FAQ

Orders / Shipping / Ecommerce

  • Do you ship globally?

    Yes, we have customers all over the world.

  • Do you offer free shipping and returns?

    Yes! We try to eliminate all barriers to enjoying this gorgeous matcha.

  • Can I call you to place an order or ask a question? Text?

    Yes, absolutely -- call us anytime at 415-462-3313 and we'll be happy to place an order manually for you. We're working on a feature that allows texting ... please stay tuned!

  • Can I pick up my order at your office?

    Absolutely -- we love it when we get to meet you in person. We're in beautiful San Anselmo, CA, and are generally here from 9 to 5.

  • I’ve heard you have occasional sales and in-person events … how do I find out about them?

    Easy -- just sign up here (INSERT LINK). We have all kinds of cool stuff going on if you're local (SF Bay Area): musical performances, ceramics sales, book/author events, summer parties ... and of course discounted matcha (even if you're not local; we love offering our regular customers discounted matcha).

  • How do I use my store credit (assuming you've issued some)?

    Once you've been issued store credit, and you want to use it for your next purchase, just be sure to be logged in as you BEFORE you start shopping (otherwise the software can't know it's you, and won't "see" the credit). At checkout, it will autodeduct this amount from your total with no further effort on your end.


  • General Matcha Questions

  • Free samples?

    Alas, no. We do however have 4g “flights” of matcha here, so that you can taste all of our matcha without much of a commitment.

  • What’s your recommended daily intake? Is there such a thing as too much matcha?

    Most people can tolerate, and indeed thrive on, 2 to 3 servings per day, with “serving” referring to a gram of matcha. A three-gram drink would thus be considered three servings. Eric typically has between 5 and 10g daily, and many of our customers do as many as 15-20g per day. We encourage folks to find their own optimal daily amount. There is no known toxicity level; it’s one of the safest, and oldest, beverages in the world.

  • Why the name "breakaway?

    It started with Eric’s second cookbook, “The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen,” a book that focused on Japanese ingredients but “broke away” from canonical approaches. Breakaway Matcha departs from the traditional world of matcha with a focus on extreme quality and a commitment to a daily and mindful enjoyment of this astoundingly beautiful drink, typically prepared with water only.

  • Is "ceremonial" matcha somehow better? Is it even real?

    This term has lost most of its meaning. Because there is no governing body of any type that monitors/controls what can be labeled ceremonial, anyone can -- and does -- use this moniker to connote quality, even though much of the “ceremonial” matcha on the marketplace is in fact barely culinary -- much of it could be better described as “industrial.”

    Moreover, many tea ceremonies in Japan notoriously serve sub-par matcha. In the end, many of the ceremonies aren’t really about tea at all, they’re about choreography and pedigree. Sometimes the teas are tasty, but more often they’re oxidized and bitter and astringent; hallmarks of culinary (or worse) matcha.

  • Can matcha help stabilize blood sugar levels?

    Matcha does indeed help stabilize blood sugar levels, making it ideal for diabetics. There appears to be a direct connection between antioxidant activity and hypoglycemic activity. The natural sugars (polysaccharides) in matcha help to stabilize blood sugar levels, and to protect against insulin spikes, thus stabilizing blood sugar levels. Polysaccharides from green tea in concentrated form are used in the treatment of diabetes in China.

  • I've heard good things about matcha increasing good bacteria and inhibiting bad bacteria. True?

    Matcha has huge quantities of polyphenols — the naturally occurring compounds found in the tea plant that are thought to be responsible for some of the health effects conferred by a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. These polyphenols get broken down by our gut bacteria into bioactive, polyphenol-derived metabolites.

    Not only do polyphenols increase counts of beneficial bacteria, they also inhibit growth of potentially pathogenic bacteria. And they do something similar to the bacteria in the mouth that cause plaque, which is one reason (among others) why dentists in Japan promote drinking matcha.

  • Does good matcha really give you better breath?

    Really! And not just compared with shall-we –charitably-call-it unpleasant coffee breath. The catechin blast of matcha acts as a kind of sterilizing agent. A cup of matcha after a meal retards the growth of germs, which cause periodontal disease and halitosis (bad breath). It also protects the tooth enamel. Dentists LOVE matcha.

  • I've heard good matcha can actually improve my immune system. Really?

    A recent study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that drinking matcha everyday greatly enhanced the overall response of the immune system. The exceedingly high levels of antioxidants in matcha mainly take the form of polyphenols, catechins, and flavonoids, each of which aids the body's defense in its daily struggles against free radicals that come from the pollution in your air, water and foods. On a practical level this can mean fewer colds and better protection against viruses.

  • Can matcha help relieve stress?

    Yes, it can. Matcha has insanely high amounts of a specific amino acid called L-theanine, which has strong associations with the production of alpha waves in the brain. When L-theanine is absorbed into the bloodstream, dopamine and serotonin levels tend to rise, which often produce alpha waves, which often produce feelings of well-being, general happiness, relaxation, and alertness.

  • Will your matcha help me lose weight?

    By itself, with no other lifestyle changes? Doubtful. But: several key studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that quality matcha has thermogenic properties (thermogenesis is the rate at which the human body burns calories), and that exercising immediately after drinking matcha resulted in 25% more fat burning during exercise. So, with a mindset of increased movement and, better food (nutritionally dense foods), having work you enjoy, and healthy relationships, keeping the whole thing sane and conscious using mindfulness techniques, sure, matcha can help you lose weight.

  • What’s so special about your matcha? Why is it more expensive than matcha in the supermarket or Amazon?

    Well … Eric’s long tenure in Japan resulted in some special relationships with some pretty obsessed farmers and processors who are driven primarily by the pursuit of excellence. Some are 25th-generation, same family, same land, same teas. None of the processes are scalable, and all are limited production. The teas have so much umami and complexity. They charge higher prices than everyone else does, but when you taste the teas, you’ll know why. We don’t mind paying higher prices for quality at these levels.

  • Do I really need to refrigerate my matcha? How long can it sit out, unrefrigerated)?

    Yes, you do. It will keep it vibrant for much, much longer. It can, however, sit out, at room temp, for a week or even two. The default storage, however, should be cold.

  • If I’m just making a smoothie, does it matter which matcha I use?

    You should use a culinary matcha for smoothies; the large number of ingredients means that you won’t be able to taste the difference, and the nutritional profile is similar … might as well use the less-expensive matcha.

  • Is there much scientific/medical research being done on matcha?

    Oh good lord yes! Check out our Research Database -- to our knowledge, it’s the only place on the entire internet with matcha/green tea specific links to clinical studies.

  • I’ve heard you make an “enhanced” matcha -- what is that?

    https://breakawaymatcha.com/journal/enhanced-matcha-anyone/

  • What’s the difference between “thick” and “thin” matcha?

    https://breakawaymatcha.com/thick-or-thin-matcha/

  • Can I make a “bulletproof” matcha?

    Yes! The classic Dave Asprey bulletproof coffee uses a refined MCT oil called Brain Octane, plus grass-fed butter, and sometimes things like collagen powder and glutathione are added. You can simply use matcha instead of coffee. We like preparing a version that we call “enhanced” matcha.”

  • Is adding milk to matcha a bad idea?

    Well, it depends. If you’re drinking matcha for the health benefits, it’s definitely a bad idea. What happens is that the caseins in milk “stick” to the polyphenols in matcha, and make them bio-unavailable (ie they get peed out instead of absorbed by the body). But if you’re healthy and don’t care as much, and just enjoy matcha with milk, go for it! The bonus is that you can, and should, use a lower quality / less-expensive matcha for milky drinks, because the fats and sugars in milk will mask the astringency and bitter taste of culinary matcha and actually make it taste good. It’s a waste to use milk in hyperpremium matcha though; you’ll most be tasting milk and will miss the many lovely nuances of fine matcha.

  • How can I avoid clumps in my matcha?

    Easy -- sift it first. With a sieve like this one.

  • Does water temperature really matter?

    Yes, water temperature is utterly critical to making great matcha, for both coldbrew and warm drinks. Get the basics of water temp and matcha here.

  • Do I really need the “right” tools to make matcha properly?

    Alas, you do need good tools to make good hot matcha. A sieve is key; our matcha is so finely ground (5 microns) that static electricity makes it clump together. Pushing it through a sieve dispels that electricity and creates a supercreamy brew with no clumping. A bamboo scoop isn’t totally necessary, but it is ideally shaped to both grab a serving of matcha from the jar, and for pushing the matcha through the sieve. We prefer the electric frother to the traditional whisk (it really does create better crema when used properly) as well. It’s pretty much impossible to make great matcha without these tools.

  • Can I drink matcha during pregnancy?

    Always consult with your obgyn on matters concerning specific foods. While many women prefer not to consume any caffeine at all during pregnancy, many can tolerate the small amounts of caffeine in matcha (25mg caffeine per gram of matcha). Many pregnant women in Japan continue to drink all kinds of green tea during pregnancy.

  • Can I use hyperpremium to make coldbrew, and coldbrew to make hot matcha?

    Yes to both. While the hyprepremium will make absolutely delicious coldbrew, the coldbrew will have some bitterness and astringency if prepared hot. Some people like this, however! And if you’re adding dairy or nutmilks, the coldbrew is fantastic hot.

  • What’s the difference between the hyperpremium and the coldbrew?

    Location on the tea plant, mainly. Hyperpremium is the baby leaves; we only use the newest growth. Imagine baby vegetables, baby herbs, microgreens. They haven’t had much time to develop much molecular complexity, so there are no bitter or astringent notes, just clean, chlorophyll-packed umami. Leaves used for coldbrew are slightly older, and have a little more biocomplexity to them. That complexity does add some bitterness and astringency, but it’s undetectable when prepared with ice water, so it tastes rich and creamy. Yields are tiny for the hyperpremium, and yields are bigger with coldbrew (the leaves themselves weigh more, and are larger, hence bigger yields).

  • Why do you call your matcha “blends?”

    Easier to read it here.

  • Should I be buying your organic matcha? Does it matter?

    Some people insist on organic (generally for good reasons), so we searched hard for years and finally found what we feel is the tastiest and best organic matcha in the domestic Japanese market. However, our conventionally grown matcha is utterly safe, and it tends to taste better because its umami/amino acid structure is more pronounced.

  • What’s the difference between good matcha and bad matcha?

    https://breakawaymatcha.com/good-matcha-bad-matcha/

  • What’s the typical shelf life?

    We’ve done 1, 2, 3, and 4-year experiments with leaving matcha alone, in glass, in freezers, and tasting it at yearly intervals. Matcha stored properly like this lasts far longer than you’d expect -- a minimum of two years, but really it’s more like four. That said, it does taste better when it’s freshly milled.

  • Does decaf matcha exist?

    No. Not for real, actual matcha anyway.

  • How much caffeine does it have?

    About 25mg per gram (a rounded half-teaspoon) of matcha. By comparison, a cup of brewed coffee from Starbucks has about 150mg. So roughly a sixth of a cup of coffee. If you make a thicker 2g cup (rounded teaspoon) of matcha, it’s still only about a third as much caffeine as brewed coffee.

  • Is there anything in your matcha besides matcha?

    No. No sugar, additives, or any other nonsense. It’s 100% extraordinary green tea leaves, ground up into a fine powder.

  • Why is your matcha so expensive?

    Mainly because the farmers and processors care so much; their processes take longer, require more steps, and are just harder. They’re pretty obsessed with producing Japan’s tastiest and healthiest matcha, and we don’t mind paying them well for the extraordinary product they produce. Rarity comes into it as well -- some blends, especially the named blends (Rikyu, SE, Hikari, and Daphne) have extremely limited production. These teas are hard to produce.

  • Where does your matcha come from?

    Japan. Most of it comes from specific microterroirs in Uji, just outside Kyoto, but we do offer several matcha from Kagoshima and Nishio as well.

  • How many times do you harvest per year?

    Just once. Most matcha purveyors do 2, 3, and even more harvests annually. The first one is the best.

  • Is there anyone who *shouldn’t* drink matcha?

    People who can’t tolerate any caffeine at all shouldn’t have matcha, even though it’s very lightly caffeinated (25mg caffeine per gram of matcha)

  • Do I need to be concerned about radiation or lead?

    No. We’ve tested for cesium and other radiation every year since the 2011 Fukushima accident, and we’re clear. We’ve also tested (third party) for lead and other heavy metals. None of have been detected.