What does matcha taste like?

May 15, 2022
| Updated on
August 4, 2022

Matcha green tea is celebrated as a powder rich with antioxidants and offers many health benefits. That’s super great and all, but what does matcha taste like? Ground up green tea leaves may not sound the most appetizing but we’re here to show you quite the opposite.

Bitter Betty?

Ceremonial matcha is complex, holding vegetal and grassy notes, a soft earthy bitterness, a sweet nutty flavor, and a savory umami taste that leaves you wanting more. This umami flavor is what set matcha apart from the rest.

Umami is the Japanese term used to describe the fifth flavor profile. We know sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Umami adds savory to the bunch with a rich and deep intensity. Think red meats, broths, and mushrooms.

What gives matcha its flavor is the growing and harvesting process. The green tea leaves are shaded for 3-4 weeks before harvesting and processing. It is in this time that the amount of chlorophyll and amino acids truly builds within the leaves. This is what gives the matcha is health benefits, flavor, and bright green color. But not all matcha is created equal.

Poor quality matcha that hasn’t been cared for or mixed well by the farmer will drastically change the flavor and color of the matcha. This matcha will be closer to brown than vibrant green and far more bitter and earthy. Don’t worry, though. You’ll never find that with us.

Beautifully Blended

Whisked well, the consistency of matcha is a smooth, soft, and frothy delight. A small amount of air will incorporate while you whisk and there should be no grittiness when you go to enjoy.

Matcha is different from normal tea in that it is not steeped. Green tea uses hot water to pull the flavor from the leaves, without consuming the leaves. Matcha has the leaves stone-ground and mixed into the drink. You drink the leaf as it swirls around your glass. Because of this, matcha does not truly dissolve into your drink. As time passes, the matcha will slowly begin to settle toward the bottom of your glass. Give it a quick stir to pick up and mix in all the matcha again.

Boosted Beverage

Understanding how matcha should taste is the first step when deciding on how to make it your own. The amount of water or milk you use will effect how strong the matcha tastes. At Catacomb, we love a teaspoon of matcha for each 12-16oz drink. If we’re feeling excited, we’ll add a little more matcha. When making a hot matcha, be careful not to heat the water too much because the matcha may burn and turn bitter in flavor. If you bring your water to a boil, let it sit for a few minutes to cool.

Choose the milks and sweeteners that you like! Sugar In The Raw is a popular choice that offers a simple natural sugar. Agave is always a great go-to because it mixes in well to drinks of any temperature. Stevia or allulose offer a sugar-free alternative to give your drink that sweetness. If you’re a fan of non-dairy milks, soy and coconut milk will give you a great creamier mix. Stick with what you know and love.


Matcha has a vegetal, sweet, and slightly bitter taste that leaves behind a savory almost nutty flavor. It is smooth, frothy and gives you a myriad of combinations to prepare to truly make this delicious powder your own. Use a little sweetener to ease that bitter taste you may not be used to. Choose a milk that gives you a great creamy blend. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our Simple Matcha Recipe for a quick guide on making your first latte at home. Follow us for more helpful tips and tricks to enjoy these tea leaves as much as we do.

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