Should I Be Refrigerating My Matcha?


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Should I Be Refrigerating My Matcha?

Postby Katmandu » Feb 21st, '08, 14:37

Hi, I bought some matcha from Ippodo a few weeks ago and have kept it in a kitchen cabinet...I was just reading about matcha at 2 different sites and they say to refrigerate it... Is this true? About how long will my matcha last? How do I know if its old? Thanks :D
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Postby Wesli » Feb 21st, '08, 15:13

I've found it to be perfect throughout the timespan of a month, then slowly degrade after that. I usually give up on it after two months.

Cold storage is for before you open the bag, once open, it should be kept outside the fridge at room temperature.

When the Ippodo matcha gets old, it loses some of it's buttery-creamy smoothness and develops something of an unpleasant roasty/woodsy taste.
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Postby Space Samurai » Feb 21st, '08, 15:31

How do you know if its old:

Let's take a look at these two unsifted matcha, a and b.

a
Image

b
Image

Ignore the difference in color, because variations in lighting can largely account for the difference. Look at the texture. Matcha a looks coarse, hard, lots and lots of clumps, where as matcha b has a lighter, fluffier look.

I'm still new to matcha, but it seems to me that there is a big difference. Mathca a did not have a vibrant or fesh taste that I usually get with matcha. In my opinion, tea is "fresh" as long as it tastes good.

Should you refrigerate. I don't think so. I might refregirate an unopened can, and if I did, I would leave it out of the fridge for several hours till it reached room temperature before opening it.

Matcha often comes in either 20, 30, or 40 grams. I've seen 100, but unless you use a lot, I wouldn't buy that much at one time. A serving of usucha, thin tea, is about 2 grams, so you only get 10-20 bowls of matcha from one container, less if you're making koicha, thick tea. You should be able to finish a tin of matcha long before it gets too old, so in my opinion, the risks of storing an opened container of matcha in the fridge far out-weigh any potential benefits.
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Postby Katmandu » Feb 21st, '08, 17:59

thanks Wes and Space ...looks like it will remain in my cabinet with the rest of my teas :)
still has that buttery creamy smoothness to it..mmmm...gotta love it :D
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Postby inspectoring » Feb 22nd, '08, 01:33

I would like to respectfully disagree... I have been told repeatedly by my dealer that the high grade mstcha should be refrigerated at all times... I believe Ito- en recommends the same.
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Postby Space Samurai » Feb 22nd, '08, 02:18

The problem with this is condensation. You take a cold tin out and open it up, that high grade matcha can get mucked up by moisture.
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Postby Wesli » Feb 22nd, '08, 02:20

Loose odors in the fridge will also greatly affect opened matcha.
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Postby Chip » Feb 22nd, '08, 02:40

...which is why everyone should have a TeaFridge!!!!!
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Postby inspectoring » Feb 22nd, '08, 19:57

so what is the general agreement?
To put the matcha in the fridge or not?
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Postby Mary R » Feb 22nd, '08, 20:11

Not.
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Postby Proinsias » Feb 22nd, '08, 20:28

........................unless it's unopened.............................................and left for a bit afterwords........
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Postby Proinsias » Feb 22nd, '08, 20:29

.............................and you have a dedicated tea fridge.....................
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Postby Mary R » Feb 22nd, '08, 20:35

Well, yeah...there are those qualifiers.

But really...if you have matcha, will it be around long enough to worry about refrigeration?
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Postby Proinsias » Feb 22nd, '08, 20:40

Probably not but it is comforting to know that teachat offers advice for those who have excessive amounts of high grade matcha .
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Postby Proinsias » Feb 22nd, '08, 20:41

......and a dedicated tea fridge.
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