Why Are Matcha Prices Rising? | matchaoutlet.com

Japanese field of green tea

Why Are Matcha Prices Rising?

Matcha is an extremely valued and highly-sought after tea in markets and coffee shops around the world. Recently, however, you may have noticed that matcha prices are starting to rise, just like the prices for many items around the globe.

 While inflation may have a factor to play in the rising high-quality matcha costs, that’s not the only reason why your go-to matcha brand may be increasing the prices by a couple of dollars. 

But why exactly are these prices rising? Here are a few reasons why your cup of matcha might be a little more expensive at your next coffee shop visit: 

But why exactly are these prices rising? Here are a few reasons why your cup of matcha might be a little more expensive at your next coffee shop visit:  

Matcha is Only Grown in Certain Locations

Like champagne, tequila, and other beverages, high-quality matcha as we know it, usually comes from Japan. While there are some matcha farms in China, the majority of matcha produced in the world is grown solely by Japanese cultivators. 

This is because the history of Japanese matcha powder stretches back hundreds of years in Japan, and many of these farms are owned by second-, third-, or even higher-numbered generation farmers who have perfected their craft. 

High-quality matcha, whether it’s ceremonial grade matcha or for everyday use, is almost exclusively produced on these farms. With the farmers’ techniques, intense eye for detail, and commitment to their craft, it’s easy to see what makes this matcha so amazing.

Matcha is Labor Intensive to Grow

Growing matcha takes a lot of patience, attention to detail, and precise growing conditions. If you want to receive a high-quality matcha product, you may need to pay a high price for it, and if you’re going to spend the money, you may want to learn more about how much care and time goes into producing the perfect matcha plant. 

If you want ceremonial-grade matcha, then harvesting those leaves comes at a particular time. Ceremonial grade matcha can only be made by plucking certain leaves during the very first harvest of the tea plant. These leaves are the highest quality and have the sweetest flavor, but they can also only be harvested that single time. No other harvest will do. 

In addition, the growing process is difficult. To create the best Japanese matcha powder, the matcha tea plants need to be shaded using a special netting called a kabuse. This netting protects the plants from direct sunlight. This may seem counterintuitive since plants need the sun to grow, but too much sunlight can severely damage the matcha’s flavor. If exposed to too much sunlight, the matcha will lose sweetness and become more bitter, lowering its quality. 

Keeping matcha alive during the shading process is a feat in and of itself. The tea plant needs constant monitoring and care to ensure that it lives throughout its three-week bout of darkness. If it survives this ordeal, the tea plant produces incredible high-quality matcha that’s hard to beat. 

Hand peaking of a  green tea

Matcha is Hand-Plucked from the Tea Plant

Did you know that when you enjoy high-quality matcha, each one of the leaves that were ground to create the delicious Japanese matcha powder was picked by hand? It might sound difficult to believe, but it’s true!

Typically, matcha farms will have a set harvesting day when workers will go and pick each leaf by hand. Each set of leaves is carefully selected by thorough, skilled workers and plucked from a certain spot on the plant. This process requires a lot of focus, sharp eyes, and an extensive amount of training to be completed consistently. 

The Stems and Leaves Are Removed

Have you ever wondered why Japanese matcha powder is so smooth and silky to the touch? That’s because the stems and veins of the leaves are removed before the leaves are ground into powder.

This process requires an extra step in the matcha creation process. It even requires additional equipment and machinery. However, if you want a sweet-tasting, high-quality matcha, then this step is vital to the best matcha production. 

This makes matcha more expensive than a traditional tea blend since typically, teas are crushed or ground without taking this step. In fact, matcha prepared this way is a rarity in the tea world, and its price reflects as much. 

Matcha Must Be Packed the Right Way

If matcha isn’t packed correctly, then the sweet, delicious tea is quick to lose its delicate flavor and bright green color. In other words, all that work will go to waste in a flash. Just as the matcha plant must spend weeks in the shade due to its sensitivity to light, the same can be said for the powder it produces. If the packaging of the matcha isn’t dark and sealed properly, then the exposure to light can make matcha bitter, which is far removed from the delicate sweetness of what you’d expect. 

Matcha is also sensitive to humidity. Because Japanese matcha powder is ground into a cornstarch-like substance, humidity is one of its greatest enemies. The fine powder easily clumps if exposed to moisture, making a watertight seal imperative to keeping the matcha fresher for longer. 

Finally, matcha oxidizes. This means it will turn into a dull brown color if exposed to too much air. When the matcha oxidizes, it loses its iconic bright green color, and although you may still be able to enjoy the taste, it will lose some of its appeals.

While matcha packaging might not be the most cost-raising facet of matcha production, the attention needed for this packaging still impacts the cost. 

Hand picked green tea leaves

Supply Doesn’t Meet Demand

Historically, matcha was used for important tea ceremonies in Japan as a way to show off wealth and impress your neighbors. In today’s market, it’s become a worldwide phenomenon. It’s now available in most coffee shops as a caffeine-heavy coffee alternative for those who want a cleaner caffeine hit to start their day. 

However, because the demand for matcha has gone up due to its drastically rising popularity, the supply can’t necessarily always keep up with the demand. As more and more coffee shops use high-quality matcha in their lattes, baked goods, and more, matcha wholesale sales are at an all-time high. Matcha has a specialized production system, though, and it’s not easy to produce more and more matcha to meet the growing demand for bright green powder.

The next time you head to your local coffee shop for your matcha latte, see if the prices have gone up. You might be surprised!

Matcha Outlet

At Matcha Outlet, we’re proud to deliver high-quality matcha products to individual consumers, coffee shops, bakeries, and more at a reasonable price. We recognize that the cost of matcha is going up with the increased demand that people have for this unique green tea. If you’re a coffee shop, consider purchasing matcha wholesale from our wholesale shop.

We offer the ability to sample two of our products before purchasing, and purchasing our matcha wholesale is going to give you the best value.

 However, if you’re purchasing individually, we are proud to offer high-quality matcha at competitive prices. 

Combating rising matcha costs doesn’t have to be difficult. Purchasing through Matcha Outlet can save you time and money for a quality product you’re sure to love.