Matcha is finely ground green tea powder, made from green tea leaves. These leaves are specially grown, prepared, and come from the Camellia sinensis plant, as are all other teas. The main difference from regular green tea is that you are consuming the leaf entirely (in the form of powder)!
Where does it come from?
The origins date back to the Tang Dynasty (618–907), where tea leaves were steamed and formed into bricks for storage and trade. The method of making powdered tea, and preparing the beverage by whipping the tea powder and hot water together in a bowl became popular.
The main exporters of matcha are both China and Japan. In addition, Japan has been known to provide a high quality product and popular growing regions include: Kyoto, Tokyo, and Nishio.
How is it usually served?
Matcha has traditionally been used in tea ceremonies which involves the special preparation and presentation. Furthermore, you can also find it in drinks (iced lattes, bubble tea), and desserts (lava cakes, ice cream).
Why do most people drink it?
For the health benefits. Both green tea and matcha have been the subject of many studies in relation to diabetes, weight loss, and anti-cancerous properties.
Related Post: 6 Surprising Health Benefits of Matcha Diabetics Need To Know
What makes the powder so healthy?
It is both the growing and harvesting process and the fact you are consuming the leafs. Growing the green tea leafs involves shading them from sunlight, producing more chlorophyll. The best leafs are then selectively hand picked at a specific time of year. Therefore, this gives it the increased L-Theanine, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Are there different types of matcha?
Yes, they vary by grades (quality). These are commonly referred to as cooking or ceremonial grade. Ceremonial grade is the highest quality making it darker in colour and less bitter than the cooking grade.
Do you need any equipment to make it?
We recommend getting a whisk (chasen) at minimum. This will allow you to remove clumps and mix with the water more effectively.
Equipment List: Whisk (chasen), Bowl (specific for matcha), Bamboo Spoon, Shaker Bottle, Brewing Machine (SHARP TEA-CERÉ)
Where can I buy some?
Finally, there are many places you can buy from such as Amazon, your local health food store, or from us (Matcha Shiba). We have both our ceremonial and cooking grades available.
Things to be aware of when shopping around is where the matcha comes from, if it is organic or not, and the grade. This will determine the taste, nutrients, and how expensive it will be.