✔️ Packaging: The packaging of matcha is essential for preserving the freshness and quality of the tea and proper packaging may help to maintain the heath benefits for longer. "The packaging needs to be air tight and protected from light to guarantee freshness," Steele says. "With air exposure the matcha will oxidize so once you break the air seal, you want to consume the matcha as quickly as possible." Murray recommends storing your matcha in a cool, dark place and avoiding direct sunlight.

✔️ Color: According to Steele, the very bright, almost neon green color of matcha is a result of early harvest, being shade grown and not being exposed to too much oxygen and properly stored. A darker color can indicate oxidation. Murray points out, "you may notice even with really high quality matcha, the longer it is out and exposed to air the color can become slightly duller."

There are many purported health benefits associated with matcha. Here are a few of the more frequently mentioned benefits:

✔️ May help with weight loss: According to Greene, "the jury is out on whether or not matcha or green tea helps with weight loss due to the green tea itself or due to the caffeine content in the matcha (caffeine contributes to weight loss by decreasing appetite)." More studies are needed to make a recommendation.

✔️ May help with heart health: Although studies have not looked at matcha specifically, some research has shown that green tea has beneficial effects on heart health. Greene explains, "one study involving 200 participants found that the individuals who drank green tea (four cups daily containing two grams of green tea each) for four months had lower blood pressure and better heart functioning compared to the control group."

✔️ May boost brain function: Two of the main compounds found in matcha that can benefit brain function are caffeine and the amino acid, L-theanine. "Caffeine improves cognitive performance such as attention and reaction time while L-theanine has shown to improve mood and mental alertness," Greene says. "Matcha not only helps brain function in the short-term; due to the high amount of antioxidants present in the tea, it may have some protective effects on cognition."

✔️ May have cancer fighting benefits: Matcha is an excellent source of antioxidants as well as compounds that act as antioxidants such as epigallocatechin gallate, known as EGCG. Greene explains, "EGCG is thought to fight cancer by cutting off blood supply to cancer cells," although more research is needed to make a recommendation. It is important to note that matcha should not be used in place of medical treatment, however including it in your diet may work alongside traditional forms of treatment.

Matcha is traditionally prepared using a bowl and a bamboo whisk. The matcha powder is sifted into the bowl and then whisked with hot water to a frothy consistency. "A big reason many people may not like matcha when trying it for the first time is due to mis-preparation," Murray says. Matcha is finicky and it is a balancing act. She adds, "if the water used to prepare matcha is too hot you will burn the tea and it will cause a bitter taste. If the water used is too cold it will not mix properly. It really is a delicate tea leaf and should be treated that way which makes it so special." Murray also recommends starting with great tasting matcha because however you prepare it the end product will be better.

Below are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing matcha:

✔️ Temperature: "Always making sure your tea ware is hot or warmed to keep it at a constant temperature," Steele says. You want the tea to be exposed to the temperature and amount of water for the right amount of time so that it's incorporated properly. If the water is too hot, the tea will essentially become overcooked. If it is too cold, it won't infuse and mix properly. The optimal temperature for the water used to make matcha is approximately 175 to 180 degrees.

✔️ Sifting: To get the smoothest cup, sifting your matcha through a small sieve to break up clumps before adding it to water is recommended "so your matcha incorporates into the water as easily as possible," says Steele.

✔️ Whisking : Matcha can clump when added to water. Whisking can help to dissolve the clumps to form a smooth consistency. Whisking can also create an inviting layer of froth on top of your matcha. Added bonus: whisking can be a mediative and relaxing practice.

Amy Fischer is a registered dietitian nutritionist with an M.S. in clinical nutrition from New York University and a B.A. in journalism from Miami University of Ohio. Prior to Good Housekeeping, she worked at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City as a cardiac transplant dietitian. She has authored numerous chapters in clinical nutrition textbooks and has also worked in public relations and marketing for food company startups. She is a matcha enthusiast and is always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate it into her everyday life.

Amy (she/her) is a registered dietitian with the Nutrition Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, covering nutrition- and health-related content and product testing. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Miami University of Ohio and a master's degree in clinical nutrition from NYU. Prior to Good Housekeeping, she worked at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City as a cardiac transplant dietitian. She has authored numerous chapters in clinical nutrition textbooks and has also worked in PR and marketing for food company start-ups.

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Packed with antioxidants, matcha has been promoted for offering such health benefits as improved cognitive performance and heart health as well having anti-cancer properties. epigallocatechin gallate higher quality ingredients and were especially flavorful with well-rounded tasting notes. We also prioritized brands that were free from additives and artificial ingredients. ✔️ ✔️ Shade grown: ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ R egion: ✔️ Single origin: ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ Harvest time: ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ Stone ground: ✔️ ✔️ Packaging: ✔️ Color: ✔️ Color: ✔️ ✔️ May help with weight loss ✔️ ✔️ May help with heart health: ✔️ ✔️ May boost brain function: ✔️ ✔️ May have cancer fighting benefits: Below are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing matcha: ✔️ Temperature: ✔️ Temperature: ✔️ ✔️ Sifting ✔️ Whisking ✔️ Whisking : Amy Fischer