MATCHA FAQ

If you have any burning questions about our matcha, check out the FAQ below. If you still cannot find the answers, drop us an email at hello@stmatcha.com.au :)

What is matcha?


Matcha is stone-milled green tea leaves that have been specially grown, harvested and processed (including stems and veins removed). Matcha has significantly more antioxidants and other beneficial compounds than brewed green tea. This is due to the way the matcha tea leaves are grown (the leaves are shaded, increasing the production of chlorophyill and amino acids) as well as the fact that the whole powder is consumed. Learn more about the amazing matcha here




Is St Matcha's matcha powder certified organic?


All our matcha powder is certified organic by the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS), one of the most stringent organic certifications in the world.




Why choose organic matcha?


Modern green tea plantations use pesticides and large amounts of chemical fertilisers to stimulate the growth of tea leaves and to create the vibrant colour and rich nutritional content of the tea leaves. This is especially true for matcha as the tea leaves need to be shaded and even greater fertilisers are needed to replenish lower nutrients caused by shading. As a result, not only are pesticide residues are left on the tea leaves (which we eventually consume), the use of chemical fertilisers are also likely to cause long term damage to the soil. Organic matcha is thus better for our health as well as the tea plantations and the environment.




What is "culinary" matcha?


Culinary matcha is a matcha grade that is suitable for making matcha latte, for adding to foods and for baking. Culinary matcha has a bolder flavour and higher astringency (bitterness), making it perfect for any food or drink recipes that call for creamy ingredients (such as latte and desserts). Our AKARI Organic Matcha is a great blend to start with if you are new to matcha. Once you have gotten a hang of brewing matcha, you can also try our RYO Organic Matcha, which is a higher grade culinary matcha in our range.




What is "ceremonial" matcha?


Ceremonial matcha refers to matcha that is high enough in quality to be used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Ceremonial grade matcha is usually made with the youngest tea leaves from the first harvest and typically has a smooth, mellow and lightly sweet flavour with a notable umami profile. Ceremonial matcha can be enjoyed as koicha (濃茶) (ceremomial style thick tea) or as everyday usucha (thin tea). Due to the limitation on chemical fertiliser usage, it is difficult to find organic matcha of sufficient quality to make truly great koicha. Our YUTAKA Organic Matcha is a ceremonial grade matcha that makes perfect usucha (薄茶) (thin tea) but can also make koicha with some sweetener. Follow the guides here on how to make koicha and usucha.




Why is organic matcha more expensive than non-organic matcha?


It is a lot more costly, time intensive and slower to grow tea leaves for organic matcha. Organic tea plantations must rely on manual weeding (which is time and labour intensive) and can only use organic fertilisers which require 3-6 months to take effect (as opposed to 1-2 months for non-organic fertilisers). Further more, organic tea plants are not treated with pesticides and are more prone to damage by insects. All these costs and lower productivity are the reasons why organic matcha are much more expensive than non-organic matcha for the same quality. However, we believe the health and environmental benefits of organic matcha outweigh the extra few dollars that come with it :)




Do I need a matcha whisk to brew matcha?


It is recommended to use matcha whisk when brewing matcha. Matcha is a very fine powder and will clump when water is added. Using just a spoon or a mini whisk will not be good enough to break down these clumps and you will be left with them when making matcha tea or latte, making the taste bitter and inconsistent. Check out our chasen bamboo matcha whisk here - it will be a good investment! :)




What can I use matcha for?


Matcha is an extremelty versatile powder and can be added to most dishes (even savoury ones!). Try adding it to breakfast dishes such cereals, granola, porridge and chia pudding, or sprinkle on your toast of pancakes. You can also pretty much bake anything with matcha, from muffins to cookies to cakes, or even make non-bake recipes like protein balls, slices and pancakes. If you need a little protein and nutrient boost, you can also try our Matcha + Hemp Protein blend - a delicious vegan protein with the amazing hemp!




My matcha loses colour and flavour after a while. Did I store it incorrectly?


The answer is most probably! Matcha loses its colour and flavour very quickly once exposed to heat, light or oxygen, even for just a few days. It is therefore important to seal the pouch/jar tightly after each use. To keep the matcha fresh and vibrant for longer, keep the orginal packaging inside another zip lock bag (preferrably with a double zip) and store away in a dark place away from heat and sunlight (e.g. inside a cubboard). Click here for detailed instructions on how to store matcha.





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