What is Matcha?

 

Created over 800 years ago by Buddhist monks as a meditation drink, Matcha tea is one of the world’s most exciting rediscoveries and is considered Japan’s rarest and most precious variety of tea. To drink the tea, you pour water onto the Matcha tea powder and whisk it with a bamboo whisk. The result? A uniquely creamy, rich and delicious green tea… unlike anything you have ever tasted.

 

Matcha Cup

History

 

This style of tea originated in China over 800 years ago.  It was a fashionable method of tea preparation, and it reflects the refined lifestyle of that time.

The most popular way to prepare the tea was the so called "whipped tea" method. Tea was first ground into fine powder with a stone mill or mortar, then placed inside a tea bowl. To the powder they added hot water after which, the mixture was whipped with a bamboo whisk until froth appeared on the tea surface.

An influential Japanese Buddhist monk by the name of Eisai, on a trip to China in the late 1180s, became enchanted with two important Chinese practices: Zen Buddhism and whisking tea. When he came back to Japan, he devoted the rest of his life to writing about and teaching both zen and (what we now know as) Matcha. The Japanese loved this type of tea so much that it is still very much alive and present in today`s Japan in the form of japanese tea ceremony also called Chanoyu. Sen no Rikyu, also known simply as Rikyū, is considered the historical figure with the most profound influence on Chanoyu. Read more about Rikyū in our journal

Matcha Ceremony

 

Effect

 

Anyone who drinks matcha consumes the tea leaf in its entirety (as a powder dissolved in the water) and thus also all the substances contained within the tea leaf.  

Matcha tea contains catechins, polyphenols and amino acids, including L-Theanine. Due to the long period of shading the leaves undergo, an especially high presence of L-Theanine can develop, which can not be found in any other type of tea. These amino acids have a calming effect and give the invigorating character of the tea’s caffeine a gentle note. Amongst other things Matcha boosts metabolism, detoxifies, naturally calms the mind and relaxes the body, is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins... and last but not least, enhances the mood and aids in concentration.

What’s more, matcha also offers the highest known value of cell-protecting antioxidants in any natural product, making it a true fountain of youth.

 

Matcha powder

 

Production

 

The tea bushes used for Matcha are nowadays covered with nets at least a few weeks before the harvest. This means the plants develop deep green coloured leaf and also higher nutritional values and sensory quality of green tea. After the picked leaves have withered they are steamed and dried. In the processing the stem and vein of the leaf are removed… what remains of the leaf after is a tender, flake-like leaf tissue, known as “Tencha”. In the final step the leaves are then milled into Matcha exclusively in granite stone grinders to create an ultra-fine powder.

There are three main criteria to distinguish between qualities: aroma, appearance and ingredients.

In our shop you can purchase three organic Matcha in three different qualities:

  • For Cooking: Green LanternOur culinary matcha Green Lantern is a real hero, imparting a radiant green glow and the delicious bittersweetness of pure, stone-milled Japanese green tea to your favorite recipes.

  • For Daily use: Shinto Matcha. Only the tender leaves of shaded tencha, rich in amino acids, are ground by traditional stone mills to yield this authentic matcha.Our Shinto matcha is perfect to get started with Matcha: High quality with an affordable price.

  • For Ceremonial use: Konomi Do. In the Japanese "Way of Tea," the presiding tea master selects their favored matcha for students to use in study – the konomi. Our Konomi Do is a wonderful example of everything we love about matcha: playful sweetness of sugar snap peas, creamy mouthfeel, and delicately toasty finish. This matcha is for special occasions.

 

Preparation

 

For a traditional Chanoyu tea ceremony originally there were nine essential tools needed. For a modern day Matcha aficionado, however, the following four will totally do the trick:

 

Step 1

Using a tea scoop, measure out your matcha powder by portioning 2 rounded scoops into a handheld mesh strainer.

Matcha Preparation Step 1

 

Step 2

Position over your tea bowl and, like sifting cake flour, gently push the powder through the strainer to remove any lumps.

Matcha Preparation Step 2

 

Step 3

Add about 60 ml (2 fl oz) of warm water. We recommend using filtered water to allow your tea’s aroma to really shine. Feel free to experiment with brewing temperatures: cooler water towards 70° C (165° F) will bring forth a sweeter, milder matcha, while hotter temperatures of 80° C (175° F) will emphasize bolder, more full-bodied flavors.

Matcha Preparation Step 3

 

Step 4

Chasen in hand, vigorously whisk your matcha from the wrist in m-shaped – not circular – motions.

Matcha Preparation Step 4

 

Step 5

After about 15 seconds your bowl should be filled with that prized, jade-green foam for you to enjoy. We recommend softening the delicate bamboo bristles of your chasen before each use by placing it head down in hot water.

Matcha Preparation Step 5

Learn more about the right preparation of Matcha in our journal.

 

Recommendations

 

    • You can find numerous delicious recipes from matcha latte to matcha ice cream in our journal. One of our recommendations is doing a Matcha Cold-brew or mixing it with Vodka and Ginger beer for a refreshing summer cocktail. More in our journal.

    • In the kitchen, the unique aromatic components of matcha make it an extraordinary ingredient in cooking and baking. Try our culinary Matcha Green Lantern to “green” your meals.

    • Get a relaxed start on Matcha with our Matcha Starter Kit. The kit includes all necessary tools and our delicate Shinto Matcha and make it easy for you to create your own first bowl of Matcha

Matcha Tools