is green powdered tea. It is uniquely Japanese and is the highest
quality tea available in Japan. Matcha is the special tea that
is used in chanoyu/the Japanese Way of Tea. Traditionally, when
it is prepared, only the green powdered tea and hot water are
mixed together; nothing is added to the tea. A sweet is enjoyed
before drinking the matcha, which perfectly complements matcha's
highest quality green tea in Japan is either gyokuro, green
leaf tea, or matcha, green powdered tea. They are the same tea
leaves, but differ in the processing. For matcha, there are
two types: koicha/thick tea and usucha/thin tea. Thick tea is
higher quality than thin tea; thick tea uses the new, young
tea leaves from older tea plants and thin tea comes from the
new, young tea leaves from younger tea plants. To prepare thick
tea, there is proportionally more tea and less water and they
are blended into a creamy mixture, similar to a creamy soup.
Thick tea is concentrated, therefore, it needs to be of the
highest quality for the most delicious flavor. To prepare thin
tea, there is more water and less tea and they are whipped together
into a light and frothy mixture.
is grown primarily in the Uji area, southwest of Kyoto. The
young tea leaves are picked in early May and lightly steamed
to prevent any fermentation. This allows the tea to retain its
beautiful green color. Then the tea leaves are dried. Traditionally,
at this point, the leaves would be stored in chatsubo/tea jars
and allowed to season until November, at which time they can
be stone-ground as needed. For consistency, the leaves from
various varieties of tea plants are blended to produce the best
flavor, color, and aroma. Before being stone-ground, the leaves
are processed to obtain only the meat part of the leaf. The
stems and veins are removed so that the tea will be very fine
when ground. It takes one hour to grind somewhat less than 40g
of matcha and in the end the final weight of product is about
1/10th of the original harvest. Although clippers can be used
to harvest the tea leaves, the leaves for koicha/thick tea are
still picked by hand, one by one.
blends of matcha are given tea names/chamei either by the tea
plantation/shop or by the grand tea master of a particular Tea
tradition. After a grand tea master has given a particular tea
a name, the tea is referred to as his "okonomi," a
tea that is favored by him. MATCHAandMORE offers blends from
Koyama-en and Shorai-en whose names were given by the Grand
Masters of the Urasenke tradition: Zabosai Oiemoto, the 16th
generation and present Grand Master; his father, Housai Daisosho,
the 15th generation, and his grandfather, Tantansai, the 14th
to store matcha
protect the freshness of your matcha, always store it in the
freezer in an air-tight container or plastic bag. Before
using, bring the matcha that you will use to room temperature
and strain it through a fine sieve.
continues to support the many health benefits of green tea.
Very high in antioxidants, green tea helps to control free radicals,
which are a natural consequence of cell metabolism in the body.
Polyphenols are found in high concentrations and help in the
prevention of heart disease and cancer. Catechins, which are
a category of polyphenols, reduces LDL cholesterol and suppresses
the chemicals in the body that trigger the constriction of blood
vessels, thereby helping in the prevention of high blood pressure.
Research has shown that green tea catechins also inhibit the
growth of various types of cancer cells and have proven to be
antibacterial and antiviral. Theanine is an amino acid that
produces a tranquilizing effect in the brain and is found in
the leaves of green tea. It helps the brain produce more alpha
waves, which make it effective against tension and stress and
it increases mental focus and improves concentration. With matcha,
the actual tea leaf is consumed, which gives higher concentrations
of catechins and vitamins.