Matcha is green tea that has been finely ground to a consistency similar to that of talcum powder. It is produced from the tea bush, camellia sinensis and ranges in colour from a dull sage to vivid bright green. It is graded from what is commonly known as culinary blend to the finest high quality ceremonial tea. The brighter the green indicates the higher the quality.
Pre harvest, for the last 20 to 30 days of growth, a Tana canopy is erected to shade the tea plants and help prevent the tiny new shoots from getting weather damaged. The shading helps slow down growth allowing the nutrients and Thiamine to flow into the buds. This process also assists in the formation of chlorophyll and amino acids which create the flavour. The higher grade matcha teas have a more intense sweeter, deeper taste. Tea bushes older than 30 years of age produce an even milder and sweeter tea and are generally reserved for exclusive use in Japanese tea ceremonies.
The best quality matcha tea is picked by hand so that only the finest, soft and supple leaves are selected. It is gently steamed to prevent oxidation, dried and then stone ground into a powder. The slow process of hand grinding can take up to an hour to make 30 grams.
Preparation of Matcha
In order to enjoy matcha tea at its best, take care when brewing your tea that the water temperature is between 70-85 degrees Celsius. Add between 60-80mls of water and whisk until the powder is completely dissolved. Use 1-2 grams of Matcha per cup according to personal preference.
Traditionally matcha was only used to make tea but nowadays it is used in a variety of ways. You can add it to smoothies, lattes and use it in cakes, cheese cakes and green tea ice cream. Browse our range of free recipes for some Matcha inspiration!
Matcha for Health
When drinking matcha the whole leaf is dissolved so unlike regular green teas that are steeped in hot water, you digest the entire leaf and reap all the benefits in a small quantity. Studies have shown that drinking matcha can improve your metabolism and assist in weight loss. For more information on the many health benefits of matcha, click here.