Matcha tea is the super powerful green tea that’s taking the tea market by storm – especially in the UK where coffee chains such as Costa are even offering Matcha Tea Lattes. Many Western-style treats in coffee shops and supermarkets are all using matcha flavours to create a unique twist on their cookies, chocolates, mousse, green tea ice cream and even frozen yoghurt.
With various matcha blends appearing all of the time, it’s easy to get swept up in the ‘supertea’ trend. However, many of these products only provide matcha flavour and are not made with genuine high-quality matcha blends. Therefore, it’s worth looking into the true ‘magic of matcha’ tea and what lays beyond the myth.
For while Matcha tea may be the popular tea of the moment– for the Japanese, it’s a way of life, having been enjoyed by nobility and used in ceremonies since the 12th century. Nowadays, the whole population of Japan enjoys matcha tea on a regular basis.
As a speciality tea, Matcha Tea is the powdered form of green tea leaves. As a single cultivar green tea, it is exclusively grown in Japan. Made with tench leaves, it is nourished in the shade for 30 days before it is harvested and blended. This is to allow the green tea leaves to develop higher amounts of chlorophyll, caffeine and theanine.
In preparing matcha tea, the tencha leaves are first de-stemmed, de-veined and then traditionally stone-ground into a super fine, bright green talc-like powder. This is known as matcha, upon which it is then considered fit for use in a tea ceremony.
The ceremony around the preparation, serving and drinking of Matcha tea is almost spiritual in nature. Japanese people enjoy and take the preparation and use of their green matcha tea seriously. Ceremonial-grade matcha is the only type that has high enough qualities to be used, and it must undergo certain procedures to be considered high quality.
There is also a science to creating the perfect matcha tea. For it to be pure matcha tea, the matcha powder used has to be high-quality grade. After being placed through a sieve to break up clumps, a special spatula is then used to force the tea through the sieve, or a small, smooth stone can be placed on top of the sieve and then the device gently shaken.
The sieved matcha is placed into a bowl, using a traditional bamboo scoop called a chashaku. Hot but not boiling water (at around 80 degrees °C) is then added and whisked furiously, to create a fine paste. It is important that the temperature of the water be added correctly, because if it’s too hot, the temperature can burn the taste of the matcha.
Matcha tea can be bitter, so it’s sometimes served with a Japanese sweet such as wagashi (traditional plant-based confectionary) to sweeten the palate before drinking the tea. Adding more water to the tea and whisking can produce more froth, according to the drinker’s preference.
Our Matcha Tea is organically grown from a single cultivar matcha, made in Kyoto, Japan. Grown from the Shimizu Tani garden in the Uji city prefecture Kyoto, the matcha green tea is deep in colour, fresh, with a clean and intense aroma and flavour.
Kyoto is the spiritual home of matcha – and the Shimizu Tani (translated as Clear Water Ravine) has a plantation that dates back to the 17th century. Having been one of the very first to convert to organic growing in 1980, it is considered relatively small, being 30 acres in size.
If you are looking for a traditional high-quality matcha tea packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, our Ceremonial Matcha Powder Is the perfect addition to your tea collection.
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