New to Matcha? - Everything you ever wanted to know about Matcha
What is Matcha?
Matcha is 100% stone-ground, finely milled Japanese green tea. Pure and simple, just premium quality tea leaves, nothing added, nothing taken away. What makes matcha different from other teas is that it contains more antioxidants (in fact 110x more than regular green tea) and nutrients, hence making it one of the best superfoods!
However, not any green tea leaves can become matcha. First of all, true matcha comes only from Japan - not China, Taiwan or Korea. The others are just low grade powdered green tea. Even in Japan, only select tea farmers accustomed to traditional growing methods are able to produce high quality matcha.
Premium quality matcha is a highly prized item in Japanese culture, primarily because of its role in the Japanese tea ceremony, also called Chanoyu. Hence, its status is elevated compared to other teas. A similar analogy in the West would be Premium Beluga Caviar compared to other foods, or Rolls Royce to other cars. Of course, cheaper and low quality matcha are also available from Japan but these are mainly for cooking, making green tea ice-cream or smoothies - never to be drunk straight as a shot.
In Japan, matcha has been drunk mainly by royalties, nobles, samurais and Buddhist monks for the last 900 years. And in the West, matcha is being drunk by royalties and celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Eva Longoria, Danii Minogue, Dr. Oz (USA) to name but a few, who are health conscious and know that matcha gives them a boost of calming energy, whilst increasing their metabolism and maintaining a great figure!
Now not only celebrities, royalties and monks can enjoy the benefits of matcha … it is perfect for the hardworking professional who needs that boost to meet that deadline, the busy mom who needs some calming energy at the end of the day, the sports person who needs to make their training for efficient or the student who needs to sharpen the focus and concentration studying for an exam! Matcha is perfect for all these occasions! More on Matcha Health Benefits (Click Here).
Where is Matcha produced?
True genuine premium quality matcha is only produced in Japan, in 4 main areas: Uji/Kyoto, Shizuoka, Nishio and Sayama. Matcha produced in Uji / Kyoto are recognised in Japan to be the best. Kyoto is also known as the birthplace of green tea in Japan.
Other countries such as China and Korea also produces powdered green tea but these are NOT matcha. These are lower grades powdered green tea or imitation matcha which are inferior in quality, flavour and nutrients. The tea are not shaded or steamed among other things, which are essential in the production of good matcha for its flavour and unique nutrients.
Premium quality matcha is so highly prized and sought after in Japan, that only about 4% of premium quality matcha is exported internationally. In the UK, the demand for matcha has grown gradually since 2010 but this is set to increase as we are beginning to understand the true value of matcha, the 'secret' tea from Japan.
How is Matcha produced?
Premium Matcha is only grown in selected traditional tea farmers in Japan who knows the traditional methods of growing and cultivating high quality matcha, which is to be used in the Japanese tea ceremony. Only special green tea leaves which has been shaded for at least 20-30 days by traditional methods before harvesting, are selected.
Our Extra Premium Grade Matcha are made from specially handpicked young leaves by skilled farmers so you will get only the highest quality sweet tasting matcha. Once the green tea (matcha) leaves are selected, they are then steamed, deveined and sorted. The leaves are then dried before they are slowly stone-ground or milled into a superfine powder. An hour of stone-milling only yields about 40g of matcha. This is done slowly because if it is done any faster, it will burn the tea making it bitter and losing all its antioxidants and nutrients. This is the main difference with low quality or imitation matcha where the matcha is mass produced by conventional grounding or 'blender' which will burn all the nutrient or antioxidant contents of the tea leaves.