Cooking or baking with Japanese matcha takes this powerful green tea powder beyond its traditional role. Besides getting the boost and benefits of matcha, you are also adding a unique earthy flavor and an eye-catching color to your creation. Whether it is a savory or sweet dish or an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink, the first thing you need to know is what type of Japanese Matcha to use.


 ikeda food grade matcha

Flavor Comes First

The different grades of matcha come from the location of the leaves on the plant and the time they are harvested. These variables impact its flavor, color, and texture but not its quality and health benefits. In Ikeda Tea World we offer three grades: ceremonial grade, industrial grade, and culinary grade matcha. There is a big debate about what grade to use in the kitchen. Some ‘cooking -with–matcha’ experts argue that it’s better to cook only with ceremonial grade matcha for its unique flavor, but others don’t agree. They believe ceremonial grade is such an exquisite blend that it loses its value when mixed with anything else but water.

Culinary grade matcha is produced to be mixed with other ingredients and has a flavor that pairs well with almost anything. So far, there are no rules, it depends entirely on the taste you are looking for.


 ikeda cooking grade matcha

The Art Of Choosing

Culinary grade matcha is also called cooking grade matcha or food grade matcha. In culinary grade matcha, there are five main sub-types: premium, ingredient, kitchen, classic and café grade matcha. The basic differences have to do with the texture, the color, the blend and the ingredients they mix well with. For example, ingredient grade matcha plays well with dairy products and milk. This is a good option to use for ice creams or lattes. Whereas café grade matcha is great for baking where its strong flavor helps to offset the sweetness. Café grade matcha also has a unique green color that will create all sorts of eye-catching desserts or even an outstanding matcha martini.


 Japanese cafe grade matcha

Matcha’s Versatility In The Kitchen

Food grade matcha can be used for a wide variety of dishes, desserts or even as a spice. You can find matcha recipes for matcha smoothie bowls, matcha gnocchi and butternut squash, matcha green curry, traditional Japanese matcha sushi rolls or even for instructions on how to use the recently launched Japanese matcha wine.


cooking with matcha 

The Four Shoulds

Author and matcha enthusiast, Jessica Flint provides four absolute musts for cooking with matcha in her book Matcha: A Lifestyle Guide. Cooking with matcha is easier than it seems, but always consider the following for better results:

  • Avoid direct heat. Instead of adding the matcha powder directly to a hot pan, mix it with the sauce and add it once the heat is turned off.

    • Matcha can dry out your dishes. It is recommended that you watch and increase the amount of fat in your recipes, such as oil, butter or cream.

      • Always sift the matcha powder to avoid clumping, especially, if you are baking.

        • Watch the amount of water and fat you use. Keeping it moist will prevent it from getting too bitter.

        Let your creativity be free. There is always a new matcha recipe waiting for you!