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What Does Matcha Taste Like | UK

by Hamza Jamal |

Matcha has a distinctive grassy and vegetal flavour profile with a savoury undertone that sets it apart from other green teas.

The initial taste has a natural sweetness and bitterness, leading through to grassiness and a slightly creamy texture that coats the mouth.

Sipping matcha brings out umami, earthy flavours with a unique drying sensation from the tannins (like you get in dry red wines).

There's a lingering aftertaste of bitter, umami, and sweet notes, with an overarching green and grassy taste.

Adding a teaspoon of honey brings out the vegetal notes in matcha green tea, making it the perfect brew with savoury snacks like pastries.

Matcha makes a fantastic ingredient for nutritional drinks like the Matcha flavour of vybey Braincare Smart Focus, a nootropic coffee alternative with a delightful umami flavour from a combination of matcha and mushrooms.

Matcha taste varieties

Matcha's overarching flavour profile is grassy and vegetal, but the sweet and bitter notes differ depending on where and how the tea is grown.

Soil composition and terroir impart unique flavours, as does the tea plants' amount of shade (shade affects the amino acid content and taste).

Climate and weather during the growing season play a role, and these are dictated by where the tea plant is grown (Japan, China, or Korea).

Processing techniques also play a role in the final flavour profile, such as tone grinding vs machine grinding, which creates texture and taste differences and how long the leaves are dried and steamed before grinding down.

Matcha grades

Matcha comes in three grades:

  •         Ceremonial.
  •         Premium.
  •         Culinary

The culinary and ingredient grades are found in nutritional products and baked goods, while the tea grades are premium and ceremonial.

Ceremonial sits at the top of the pile as the finest, most premium matcha for traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. We're talking the youngest, most carefully harvested tea leaves stone-ground into an ultra-fine bright green powder.

Ceremonial matcha has an unbelievably rich, umami-packed flavour with subtle, sweet-grassy notes. It's also incredibly smooth and free of bitterness.

Premium grade matcha is still very high quality, a tiny step down from ceremonial in terms of the leaf quality and grinding process. It has a grassy, slightly sweet profile and just a hint of pleasant bitterness, ideal for matcha lattes or drinking straight.

Culinary grade matcha is extremely versatile for baking, cooking, and making matcha powder blends. It has more bitterness than premium grades, but you wouldn't drink it because it lacks the subtlety of premium versions.

Matcha as an ingredient

vybey Braincare Smart Greens contains Matcha Green Tea Powder Premium Grade – the second-highest grade you can get and a significant step up from the cheapest culinary grade.

In Braincare Smart Focus, matcha green tea powder provides grassy notes with a touch of sweetness to help bring out the fungi's umami.

Braincare Smart Greens has a more vegetal flavour profile, with matcha's grassy notes giving depth to the vegetable and fruit powders and extracts.

Both products are delicious and use matcha green tea powder for flavour and a natural, safe caffeine kick similar to black tea.

Matcha health benefits

What Does Matcha Taste Like | UK

We don't just include matcha as an ingredient in Braincare Smart Focus and Braincare Smart Greens because it tastes good; we do it because it has health benefits thanks to high quantities of health-boosting compounds [1]:

  •         Phenolic acids - potent antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
  •         Quercetin is a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties and potential neuroprotective effects.
  •         L-theanine - an amino acid that promotes calmness and mental clarity while also providing a gentle energy boost. It may also be beneficial for people with ADHD.
  •         Chlorophyll - gives matcha its vibrant green hue, with detoxifying and metabolism-boosting effects in the body.

Decaffeinated matcha

Removing the caffeine from matcha green tea powder takes away its bitterness and astringency (drying effects on the mouth) for a milder brew and unwanted side effects like the jitters you might get from coffee.

Some prefer the taste of decaffeinated matcha green tea because it retains grassy notes while stripping harshness. The fresh, green flavours are muted and flatter, making it more palatable when consumed in high quantities.

Matcha and cacao

The rich chocolate flavours of cacao play remarkably well with matcha's savoury umami qualities, with matcha's natural sweetness taming any harsh bitterness from the cacao.

The Matcha flavour of vybey Braincare Smart Focus combines organic cacao powder and premium matcha green tea powder – the result is a rich chocolate drink with a thickness that satisfies even the most indulgent cravings.

Summing up

Matcha has a smooth and delicate taste with bitter notes the further down the grading pile you go (ceremonial tea has no bitterness, while premium grade – found in vybey – has more bitterness, perfect as an ingredient in other products).

Not all matcha tastes the same because different regions have different soil and climates. The introduction of more shade produces a higher caffeine content, so matcha grown in full sun is usually mellower.

You can tell if your matcha is of good quality if it has a ceremonial or premium grade applied to it and a rich flavour profile.

Drinking matcha green tea is the simplest way to get your daily dose, or you can enjoy additional health benefits with vybey Braincare Smart Focus and Braincare Smart Greens, which have additional health-boosting ingredients like nootropics.

All vybey products are good for you. Grab a vybey starter pack today to get started.


  1. National Library of Medicine