It can be pretty confusing when deciding which Matcha tea grade to buy. There is a great price difference between the respective grades, and that is off-putting to some people. It’s all about taste, literally, and what you want to use it for (obviously).
Perhaps the confusion is due to over marketing and hype as this Superfood tea gains more popularity and increased selling opportunities for suppliers.
Once upon a time there were two grades of Matcha; Ceremonial and Culinary (basically everything else!). The purest and highest quality is the Ceremonial grade which has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies for thousands of years.
Nowadays sellers will use either a 2- or 3-grade system of categorizing the tea, and typically refer to this trio of grades as “ceremonial,” “premium” and “basic.” Basic is essentially the cooking grade tea. “premium” or “select” is an in-between category. 
And then to give consumers more choice and confusion some companies offer 3 grades in organic and non-organic versions. That’s 6 options!!
Anyway back to the basics of matcha tea grades! Let’s look at the 2 main grades, Ceremonial and Culinary.
Ceremonial grade is the highest matcha grade made from the youngest tea leaves. All stems and veins are removed from the leaves to obtain a very smooth and fine texture. Culinary grade matcha is also made from young tea leaves, but these are comparatively older to those used for the ceremonial grade. Because of that, ceremonial and culinary grade matcha have slightly different flavour profiles, making them more suitable for different tasks. 
Image adapted from www.matchasource.com
The table below serves to set out what the basic distinctions are between the two main grades :
|Sub-types||None||premium, café, ingredient, kitchen and classic|
|Use||Drinking as a tea, using only hot water||Cooking, baking and making everyday beverage blends|
|Flavour||Flavour of ceremonial grade matcha is very delicate.
It is naturally sweet but can be easily masked by added flavours, which is why it is best served only with hot water
|More robust, bitter, and less sweet than the ceremonial grade|
|Aroma||Smell is very similar – grassy, fresh aroma|
|Colour||Bright, vibrant green colour because of the rich content of chlorophyll in the young leaves||Less vibrant than ceremonial but still very green|
|Part of the Tea Plant||Only the youngest leaves. All stems and veins are removed||Harvested from slightly older leaves|
|Texture||Fine and smooth to the touch|
The choice is up to you. Really depends on what your matcha goals are – drinking it in its purest form or mixing and cooking. Due to the purity and taste profile of the Ceremonial grade, mixing it with smoothies or baking with it is counterproductive. If that is your intention, go for Culinary grade matcha tea. Remember the price differences between Ceremonial and cooking grade matcha is stark.  What you pay for is flavour profile, not nutrients.
Benefits on matcha tea
There are some pretty great benefits to drinking Matcha tea which can potentially contribute to a feeling on wellness; although we are not doctors, there is a vast body on information on this subject for the reader if they want to be better informed.
Some of the more common benefits include:
- It is packed with antioxidants
- Enhances mood and energizes you
- Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
- Boosts memory and concentration
- Burns calories
- Detoxifies the body
In the meantime take a look here at an earlier blog we posted.
Sources: https://matcha-tea.com/matcha/comparing-the-different-grades-of-matcha-tea#  http://epicmatcha.com/matcha-tea/  https://www.kenkotea.com.au/blogs/news/71398917-differences-of-matcha-grades-types
This post is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Namaste Superfoods Limited or its staff. There is a wealth of data and information freely available on this topic and links to more scientific research and we suggest you undertake some of your own research.