What Does Matcha Taste Like? [Plus, Tips On Storing It So It Lasts]

Matcha is becoming a very popular trend among people! This unique kind of green tea has many factors that influence its taste and scent.

I found that getting used to Matcha’s taste may be complicated at first since there are a lot of things to process. 

Keep in mind that Matcha’s flavor can vary depending on three main factors: The Matcha grade, the location of the Matcha farm, and the way in which you’re consuming the Matcha.

Matcha tastes “grassy” (vegetal) and slightly bitter like concentrated unsweetened green tea. It’s less bitter than black tea and has an earthy flavor. Plain matcha has can range from a slight sweetness to no sweetness at all depending on the grade.

I’m going to go over all the possible flavors that you can get from Matcha in order to give you a better idea of what to expect. 

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ceremonial grade matcha tea powder in bowl with cherry blossoms

Is Matcha Sweet Or Bitter?

Matcha’s taste generally has a subtle bitterness with some vegetal notes. It can also have a smooth touch of sweetness, depending on how it was prepared and where it came from.

For example, popular Ceremonial Matcha usually has a sweet taste with little to no bitterness, whereas culinary-grade Matcha is more bitter and doesn’t taste as sweet. 

As for the location where the Matcha is grown, there are two main locations: Japan and China. There’s a slight difference in bitterness within the two countries, with the Chinese Matcha being more bitter than the Japanese one, which tends to be sweeter.

Does Matcha Taste Like Grass?

There may be some people that describe Matcha as “Tasting like grass.” While it does have a slightly vegetal taste, it doesn’t taste like actual grass.

Premium Matcha tends to have a sweet vegetal flavor mixed with an umami touch, whereas lower-grade Matcha can taste more bitter, bringing out the “grassy” taste. 

If you want to avoid that taste, you can add some sweeteners to your drink to get a more pleasant flavor for you.

Should You Drink Matcha Hot Or Cold?

Some things that can change the way that Matcha tastes are temperature variations. I’ve tried both hot-brewed Matcha and cold-brewed Matcha, and they both taste amazing!

Hot Matcha brings out the cup’s bitterness, whereas the cold one gives a rich, creamy feel and taste to the cup.

While hot Matcha is the most common way of consuming it, it’s not entirely necessary that you drink it that way if you don’t want to.

I love how cold-brewed Matcha tastes, so I often find myself changing things up. Whether you drink it hot or cold, you’re still going to get great benefits from it.

Can You Change How Matcha Tastes?

Absolutely! While Matcha tends to have the vegetal flavor I explained before, you can add some subtle finishing touches yourself to make it a more pleasant beverage.

For example, if you’re not a fan of Matcha’s bitterness, I suggest that you mix a bit of maple syrup or agave nectar to raise the sweetness. On the other hand, if you find that your Matcha is way too sweet, you can add a bit of ginger or lemon to balance things out a bit.

Last but not least, you can get a creamier taste by making a matcha latte, which is when you blend matcha powder into warmed plant milk. You can drink it like you would drink a cup of coffee in the morning and is a great way to start your day without giving you caffeine jitters!

The best thing about Matcha is that you can drink it in any way that you want. You don’t have to stick to a particular powder or product forever since there are hundreds of options to choose from.

If you have a personal preference for your beverages, feel free to mix things up a bit from time to time!

Does Matcha Go Bad?

This is a common question that people have when they buy Matcha powder (myself included!) To keep it simple, Matcha doesn’t go bad, since it has a relatively good shelf life.

In most cases, Matcha that has been stored for a very long time can lose its beneficial properties and lose its flavor. 

There are certain indicators as to how to tell that your Matcha went bad. In most cases, spoiled Matcha has an opaque color and the flavor is more bitter than it was before.

While this usually happens with Matcha in general, premium or ceremonial-grade Matcha tends to last for a longer time.

If you want to have a better idea of how much time you can store your Matcha without losing its properties, matcha usually lasts for less than six months when it’s stored in airtight packaging, and you keep it at room temperature.

Does this mean that you have to throw away your old Matcha powder? Not necessarily. You can still consume it without having any health risks, but keep in mind that it may lose some of its characteristic flavor and smell.

What To Do With Old Matcha

If your matcha powder is past it’s prime, your only option isn’t tossing it. Instead, you can bake with older matcha.

Older matcha is typically more bitter but with the amount of sugar added into baked goods, that shouldn’t be a problem. Also, since older matcha turns a darker brown-green color, you don’t have to worry about your cookies and cakes turning out bright green.

Trying using your matcha in this lemon matcha marble pound cake instead of throwing it away.

How Do You Store Matcha Properly?

In order to ensure that you keep the best flavor, smell, and color possible for your Matcha, you need to find a proper way to store it. Whenever I buy Matcha powder, it usually keeps its properties up until four weeks after I opened the package. 

If you’re not planning on opening your Matcha powder right away, you can store it in your freezer to ensure that it lasts for a long time.

If you already opened the package, the best thing to do is seal the package as well as possible and then store it in your fridge. 

While storing your Matcha in your fridge/freezer is a good option, it may not be the best one. Before using your matcha, you should let it warm back to room temperature or else it may taste peculiar.

One of the most popular ways to store Matcha powder is by keeping the package at room temperature, such as a cupboard. But if you live in a hot or humid climate, cold storage is better to prevent heat damage.

If you want to ensure proper storing conditions, here are some tips that you can follow:

  • Store the package away from heat
  • Store the package away from any kind of moisture
  • Store the package away from strong smells (If you don’t do this, your Matcha may absorb some of these smells)
  • Keep the package away from direct sunlight or heavy light conditions
  • Use an airtight container for the powder to prevent moisture and oxidation


Tasting Matcha can be like tasting wine; it can take some time to get used to it. It took some time for me to get accustomed to the different flavors, but once I started drinking it regularly, I couldn’t get enough of it!

If you’re considering implementing Matcha into your diet, make sure that you follow the storing guidelines to ensure that your powder lasts for a long time.

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Stephanie Mantilla

Plant-Based Diet & Vegan Lifestyle Expert

Stephanie is the founder of Plant Prosperous, a plant-based vegan living, and parenting blog. She has been eating a plant-based diet for over 24 years along with a B.S. in Biology & Environmental Science. She also has over 14 years of experience working in the environmental and conservation sectors. Stephanie is currently raising her son on a plant-based diet and hopes to help others who are wanting to do the same. You can read more about her here.

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