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Matcha is the tea that is used in the Japanese tea ceremony and is also used as a food flavouring and as an aid to a healthy lifestyle. Many athletes, cyclists and sports people use Matcha to help them perform better.
Matcha is made from exactly the same tea that is used to make Gyokuro tea. It can take up to an hour to ground 30g of Matcha. As with Gyokuro the tea bushes are shaded or even covered several weeks before plucking, which slows down growth and increases level of chlorophyll in the leaves turning them a dark green.
The best buds are carefully picked at harvest and it is at this point that the decision is made whether to make the tea into Gyokuro or Matcha. For Gyokuro the leaves will be rolled and to make Matcha (or Tencha) the leaves will be laid out flat. Laying the leaves flat means that they crumble as they dry and means that it is easier to remove the fibrous content of the leaves (veins and stems). Once this intricate process has taken place, the Tencha can then be very finely ground (often using a mortar and pestle) to make Matcha.
Our Matcha is ceremonial grade, which means that is of the finest quality. We specify that the leaves are from tea bushes that are over 30 years old, picked from the top of the bush, dried indoors, stone ground and will always reject any oxidised tea should preparation have gone awry.
Matcha is made using a bowl (Chawan), a bamboo whisk (Chasen) and a dosing spoon [Chashaku) 30g of Matcha powder will produce 8 bowls of thick ceremonial standard Matcha, if you prefer a lighter and more astringent tea then you can always make a Usucha which uses about half a teaspoon of Matcha to 75ml of water. For ceremonial purposes Matcha should be made to have the consistency of liquid honey whereas the Usucha is thinner. The water needs to be 70-80degrees Celsius.
Matcha can also be used mixed with milk and sugar as a drink and is used in many cakes, biscuits, ice-creams and other puddings. It can also be added to other teas, used to make lattes and milk-shakes and I’ve even seen a Matcha beer.
Matcha tea is green tea with higher levels of tianjin and chlorophyll. It is known to contain epigallocatechin gallate which is used widely in many health supplements. The main reason that Matcha helps athletes focus and perform is because the entire product is consumed, when normally brewing most teas one separates the leaves and drinks the infused liquid, with Matcha you consume the entire product, so you can see how it is quite a natural way of boosting performance levels.
Due to our stringent quality requirements, we’re proud that our Matcha has a delightful sweetness and quality of flavour that many of the lower grade Matcha’s that are available in the market are lacking. Its quality is reflected in the price. Please also be aware that if you see any cheap ‘Matcha Tea’ for sale then this is more likely to be simply ‘Powdered green tea’, will not taste as good and be best for medicinal purposes.
Brewing Hints: The tea should be whisked to a smooth consistency with no lumps and dosed as follows…
Usucha (thin tea) 1 & 3/4g tea and approx. 75ml of hot water and can be whisked to smooth or froth.
Koicha (thick tea) 3 & 3/4g tea and approx. 40ml of hot water. It is best not to ‘whisk’ this tea and to actually stir it using a whisk.
Leaf: A fine vibrantly green powder that is almost as fine as Cocoa powder
Origin: Kyoto, Japan
Characteristics: A bright green liquor with a sweet vibrant flavour
Serving Suggestions: 1) This tea is perfectly qualified for use in a formal Japanese Tea Ceremony.
2) Enjoy at home. Many people comment on the fact that the preparation of the tea, adds to the flavour and their enjoyment of the tea.
3) Make a Matcha tea to your desired strength and consistency and pour it into your water bottle for use before or during exercise.