FROM OUR BLOG
We are now stocking Matcha Green Tea powder. This Japanese green tea is pure and made from the whole leaf, which is ground to a fine powder. One of the benefits is that the complete nutritional value of the green leaf is intact. including a high level of anti-oxidants. The distinctive bright green colour is a result of the special growing process, in which the leaves are covered during the last few weeks of growth. The leaves are then steamed to prevent oxidation, and stone ground for hours to a remarkable fineness. The tea can be used in both hot and cold drinks, straight up, or in a ‘Matcha’ latte or smoothie. There are several important steps in preparing Matcha green tea powder drinks.
Recommended dose, 2g (1/2 tsp), once per day! This weekend we will be having a special promotion. Buy a 50g take-home package of Matcha for $25.00, receive a steamed Matcha Latte on the house.
What is matcha green tea powder?
Matcha is premium green tea powder from Japan used for drinking as tea or as an ingredient in recipes. While other green teas are grown throughout the world, matcha is unique to Japan. It is the heart of the Japanese way of tea and has been celebrated in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony for hundreds of years.
What does matcha taste like?
Chlorophyll and amino acids give matcha its unique rich taste, an initial vegetal, astringent taste, followed by a lingering sweetness. Matcha made in the traditional Japanese style, whisked with water, is a full-bodied green tea. The intensity of the experience compares to one’s first taste of dark chocolate or red wine. When added as an ingredient, the taste of matcha becomes subtler. It adds the flavor and color of green tea to your creation, be it a smoothie, latte, savory sauce or pastry.
What are the health benefits of matcha green tea?
Matcha is renowned for numerous health benefits. It is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll. It is sugar-free, an ideal drink for diabetics and others wishing to reduce their sugar intake. The health benefits of matcha exceed those of other green teas because matcha drinkers ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content.
Amino Acids in Matcha
Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to relax the mind. For this reason, matcha is also known as a mood enhancer. Buddhist monks drank matcha to assist in meditation, as matcha’s amino acids, combined with caffeine, offer a sustained calm alertness over time. Amino acids are also what gives matcha is distinctive taste. They contribute to what is known as the fifth taste, or umami, characterized by a rich creamy mouth feel.
How is matcha produced?
Matcha is grown only in Japan, where local farmers cultivate it by traditional methods, from growing to grinding. Several weeks prior to harvest in the Spring, farmers cover the tea plants with bamboo mats or tarp, gradually reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the plants. This step increases the chlorophyll content and turns the leaves dark green, giving matcha its distinct green color.
After harvesting, the leaves are steamed and then air dried. Next, the leaves are sorted for grade, and then destemmed and deveined. At this stage, the leaves become tencha, the precursor to matcha. The tencha is then ground and becomes matcha.
Tea grade matcha is ground on a stone mill to achieve a fine powder texture, unlike industrial grade matcha which is ground by machines. The stone grinding produces a specially shaped powder molecule which impacts the taste and mouth feel of the matcha.
Matcha tea production
Matcha has always been specially crafted tea in Japan, expensive and made in limited amounts since its introduction to Japan from China in the 1200’s.
The pricing of matcha in Japan is directly related to which leaves are used, where they were grown and which farmers cultivated it. When you look to buy matcha, you’ll find the most expensive ones are the greenest color and the softest in texture. This denotes that only the youngest leaves were used and de-spined (all coarse fibers, i.e. the stems, removed). Matcha is made in relatively limited quantities, and because it is so popular in Japan, relatively little remains for export.
Does matcha have caffeine?
Yes. Matcha is a type of green tea, and green tea contains caffeine. When drinking matcha, whole tea leaves are consumed (not just the steep as with other teas), providing 4 to 6 hours of mild steady energy. Matcha is both a stimulant and a relaxant, perfect for focusing on work, meditation, exercise or play.
What matcha utensils are best?
The history of matcha utensils is as old as the Japanese tea ceremony itself. Traditional utensils include a bamboo whisk (chasen), tea sifter, ceramic tea bowl (chawan) and tea scoop (chashaku). If you can choose only one, we recommend starting with a bamboo whisk, which froths the tea in the bowl and brings out the delicate flavor profiles.