Vice - The Best Matcha Powder, According to Experts
From the super-authentic stuff from Uji to the new wave of matcha masters, these powders are delicious, affordable, and approved by the pros.
A piping hot cup of coffee really hits differently when you’re in a mad rush on the highway, and here’s something about waiting in the mile-long line of a McDonald’s, Dunkin’, or Starbucks drive-thru, screaming through the window for a jolt of caffeine, the legal stimulant we all so desperately crave. Sure, we’re simps for Dunkin’, but for some of us, once we get our fix, instant regret runs through our minds and, uh, our digestive tract. The heart palpitations, jitters, 2 p.m. crash—how can something that brings us so much joy be so unforgiving? But for many of us with a limited tolerance for those little brown beans, there is sweet relief to be found in another caffeine source: matcha.
Of course, matcha is much more than a coffee substitute—in addition to being an important component of Japanese tea culture, it’s also a nutrient-packed beverage that deserves even more shine for its many upsides. For the few who are still-unacquainted: Matcha is a richly colored, finely milled jade-green powder made from high-quality green tea, and it’s been a popular pick-me-up in much of East Asia since the Song dynasty (all the way back in Y1K). In the late 12th century, a dude named Eisai brought tea seeds with him to Japan with the intention of producing and popularizing the powdered green tea he had encountered in China, and he was also the one who created a domino effect mainstreaming this type of tea consumption from religious and ceremonial to, well, just for kicks and status. Soon, everyone got super into it, and in Japan, you’ll also find matcha as a popular flavoring in sweet and savory snacks.
The Tea Spot
This ceremonial matcha is organic, stone-ground, and has a slightly vegetal taste that matches its earthy profile. It also has a slightly lower caffeine content than some other matcha powders, so it may be a better fit for those who are prone to jitters. Plus, reviewers love its invigorating flavor. “I'm becoming a bit of a matcha freak. This one stands out with its fresh grassy sweet notes. It's well-balanced, not astringent, and has a soft mouth feel,” one reviewer writes.
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