What is Matcha?
What is Matcha Powder?
Matcha literally means powdered tea in Japanese, Ma = powder, Cha = Tea.
But, exactly what is matcha tea? Matcha is the green tea powder from the green tea leaves, from the plant called Camellia Sinensis.
Matcha green tea powder is unique to Japan, and it has been celebrated in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony for almost a millennium. Actually, matcha is the only tea that is used for Japanese tea ceremony.
Matcha tea originated in Uji, Japan, the true birthplace of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Place where Buddhist monks have been drinking matcha for over a thousand years to meditate, and exactly where Samurai warriors consumed matcha to get physical energy!
The Careful Process of Matcha
What is Matcha Tea & How is Matcha Tea Grown and Cultivated
What makes matcha so unique? Well, the way of growing, harvesting and processing the tea leaves, which are called Tencha, is what makes matcha green tea powder unique. Matcha growing and cultivation will determine the different qualities of matcha.
Our Matcha begins its process in the Ogura area in the region of Uji, Japan. Where the very best matcha is grown and cultivated!
In here, the leaves are exposed to direct sunlight, where they accumulate an enormous amount of catechins, a type of antioxidant - that's why matcha has the #1 antioxidant-capacity in the world. Later on, just before the leaves are harvested, they are covered for 20 to 30 days with bamboo tarps – not all of them, some just place a screen on top, and some not at all, but good quality Matcha must be shade-grown with the Tana technique of shading. It is precisely this, which inhibits photosynthesis in the tea leaves and allows matcha leaves to produce a vast amount of chlorophyll, which explains the vibrant green color that is so characteristic of good quality matcha green tea.
Later the leaves are hand-picked in the first harvest of the year, deveined, steamed, air dried, and ultimately milled under a stone. Sounds easy? Well, matcha cultivation is labor intensive, and a very careful process. That's why our direct trade supplier makes the highest quality of fair trade matcha in Japan.
Pure matcha really manages to create a perfect balance between bitterness and sweetness. While under the sun, the leaves fill with antioxidants, which brings in the pleasantly bitter flavor of matcha. Then, it is thanks to the Tana shade growing, that good quality matcha can reach sweet after notes, this thanks to the accumulation of aminoacids while being under the shade, and that sweetness that remains in your mouth afterward is what Japanese people refer to as Umami, which in Japanese means savoriness. But, in our case, we prefer to call it “Oishii” which translates as Delicious!
So what is matcha tea and what makes matcha so great? It is not just its unique and fine flavor, but also knowing that matcha green tea has amazing health benefits!
Matcha Tea IS Great For You!
Remember those antioxidants called catechins we mentioned before? Well, turns out that they are fantastic for your health! And the same with amino acids, especially the L-theanine, which acts as a natural stress reliever!
That is why, matcha has been consumed for hundreds of years by Japanese monks, Emperors, Samurais and nowadays, ordinary people like you and me, to boost the health of their mind and bodies!
What is Matcha Tea Good For? Health Benefits of Matcha Powder
- Boosting Your Metabolism
- Providing Sustained Long-Lasting Energy Without Jitters
- Strenghtening Your Immune System
- Lowering Cholesterol
- Promoting Concentration and Relaxation
- Sharpening Your Mind and Helping You Keep Focus
- Protecting and Preventing Skin Damage and Anti-Aging
- Aiding Weight Loss
- Detoxing Your Body
- Being Antimicrobial and Anti-Bacterial
Just to mention a few… you can read more about the health benefits of matcha green tea here.
Want to find yet another reason why Matcha is so great?
You don’t need to just drink Matcha, but you can also eat Matcha. And yes, you can even use Matcha on your body.
Are you thinking now, even more, what is matcha tea ?!
It is very easy to drink or eat matcha green tea powder because you can pretty much add it to your favorite combinations and it will likely taste great. Plus, you don’t need to wait until it is brewed to be able to drink it, like regular tea. It is as easy as to pour some of the matcha green powder in your favorite to-go-cup with some water, give it a good shake, and you are all ready to take your daily dose of health benefits and amazing taste!
What a great superfood! That is why it is the Number 1 in Antioxidants in the world!
Not only it makes you feel great because it is all natural and healthy, but matcha is also incredibly versatile in the kitchen. And the limit is really your creativity, as matcha goes well with both savory and sweet foods. For some inspiration, please visit our Recipe blog.