Match Tea is a type of Green Tea that is made by grinding very specific parts of high-quality green-tea plants into a fine powder. Matcha powder is known for distinctive green color. Vibrant green Matcha is a sign of high-grade of tea, which is sweeter and richer in flavor. While, lower-grades of quality are darker in color.
Matcha is very popular in Japan, and is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. The Japanese tea ceremony is centered on preparing, serving and drinking Matcha tea.
Matcha tea is made from premium varieties of Japanese green tea, like Gyokuro. These plants are raised under shade, which makes them grow more slowly and helps it to develop more flavor.
Several weeks before harvest, the tea plants are covered to prevent exposure to direct sunlight. This reduces the growth rate and allows concentration of flavors.
Harvest is done by picking only the finest tea buds (immature leaves at the top of the flush) which are soft and supple. When dried indoors, leaves crumble into powder called Tencha. This Tencha is further ground into finer powder to make Matcha.
Unlike other types of green tea which are brewed, Matcha beverages are made by dissolving Matcha powder in water.
Here are a few tips that you can remember to ensure maximum amount of flavors and texture goes in every cup of Matcha. You will need a tea scoop (made of bamboo), fine sieve, hot water (70-85 C), and bamboo matcha wisk. Warm the teacup and whisk to reduce sudden reduction of tea temperature.
To make Usucha or Thin tea, sift Matcha by pushing it in a fine sieve. Then place 1 to 2 scoops of tea into a tea bowl, and add hot water. Slowly mix to allow the tea to dissolve in the water, then rapidly mix in a back and forth motion at the center of the bowl until froth appears. Slowly inhale the aroma and savor the taste of Matcha tea for best results.
For making Koicha, mostly reserved for more high-grade Matcha, dissolve six scoops of sifted Matcha tea in the tea bowl. Then add ¾ cup hot water and blend slowly with the whisk so it will not produce foam. This will produce a thicker blend of Matcha with more intense flavor and less bitter brew.
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