how to spot fake matcha

How to spot fake Japanese Green Tea?

matcha-teaThe traditional Japanese tea, known as Matcha is used for the ceremonies in Japan and offers a myriad of health benefits. Before this tea is ground into powder form, its leaves are referred to as “Tencha”, which are primarily made from green tea blends. This tea is made from leaves that are grown in shade whereas other green tea types like Gun Powder and Sencha are made from leaves grown in sunlight exposure.

Many people buy Matcha but aren’t quite sure of their authenticity because they are not trained to distinguish between the classic Japanese favorite from an inferior product. Not only does the higher quality green offer a smoother blend and less bitter taste, but it also is also priced according to its worth.

How To Spot Fake Japanese Green Tea?

Bitter taste: If you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting good quality Matcha, you will have noticed a sweet and very little aroma on taking a sip. This smell exists due to the presence of L-Theanine, which is an amino acid present in leaves grown in the shade. L-Theanine is the main component that gives this tea its unique blend and the clean drinking taste. Fake or inferior grade matcha will have a bitter flavor due to lack of L-Theanine.

Brownish color: If you know how pleasant the color green can get, look for the same color in your choice of matcha determine its authenticity. This tea is incredibly vibrant green as growing in the shade forces the plant to overproduce chlorophyll, leading to its highly attractive color. A fake product would be slightly yellowish to brown in color because they may not have been properly shaded or harvested from the plants are lower stalk.

Place of origin: It is a widely accepted fact that the highest grade Matcha comes from Japan, which is essentially produced in two regions. Uji city in Kyoto and Nishio town in Aichi prefecture are the two of the most producing areas that comprise of nearly 80% of the total production in the country. But that’s not to say Matcha is produced in these regions alone; there are other several regions in Japan as well as countries like Taiwan and China that produce decent quality matcha.

Coarse to feel: Matcha looks and feels powdery than your regular tea leaf and has a particle size between 5 to 10 microns. The texture of an inferior quality product can be clearly distinguished as it would feel a lot coarser when you rub it between your fingers. So, the next time you go out to buy this tea, look for silky and powdery texture to know if it’s the real deal.

Price: Good things in life do not come cheap, and you can expect to pay a bit more for authentic matcha coming straight out of Japan. Sure, prices may vary from one place to another, but a standard of measurement like a 30 g tin costing anything between $26 -$35 is a good estimation for a quality product. Anything cheaper beyond than this price will probably be an inferior quality that will leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Nutritional Benefits

Japanese Green Tea contains about 25% more caffeine than black tea and has the best effects on health when the entire leaf is consumed. You can expect to get about two-thirds amount of caffeine in a single cup of matcha than what the regular coffee cup holds. Matcha is an excellent choice when you want to get the feeling of being alert while remaining calm, which is unlike anything that a strong caffeine-based drink can provide.

Apart from this unique nutritional benefit, it has all the properties of green tea that positively affects the central nervous system and contributes to a healthier body and mind.

Matcha purchasing tips

If you plan to buy the next batch online, than only trust a reputable seller (ie. Matcha Origin) that has a lot of positive reviews from people who’ve actually tested the product. Do not fall for the low price and discount trap, which will inevitably lead to you getting fake green tea with no nutritional value at all. If you want to buy from retail stores, then don’t forget to check the label for nutrition facts and place of production. You’ll only get your money’s worth if you are careful enough to buy authentic matcha that is just a pure delight in every way.

japanese green tea leaves

An Overview Of The Different Types Of Japanese Green Tea

You will find about 20 different varieties of Japanese tea. The type usually made in Japan is actually the steamed sort of sencha and Fukamushicha that together account for 75% of the tea manufactured in the country. Fragrant teas like bancha and hojicha are extremely popular too.

Tea is produced all over Japan, but the places which are renowned for their tea happen to be Uji, Shizuoka, and Kagoshima, all of which have got varieties of tea named after them. A number of other locales also have their very own unique local teas along with their devoted buffs.

In the following paragraphs, we will mention some of the most popular Japanese green tea.


The flavors which differentiate sencha are a sensitive sweetness and a gentle astringency. Sencha actually refers to the very first picking of the tea bush, that happens from later part of February in warmer climates to the later part of May in the cooler places. The leaves of later pickings, that have much more astringency, constitute the tea referred to as bancha. The shiny leaves are almost even in size and provide a relaxing fragrance.

A brand new type of sencha known as mizudashi-sencha specifically made for steeping in cool water is now in the marketplace and enjoys brisk sales in summer time. Powdered sencha also known as funmatsucha is yet another product in the market, even though it is made easily by grinding the sencha leaves in a food processor or a coffee mill.


The method of the processing of fukamushicha is same as that of sencha, with the exception that for fukamushicha the tea leaves are steamed 2 or 3 times longer. Consequently, the leaves get withered, and also the color is darker. Nevertheless, the taste continues to be just as “sweet” as well as moderate, and the aroma is livelier and much deeper.


Kukicha is made up of stems and stalks usually dumped in the manufacturing of gyokuro, sencha, and matcha teas. Kukicha manufactured from the stems of gyokuro is called “karigane” and is quite expensive. Kukicha produced from either sencha or gyokuro is served in an identical manner as its base tea. The light fragrance and clean taste are certain to assist you to get up feeling rejuvenated.


Konacha is the tea offered at sushi eating places, where it is known as “agari.” It includes the tea “dust” and rejected buds left from the processing of gypkuro and sencha. It is affordable and has got a strong color, flavor, as well as fragrance, making it a perfect cooking ingredient.


Right after the first picking of sencha is performed from later part of February to the ending of May, fresh shoots, as well as leaf buds, start to grow, and those are utilized for bancha. The bancha leaves are usually picked in June, August, and October, with the tea leaves getting harder with every subsequent picking. Along with the leaves, bancha consists of the upper stems plus some bigger leaves dumped during the method of sencha production.

In comparison to sencha, bancha is somewhat more astringent as well as less aromatic, making it the perfect tea to drink following a heavy dinner. As it consists of more fluoride compared to other teas, it is useful against tooth decay and also halitosis.


matchaMatcha is actually the powdered tea utilized in Japan’s official tea ceremony. In the unpowdered form, it is known as “tencha.” Top-quality matcha is a vibrant shade of green. Usually, the lighter varieties tend to be sweeter while the darker ones are more astringent.

During the processing of tencha, the tea leaves are dried up after getting steamed but aren’t rolled, in contrast to other green teas. Throughout the drying procedure, all of the leaf veins, as well as fine stems, are taken out before the grinding of the leaves into a fine powder. Just like sencha, matcha totally dissolves in water when nicely mixed and therefore the tea leaf is ingested in its entirety, offering more nutritional value.


Rich green gyokuro is actually a top-quality tea. It owes its nice, gentle flavor to higher amounts of theanine, which is an amino acid produced by masking the tea bushes using a reed screen 2 to 3 weeks before picking. This protects the tea leaves from sunlight and produces leaves which are darkish green while dried. It is prepared in the same manner as tencha. Gyokuro includes lots of caffeine as well as chlorophyll. Caffeine energizes the brain and also the nervous system, while chlorophyll induces tissue development, leading to healthy skin.


hojichaHojicha is actually made by roasting sencha or bancha over a high temperature, leading to brown leaves imbued with a tasty aroma. As it has relatively less tannin and caffeine, it is great for kids, the elderly, and those coping with illness. It is also served cold in the summer season.


Bancha coupled with well-roasted as well as popped brown rice is called genmaicha. The rice provides a rather nutty flavor, and its gentle taste makes it the perfect tea to consume after a meal which includes deep-fried food items, like Chinese cuisine or tempura.