Matcha Hype: What is Matcha exactly?
The hype for Japanese matcha has been getting more popular all over the world. In the east, people like using matcha for dessert such as matcha ice-cream, matcha swiss rolls, matcha cakes; while in the west, people start treating it as another superfood, or even an alternative of coffee.
Let's talk about what matcha is. People often mix green tea powder with matcha. Matcha is green tea, this is correct. But not all green tea is matcha! The original form of matcha is called Ten-Cha, in Japanese it means "Grounded Tea". It is the most premium tea buds only harvested once a year for the making of matcha. In order to make the tea more fragrant, umami and sweeter, the tea trees for matcha are also covered with shades to avoid too much sun exposure. Hence premium grade of matcha in general is radiantly green. After tea farmers picked the ten-cha tea leaves, the leaves will be steamed and dried to make matcha. Ten-cha is a member of the green tea families, aside other Japanese green tea such as sencha, gyokuro, kukicha, kabusencha.
The ten-cha tea leaves will then be grounded traditionally by stone mortar to make matcha. Only by using the stone mortar, the matcha powder can be fine to a point that when it is whisked, the matcha powder can suspend for very long time in the water as if it has dissolved (It has NEVER dissolved like salt in water!).
The tradition of matcha making originates from Song Dynasty China, where tea was consumed widely from the royal court to the gentry class and even mass public. Premium tea at that time was only consumed grounded and whisked but the color of the tea was not as green as the matcha nowadays. It was more brownish-yellow like houjicha (roasted tea). During Song Dynasty Japanese monks brought back tea samplings and tea making method to Japan, after years of development matcha has evolved to the greenish velvety drink that we drink nowadays.
As matcha is grounded tea leaves, you literally eat all the tea leaves when you drink it, and hence the abundant nutrients of the tea can all be taken. Matcha contains considerable amount of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. It also has caffeine and some people drink matcha instead of coffee as they think that their reaction to matcha is less acute than that of coffee.
With so many health benefits and also the elegant taste of matcha, why not add some into your diet like making a smoothie, or simply drinking it straight for a morning boost? You can now find ceremonial grade authentic Japanese matcha in our online tea store. Start making your green booster now!