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About Matcha

   


What is Matcha

Matcha is Japanese powdered green tea traditionally drank at tea ceremonies. Matcha dates back to the early Kamakura period (1185-1333) when a Buddhist monk brought tea plants to Japan from China. Tea is now grown in many places in Japan, but one of the most prominent ones is Uji.

Uji tea is high-quality tea grown in 4 prefectures, Kyoto, Nara, Shiga, and Mie, processed in Kyoto using the original Uji method, and Uji matcha is well known for its history, quality and delicious flavors.



How is Matcha grown

Matcha is made of shaded green tea. This means that once the new buds start to appear on tea plants, they are covered to avoid direct sunlight. This prevents L-Theanine from turning into Catechin, so the tea tastes mild, has rich Umami and less astringency. This is the same way as leaves for gyokuro tea are grown, but the processing is different.


How is Matcha made

After steaming and drying, the leaves are ready. At this stage, the tea is called tencha. After careful selection, only the best leaves are ground into matcha powder by granite millstones. This is now done with electrically operated granite mills capable of grounding …. kgs of matcha a day. The size of the grounded tea leaves is …., which makes matcha an extremely fine powder. There is no additional ingredient or flavoring in tea, quality ceremonial matcha, only the green tea leaves themselves.

 

Health benefits

Green teas, in general, are very unique drinks that have many health benefits. You can read more about it in our blog post: What are the health benefits of green tea?, but matcha is special even amongst green teas, with more and stronger effects on our health. As the whole leaves are consumed instead of just the infusion, all its effects can be taken advantage of.

 

High Caffeine content

Green tea is known for the caffeine in it, but in case of matcha the content is why higher and the effect much stronger.

It is highly recommended for people with heart troubles to drink matcha instead of coffee, for one bowl (2 g powder) matcha contains the same level of caffeine as an espresso, but thanks to the …. (L-theanine? Catechin?) in the tea it takes effect more gradually, does not lie as heavy on the heart and the refreshing effect is more balanced and last longer.


High Vitamin content

Green tea contains many vitamins, but some of them are not water-soluble, so they are not benefited from when drinking the tea infusions. These vitamins enter the body when drinking matcha, so they also take full effect. For example, Vitamin A (β-carotene) is non-water soluble and has a strong skin moisturizing effect, while also very good for strengthening respiratory & digestive organs.

With matcha you can take full advantage of the other vitamins and minerals in tea as well:

High Mineral content

High Minowarin content

High in Amino Acids

 

Drinking 1-2 bowls of matcha daily can be very beneficial for one’s body, but due to its strong stimulating effect, more than 3-4 cups a day is not recommended.

 

Expiration and storage

In Japan, the ‘best-before’ date for matcha tea is controlled by law: real, quality matcha is best within 6-8 months of production.

After opening a matcha can it is best to use within one month.

Matcha tea doesn’t spoil, but with time (especially after exposure to oxygen) it loses flavor and color. To prevent that from happening faster, the correct storing is crucial.

Daily use: Store in a dry, cool place.

Used twice a week (or less):

Always store matcha away from strong spices, for it easily takes up other flavors.

 

Don’t be confused by the ‘best-before-date’

 


Preparing Matcha

There are two ceremonial ways to prepare matcha:
 

Needed tea tools: 

Chawan (tea bowl)  ●  Chasen (tea whisk)  ●  Chashaku (tea scoop) or teaspoon 

●  matcha sifter  ●  pitcher or measuring cup


▶︎ USUCHA  (thin tea) - More for daily use

Step 1)  Warm up tea bowl with hot water, then dry it with a clean cloth.

Step 2)  Sift 2 g (0.4 US tsp or 2 chashaku scoop) matcha powder into the warm and dry tea bowl.

Step 3)  Pour 70 ml (2.3 fl. oz.) 80℃ (176°F) water over the matcha powder.

Whisk with a suitable chasen (tea whisk) until foamy.

 

 

▶︎ KOICHA  (thick tea) - Highest grade matcha made for ceremonies

Step 1)  Warm up tea bowl with hot water, then dry it with a clean cloth.

Step 2)  Sift 4 g (0.8 US tsp or 4 chashaku scoop) matcha powder into the warm and dry tea bowl.

Step 3)  Pour 15 ml (0.5 fl. oz.) 80℃ (176°F) water over the matcha powder.

Step 4)  Gently knead with a suitable chasen (tea whisk) until all lumps are gone.

Step 5)  Repeat steps 3 and 4.

TIP:

 

Various matcha blends in Sazen Tea offer

At Sazen Tea, we value the importance of offering only the finest Uji matcha produced exclusively in Japan. The brands we carry are highly acclaimed for their premium quality and rich history. They all have their own tea factories and mills, where they grind matcha by granite mills, producing the highest quality traditional matcha.

 

Marukyu-Koyamaen

One of Japans most prominent tea producers, with a long history of tea manufacturing and many prized teas. The quality of their tea is so high it is selected by “iemoto” or grand tea masters, Japanese restaurants and tea lovers.

➢  Marukyu-Koyamaen matcha in our portfolio: 51

 

Hekisuien

Dating back to 1867, Hekisuien provided high-quality Uji Matcha tea for generations.

Their proprietary product name, “Tengu Ujicha Tea” contains the lesson: Don’t let yourself become conceited or boastful.

➢  Hekisuien matcha in our portfolio: 16 

 

Horii Shichimeien

For over 600 years they are the owners of the tea garden called “Okunoyama”, the only one remaining from the seven famous gardens, Uji Shichimeien.

Engaging in the whole process of tea manufacturing from picking to grinding, they provide delicious Uji matcha.

➢  Horii Shichimeien matcha in our portfolio: 16

 

Hokoen

A more than 150 years old tea manufacturing company offering a large selection of different kinds of matcha tea.

From entry-level to the highest grade, usucha to koicha, everyone can find their favorite no matter if a beginner or an experienced matcha lover.

➢  Hokoen matcha in our portfolio: 9

 

When looking to try a new matcha it might be a daunting task to choose the right one. Here are some recommendations from each company in our portfolio, to help you find a new favorite:

Matcha Wako BY MARUKYU-KOYAMAEN

  Wako is Koyamaen's highest grade usucha, with its intense, full-bodied and round flavor, minimal tartness, long-lingering, pleasant, sweet after-taste.

Matcha Tenko BY HEKISUIEN
  Tenko envelops its taster with sweetness and gentle, yet pronounced mildness. It is a great tea which can be prepared both as usucha and koicha.

Matcha Narino BY HORII SHICHIMEIEN
  A single origin matcha made only using the leaves of the tea plant called Narino, that is grown in Horii Shichimeien’s own tea garden. Its exquisite fragrance instantly captivates, exuding fantastic freshness and a sweet, creamy flavor.

Matcha Shoukaku by HOKOEN
  Shoukaku is a crystal-clear, uniquely delicious, concentrated tea essence. It’s a great choice for those looking for something special in a koicha, exceeding the ordinary.

 

To help you get started, you can also choose a beginner's matcha set to get everything you need to enjoy a perfect cup of matcha.

Matcha Set Hakeme
Matcha Set Mishima

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