Matcha is a fine powdered green tea, a unique product that has been used for centuries in Japan, introduced by Buddhist monks as a mystical medicinal drink.
The higher the grade of Matcha, the greater the number of tender apical buds used, the brighter the colour green, the higher the yield and the softer and sweeter the flavour.
Matcha is however much more than a tea. It is well known and appreciated by chefs, confectionery masters, ice-cream makers and barmen as a versatile and refined ingredient.
A month before harvesting, tea fields are shaded to develop a higher chlorophyll content and keep the dark green colour and the softness of leaves. The freshest leaves and buds are picked by hand at the beginning of May.
The picked leaves are steamed to stop the natural oxidation process – then dried and cooled.
The resulting dried product is the rough tea traditionally called Aracha.
The rough tea is cut into small pieces by machine and twigs and stems are removed, together with old leaves.
The resulting pure tea leaves are known as Tencha. Tencha is then ground by stone grind mills, skillfully prepared by hand by master craftsmen, to produce the ultra-fine green powder we know as Matcha. After the final inspection and quality control, Matcha is packed and shipped the same day. Matcha is prepared by quickly whisking the powder with warm water in a large stoneware bowl – cha-wan- with the cha-sen, a handmade bamboo whisker, until green foam forms.
Unlike black tea and green tea, since you are ingesting the green tea leaves when you drink Matcha you are receiving the full benefits of all the nutrients and antioxidants in the leaves (vitamins, polyphenols, caffeine, minerals).
Matcha is unparalleled in its health benefits, and we can indeed call it “the green tea with superpowers ».