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Jul 2, 2013 06:55 AM

Matcha Green Tea

I would like to purchase some Matcha Green Tea, does anyone have a preferred brand that is not a product of Japan. Seems it is also produced in China and Taiwan. I have found a few products online, but cannot tell the quality. Let me know if you have a favorite!

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  1. "Matcha" produced in China and Taiwan isn't "matcha" -- it's powdered green tea, and a far cry from actual matcha, let alone artisanal matcha, which to this day are only produced in Japan. If you're looking for culinary matcha, and plan to use it in pastry as an ingredient, then the Chinese and Taiwanese versions may be acceptable to you. I'm talking strictly about the sipping type of matcha.

    1. I have been looking for green tea (or matcha) options that are not from Japan. It has been hard to sort out tea origin from most of what I have found in stores in the US. I would love to find a reliable go-to brand.

      Currently China, Taiwan and Hong Kong have still embargoed all food from Japan so if you get tea from either 3 it should be domestic, not a re-import.

      Yea I know Japan's teas are superior and have their own qualities but I also know what an absolute shit mess Japan's governmental food testing system is right now and that the government is busy trying to shove contaminated food off on other countries. Just last week their govt. officials were whining they couldn't sell contaminated foods off to these three countries and complained to the WTO about it. The current govt. line is if it is under 100 bq/kg it is "safe" to eat though there are plenty of people who don't agree with that statement.

      Finding a tea option that is from one of the uncontaminated regions in Japan and be able to assure that the tea has been tested by a trustworthy 3rd party and tests at zero and that it is not mixed with other teas is pretty hard.

      4 Replies
      1. re: blackpointyboots

        My reasoning for not wanting Japanese Machta exactly! China has its own issues with food quality so I suppose I would prefer one from Taiwan.
        I found one from China online at the Holy Mountain Trading Company but I am not familiar with this brand. Also see some brands from Taiwan on Amazon but its hard to tell the quality and the packaging is not in English so I cannot read it.

        1. re: WhatsEatingYou

          I stopped in our local Asian grocery earlier today and they had a ton of green tea options but I didn't have time to try to find one that was a specific source. At least most of the packages are in multiple languages so I can read the fine print if I remember reading glasses. Taiwan has their own tea culture so it may be an option for a brand.
          I did notice this one on Amazon is branded as Japanese but is actually a Taiwan product.
          It has mostly positive reviews with a few dissenters, they also point out it can be found cheaper in some Asian stores.

          Vita Life also appears to be a product of Taiwan

          Someone left a nice review on this one explaining the differences between Japanese Matcha and powdered tea from other areas. That may be useful of someone wanted to track down something closer to a true Japanese matcha.

          I also ran across this one called Nuvola

          Taiwan origin

          I am not a super tea expert but wanting to know the origin of what I am drinking. If there is any tea that can be assured it is sourced out of KyuShu it should be a non-issue. They really didn't get any contamination at all that I know of. Many of the other south regions got low or spotty low levels but without having the tea tested it is hard to know for sure.

          1. re: blackpointyboots

            It may very well be that this common practice is done to tea also:
            take contaminated tea and mix it with "clean" one, so that the overall rating is JUST ok. I do not trust the situation.

          2. re: WhatsEatingYou

            I would think Taiwan offers the closest and best Matcha beside Japan. Tea is highly regarded in Taiwan, and Taiwan was Japan's colony for a long period of time, so it has adopted a lot of Japanese culture.

            TenRen is the largest Taiwanese tea company, so I assume its Machta is reasonable:


            This one looks very nice based on description, but I have no idea how you can get hold of it in US:


        2. breakaway cook is correct, matcha is not just ground green tea & if you want an authentic tasting tea to drink than Japanese tea is the best choice.

          Matcha is grown in the farthest south prefectures of Japan and were not impacted by the Fukshima disaster (see for independently verified radiation data).

          Aiya is a good quality ceremonial grade matcha as is Ippodo

          I drink matcha from one of these sources every day.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cookingwithmonkey

            Another issue to consider is that even if these areas didn't get any direct fallout from the reactors, the tea plantations there may still be using fertilizers containing sea products (fish, etc). So it's hard to tell exactly how radiation enters the food chain and concentrates. Also, while it's not being publicly discussed, cities including Kyoto have agreed to allow contaminated materials to be brought into the area and incinerated there, which releases more radiation into the air, creating local fallout. (Then they dump the incinerated material into heavily-populated Osaka Bay.) And as all japanese tea afficianados will tell you, some of the best teas, especially matcha, come from the Uji area around Kyoto. So, though I love matcha for drinking and ceremony, I feel nervous at this point to drink it unless consistent 3rd party testing is happening. I haven't been able to get a clear answer that that's the case, unfortunately, so I've had to stop practicing chado or drinking japanese tea. I feel sad that tea producers are being adversely impacted by a situation that they had no control over, but I also feel I can't risk my health.

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