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Decoding Types of Matcha: Ceremonial, Culinary, and Imperial


Picture this: It's a calm Sunday morning, and you're cosied up by the window with a warm cup of matcha latte in hand. As you take that first sip, you're greeted by the soothing, earthy flavours of matcha, and you can't help but smile.

Now, here's a little-known fact to ponder: The global matcha craze has been brewing steadily, with matcha's popularity soaring by 60% in the past decade. It seems you're not alone in your love for this vibrant green elixir. But have you ever wondered about the different types of matcha and how they can elevate your matcha moments?

Picture yourself in this scenario: you have a choice between ceremonial, culinary, and imperial matcha. Each has its own unique story to tell, its own flavour to impart, and its own way to make your Sunday mornings even more delightful. 

In this blog, we'll explore the diverse world of matcha, helping you decide which grade suits your taste and lifestyle. 

Types of Matcha

Let's explore the various types of matcha - ceremonial, culinary, and imperial. 

Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Ceremonial matcha is the most exclusive and expensive variety of green tea. It is known for its vibrant green colour and fine texture. 

It is crafted from the youngest tea leaves, meticulously shaded, hand-picked, and stone-ground to preserve their flavour and colour. Grown in the shade, it boasts a richer nutrient profile compared to later harvests, with higher levels of chlorophyll, caffeine, and the amino acid L-theanine. This unique blend of characteristics imparts a natural sweetness and a distinctive flavour profile to the tea. 

To enjoy ceremonial matcha at its best, just whisk it with hot water until it's frothy. Drink it as it is, without adding any sugar or milk. This way, you get to taste its real flavours and experience the tradition that comes with it.

Culinary Grade Matcha

As the name implies, this matcha variety is best for cooking & baking.

Culinary matcha is like the bold cousin of ceremonial matcha! They pick the tea leaves a bit later in the season, giving it this strong flavour. These leaves soak up more sunlight giving it a slightly astringent and bitter taste.

Now, the colour might not be as vibrant green, but guess what? It still retains its richness in antioxidants despite having a coarser texture, which is less noticeable when used in recipes.

There’s a common misconception that Culinary Grade Matcha tea is an inferior quality Matcha tea. That’s not the case. It’s just a different kind of Matcha tea. There’s no high-grade Matcha or low-grade Matcha, the grades are just indications of their different flavour profiles, colour and use.

So if you have culinary matcha, you're in for a treat because it's so versatile! You can use it in lots of recipes. Its strong taste works well in things like baked goods, smoothies, and lattes, mixing perfectly with other ingredients. People often use it to make yummy matcha-flavoured cakes, cookies, ice creams, and other desserts. And you know what? You can also throw it into savoury dishes like noodles, rice, or marinades. 

Imperial Grade Matcha

Imperial grade matcha is a less commonly known variety that stands out for its exceptional quality. This type of matcha is crafted from the finest tea leaves, often handpicked from the top leaves of the tea plant. These leaves are carefully processed to maintain their natural aroma and flavour profile. 

It offers a perfect balance of natural sweetness and umami (flavour), with almost no bitterness, setting it apart from other grades.

Because of its top-notch quality, you'd often find yourself using Imperial grade matcha in fancy culinary experiments, like gourmet cooking. The unique goodness it brings can be fully appreciated in exclusive settings where you want a truly special experience. 

So, when you get your hands on this special matcha, try using it in recipes for high-end dishes. Its exquisite flavours can elevate your cooking to a whole new level. While some reserve it for exclusive tea ceremonies, you can explore its richness in various culinary delights.

How to know your Matcha

Imagine your typical Sunday morning, a time to unwind and savour life's simple pleasures. 

As you make your way to the kitchen, the anticipation of that first sip of matcha fills your senses. You carefully prepare your matcha latte, the aroma wafting through the air. Today, however, a question lingers: "Am I truly sipping the right matcha for these serene moments?"

Your quest to understand your matcha begins right at your kitchen counter. Here's how you can discover - 

  • Colour: When examining matcha, pay attention to its colour. Quality matcha should boast a vibrant, emerald green hue. 
  • Texture: To assess matcha's quality, run a small amount of it between your fingers. Ceremonial grade matcha should feel exceptionally fine and silky to the touch. The smooth texture is a hallmark of its quality and meticulous processing.
  • Aroma: The scent of matcha can reveal much about its quality. The fragrance should be pleasant and inviting, enhancing your overall matcha experience.
  • Taste: Brewing a small bowl of matcha and tasting it is a crucial step. It should be well-balanced, without an overpowering bitterness. The taste should linger on your palate, leaving a pleasant aftertaste.
  • Source: Ensure you source your matcha from reputable and trusted suppliers or brands.


In your matcha journey, understanding how to identify the right matcha for your preferences is a crucial step. It's not just about a cup of tea; it's about crafting moments of serenity and savouring the simple joys of life. At Chymey, we wholeheartedly embrace this philosophy.

We take pride in curating matcha that embodies the essence of quality and tradition. Our commitment to sourcing the finest ceremonial matcha ensures that your matcha moments are nothing short of exceptional. Each sip carries the legacy of centuries-old tea traditions, bringing you a taste of authentic Japanese culture.

So, as you embark on your matcha experience, know that at Chymey, we're here to elevate your journey. We're not just providing matcha; we're crafting experiences. Here's to finding your perfect matcha and savouring every sip of tranquility and flavour that it brings. 

Cheers to matcha moments, brought to you by Chymey.

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