Within Jade Leaf’s core line of products are two distinct ceremonial matcha offerings: our Teahouse Edition and our Barista Edition. How do you know which is right for you? We’re glad you asked! Before we answer that question, let’s (very) briefly review what Ceremonial Grade Matcha means…
WHAT IS CEREMONIAL GRADE MATCHA?
Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality grade of matcha, and while it’s delicious in lattes, smoothies, etc, it is the ideal grade for drinking as a straight, smooth hot (or iced) tea.
Young tea leaves and buds picked for Ceremonial Grade matcha are harvested during Ichibancha (literally meaning “first tea” or First Harvest season from late April to May) and are regarded as the highest quality one can consume. They are found at the very top of the tea bush and are extremely delicate, imparting a natural sweetness to matcha due to their higher concentration of L-theanine. Another characteristic to note is that younger tea leaves contain more chlorophyll than the older tea leaves harvested for culinary grade matcha, which is responsible for imparting more of a vibrant green hue to ceremonial grade matcha.
TEAHOUSE VS. BARISTA CEREMONIAL MATCHA
We take great care and work very closely with our tea farmers in Japan to craft both of these selections to suit the particular taste and usage preferences of our consumers here in the US.
Both of our ceremonial matcha editions share Jade Leaf’s high-quality standards:
- Made from premium first harvest tea leaves, picked carefully, and crafted into our signature blends.
- 100% USDA Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder, All Natural, Nothing Added (naturally gluten-free and vegan)
- 100% authentic Japanese Matcha - sourced directly from our partner farm in Uji, Japan, allowing us to provide much better quality at better pricing than our competitors
- Well-rounded taste profiles from the fusion of the Uji (Kyoto) region's characteristically rich, deep flavor and the Kagoshima region's light, refreshing flavor (but each edition is crafted from different cultivars)
If you’re familiar with wines at all, it may be helpful to think of the making of matcha along the lines of different grape varietals and blends.
Our Teahouse Edition is our most premium blend of tea leaves (aside from our unique quarterly Limited Edition offerings), giving it an exceptionally smooth flavor profile that’s best appreciated when sipping as a traditionally prepared hot or iced tea (it also is commonly enjoyed in unsweetened lattes). In addition to being a bit smoother than our Barista Edition, Teahouse also tastes a little sweeter and nuttier, with less umami.
In a nutshell, a little more care has been taken in curating the leaves and formulating the ‘recipe' selected for this matcha for those who enjoy a particularly smooth straight matcha tea experience.
Okumidori, Kanayamidori, Sayamakaori, Samidori, Yabukita
(note: occasionally we release unique-to-us Limited Edition Ceremonial Matcha collections, which are our most premium and rare blends of matcha - these are wonderful to sample to further appreciate the flavor nuances between different blends. Each has its own inspiration and story, featured within the product description of each offering).
Our Barista Edition is also a premium blend of first harvest tea leaves, with a distinct, slightly more bitter flavor, that has been crafted particularly with cafe-style quality teas and lattes in mind. This matcha is popular among our baristas, chefs, and consumers who enjoy matcha lattes or blended drinks – as is or with a special flavor twist!
Okumidori, Komakage, Yabukita
It is entirely up to your personal preference which grade of matcha you use for your own enjoyment (plenty of folks use culinary matcha for tea, while others won’t even bake cookies with anything less than ceremonial). It’s really up to your own individual taste and affinity! Try both and let us know what you think - we always love to hear your feedback, questions, suggestions - etc!