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What is Matcha Tea?

April 01, 2021

What is Matcha Tea?

If you don't know much about matcha yet, here's the quick breakdown: matcha is Japanese green tea powder used to make a velvety smooth, luxurious hot beverage.  It's pleasurable with a smooth mouth feel, lifts the mood and delivers a lot of great health benefits.  Think of it as a high-quality instant green tea though preparing it takes a little acumen.  What does matcha taste like? Well... probably nothing like you've tasted yet but it's like drinking a comfortable walk in a green field.  

Not all matcha is comparable by a long shot.  If you want to cut to he chase, you can procure proper farm-direct ceremonial-grade organic Matcha from Kagoshima, Japan HERE.   

Matcha Green Tea Powder

Now if you're settled in for a few minutes, let me further introduce you to premium Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder.   

Bit of History

Interestingly, during the seventh and eighty centuries Japan sent several missions to China at the height of Asian cultural development.  The aim was to absorb proper culture and bring it back to Japan.  This meant learning architecture, painting, calligraphy, poetry, religion, how to make noodles :) and TEA.  You see during the Tang Dynasty the custom of the court officials was to grind the tea very finely into a powder and work with it that way in the highly developed artform known as Chadao, or "The Way of Tea" (Chado in Japanese).  I guess the Japanese were impressed and and it's been part of their culture ever since.  Why change a good thing right?  While Chinese tea farmers developed tea over the centuries into many interesting permutations worth exploring, matcha is a shining expression of this world heritage and worth your attention.   

Modern Choices

On the world market you can find two types: ceremonial and latte/culinary.  We stay away from the culinary as feel it's not worth it - not even for cooking.  Proper matcha for us can only be the ceremonial grade as it delivers what we consider the actual matcha experience.   Also, due to the shading process ceremonial grade is higher in polyphenols, theanine and anti-oxidants. So why bother with anything else?

Buyer Beware

Nowadays, tea is a commodity sold all over the world.  With a large, world-wide audience there are a lot of unscrupulous players in the market.  I've been a tea traveler of many years now and I wouldn't touch Matcha myself and certainly not sell it unless I knew it was grown properly in the right environment.  Unlike steeped tea, you are drinking the entire leaf of the tea plant, minus the stem and veins.  So whatever is in the soil is going straight into your body.  I only drink tea grown in clean soil like it should be and not from some tea fields in China I've seen sitting next to smoke-billowing factories!  Of course you would be unaware of this if you just blindly order from the internet.  Rest assured, our matcha is grown in the right area by the right people. 

Preparing

There is some variation of course, but the standard procedure is as follows:

First, measure out about a half teaspoon of matcha tea powder.  Press it through a mesh strainer into a bowl.  This step cuts down the whisking time by breaking down any clumps in the powder giving you a fine powder to start with.   

  

Kagoshima Matcha Tea

Get a bowl with tall sides to help contain vigorous whisking.  Warm your bowl up a bit with some hot water, then put in your strained matcha powder. 

matcha

 Next comes the first pouring of water.  Make sure to use bottled spring water or filtered tap water.  DO NOT use boiling water.  I prefer water temps at 140° (60°c) but certainly not higher than 160° (71°c).  Pour a little water on the powder, enough to cover.  If your tea is finely powdered by straining it's not necessary to make a muddy paste first, just put a little water in and start blending with your whisk.  If you don't have a whisk you can get one HERE. 

 

 matcha

Then, add a cup (8oz) more hot water and whisk until it reaches your desired frothiness.  It will take a few minutes.  If you prefer a little bitterness, just use a half cup (4oz) of water. 

Finally, drink directly form the bowl for the best experience.  If you're on the go though, don't be afraid to pour it into your on-the-go drinking vessel. 

Of course, there are other methods like plunging in a coffee press, or frothing it up in a milk frother.  But really, start to finish the traditional way can be done in just a few minutes!

We prefer to drink it straight since that's the only way to really taste the tea leaves from which matcha is painstakingly grown and worked, however feel free to add some milk (matcha latte) or a little sweetener. 

Storage

Storage is key to having Matcha you enjoy over the year.  Keep it sealed, out of light and it's not a bad idea to store it in the refrigerator but you don't have to.  Our Matcha is sealed directly on the farm in Kagoshima, Japan in foil Kraft paper bags.  Since they are re-sealable we feel this is ideal as there is not much air in there and it keeps outside air out.  Keep it properly and it should last a year or so after opening the seal. 

matcha benefits

If you would like to bring some authentic Kagoshima-grown, farm-direct, organic Matcha at a very attractive price anyone can afford, we have it HERE

 

 




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