Encha Grades: Harvest, Taste, and Selection Guide

Encha Grades

All three grades of Encha are pure and organic matcha green tea powder from our farm in Uji, Kyoto, Japan. Encha Founder identified the three Encha grades with our farmer from the 1st (May) and 2nd (late June) harvests in order to achieve the best natural taste, preparing Encha as tea, latte or smoothie, without adding sugar.

Encha organic matcha grade difference

Ceremonial-grade Encha is ground from premium 1st-harvest leaves, the most tender leaves, in each spring harvest (May) in our farm in Uji, Japan. It is best suited for the ceremonial style of drinking matcha with just water. The taste is delicate, smooth and refreshingly grassy.

Latte-grade Encha is ground from standard high-quality 1st-harvest leaves in our farm. When prepared just with hot water, Latte grade tastes a bit stronger (astringent or bitter) than Ceremonial grade. But that extra taste strength makes it more suitable to balance with the creamy taste of milk for matcha latte. Latte-grade, 1st-harvest, Encha Organic Matcha delivers a much greener and smoother cup of matcha latte compared to using 2nd, summer or autumn harvest of matcha. 

Grade naming is subjective to each matcha brand. Always check and compare four key facts.

  1. Organic Farming: Stay away from conventional matcha. Non-organic farming uses pesticide. It also uses synthetic chemical fertilizer to influence its taste. 
  2. Origin: Japan grows the best matcha in the world so far. 
  3. Harvest Time: 1st harvest in Spring has the best color and taste. Check the month to understand 2nd or even 3rd harvest. 
  4. Taste: Taste can be subjective. Use the same method of prepartion to do taste comparison. 


Encha Selection Guide

Purist

  • If you like everything in its pure form (loose leaf tea, black coffee, kale, etc.), drinking ceremonial-grade Encha as hot matcha tea will be a daily treat as if in the spring green tea garden.
  • The simple ritual of preparing and whisking Encha in the hand-crafted ceramic bowl enhances the calming and mindful experience.

Matcha lover holding a chawan of ceremonial Encha tea

 

Latte Lovers and Stronger-Tea Lovers

  • Latte-grade Encha is the only available 1st-harvest Japanese organic matcha offered for making latte with sugar-less milk (almond, coconut, soy, etc.). No need to add sweetener unless your sweet tooth is kicking.
  • Many other matcha brands would have named Latte-Grade Encha as ceremonial grade. But we offer our most delicate grade as ceremonial-grade Encha.
  • If you like stronger-taste teas, you will also enjoy drinking latte-grade Encha as hot matcha tea just with water.
  • Latte-grade Encha is also great for a cold shake, with ice and water in a bottle, in protein shake, shaken with coconut water or OJ.
  • Latte-grade Encha is a great versatile value choice for 1st-harvest pure organic matcha from Japan, much cheaper than other 1st-harvest organic matcha.

Matcha latte lover holding a cup of Encha organic almond latte

 

Smoothie Makers and Stronger Tasters

  • If you make green smoothies on daily basis, adding a tsp of culinary-grade Encha is an easy organic matcha boost.
  • Culinary-grade Encha is only moderately bitter by itself. Mixing it with any naturally sweet ingredients will balance off its bitter note and maintain its nice matcha taste. 
  • Some Encha customers like strong-tasting matcha. They drink culinary-grade Encha as tea or latte. 

matcha green smoothie with kale, banana and mango

Starter Options

 

Notes:

  • Dairy milk contains a type of protein called casein. Some studies found casein might lower the absorption of the antioxidant catechins in matcha, by about 20%. So we don't recommend dairy milk as the preferred choice. Plant-based vegan milk is the best.

For personalized recommendation, please chat with us on 9-5 PST on M-F or email us: encha@encha.com

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