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Matcha ... where to buy?

Other than Mitsuwa and/or Murakai, where else can I find quality Matcha?

(And, yes, I did a search already.)

Thanks.

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  1. Mail order or brick and mortar?

    1 Reply
        1. Whole Foods has a pretty good variety, especially if you go to a larger one. I buy DoMatcha brand there, and they have the regular, an organic one, and the ceremonial quality. Some of the specialty tea stores have it, but it's even pricier than WF.

          1. Ten Ren is pretty serious about their tea - and they do have the powder.

            Here's their online listing, to give you an idea of price (I don't know what the norm is!).

            They have a nice big store on Broadway, in the Ocean Seafood complex.

            http://www.tenren.com/greenteapowder....

            12 Replies
            1. re: happybaker

              FWIW that may or may not be matcha. Not all powdered green tea is matcha. The OP was specific about wanting "quality matcha".

              OTOH, I wouldn't be surprised if the Ten Ren at Focus Plaza doesn't have true matcha.

              1. re: Peripatetic

                When I visited, I saw that Ten Ren has everything from "normal" grocery store level stuff - to stuff that is hundreds of dollars. So.... dunno.

                But you are right, that is listed as powdered green tea and not officially matcha.

                1. re: happybaker

                  As you said, Ten Ren is very serious about tea. As I understand it, we see only the tip of the iceberg here in the US. So it's definitely worth checking with them, even if they're not a Japanese tea specialist.

                2. re: Peripatetic

                  None of the Ten Ren in SGV have authentic Matcha powder.

                  I've asked.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Did you check out the Pasadena location of Bird Pick? I see that their website has this listed: http://www.birdpick.com/our-teas/loos...

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Yes, if it doesn't say matcha, it's not matcha -- it's ground up sencha, if you're lucky. Very different beasts.

                        1. re: breakaway cook

                          breakaway cook, maybe an unfair question, but do you know anything about Matcha Source (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8510...) and, if so, do you have any opinion about their matcha? NB: I haven't been there and didn't know anything about them before this thread. It just seems to be the most promising _local_ supplier mentioned so far.

                          1. re: Peripatetic

                            I love it when a post starts to refer to itself.

                            It's like a self-sentient post!

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Heh. I was tempted just to put "q.v.", but no one seems to know what that means anymore.

                            2. re: Peripatetic

                              Just looked this place up online. Hadn't heard about them either prior to this thread. I'd be interested in checking them out now, though I gotta say, the website is a bit heavy handed and breathless in it's description of the owner and her history/how she founded the company, etc. Prices look to be very high--I realize matcha isn't an inexpensive tea but even with all the various grades she's offering it still seems expensive.

                              All that said, I can't help but want to check this place out despite their indulgent self-hype.

                    2. I suggest buying all tea online, e.g., at Upton, Teavana, etc. Oh...brick and mortar. Hmmm....

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: AlkieGourmand

                        Oooo...respectfully disagree with Teavana. Good place for overpriced tea ware but for tea, definitely not. Have had multiple horrible experiences in their store in Century City. The teenagers who work there know very little about tea.

                        As for the tea itself, I wouldn't call it quality. It's tea for soda-drinkers!

                        I don't pretend to be an expert on tea, but I have been a steady drinker for 30+ years, and I have a real big problem with Teavana.

                      2. For a brick and mortar tea store here in the LA area, I recommend that you go to Lupicia at Westfield Century City mall. Call in advance and ask for Charles and find out when he will be there--he's the manager and he is a wealth of information about tea. They definitely sell Matcha and Charles knows his stuff.

                        For non-brick and mortar, I've recently found a new online source for some of my favorite teas. It's a small family owned outfit in Oregon. They have some of the same hard-to-find teas I'd been (until recently) getting from a local tea emporium for much MUCH better prices. I've only ordered from them a few times but customer service so far has been excellent and because they are small you can deal with the same small handful of people and not feel like "just another number." I haven't bought Matcha there--this is just a general recommendation because I really like Strand so far for great tea and customer service and good prices on a few hard-to-find teas that aren't available just anywhere.

                        Strand Tea Company
                        888 718-6358
                        www.strandtea.com