One day after lunch, a student approached the wise master Lao Cha:
- Sensei, I admire your moderation. You never overeat, and today you skipped dessert again. I wish I was more like you. I can never give up on the good taste of food!
- Dear boy, I'll share a secret with you: this Nattsu Matcha is my indulgence. Its thick and creamy mouthfeel, and taste full of umami are a feast for the senses, incomparable to any food or drink.
We present you our Nattsu Matcha. This matcha is nutty in flavor and scent, resembling fresh pine nuts. Hence the name – "Nattsu" (ナッツ) is "nutty" in Japanese. The tea has a thick and creamy mouthfeel. The taste is astringent-free and umami-rich. It leaves a lingering weight on the mouth. Enjoy an extra-long finish with every sip.
Our Nattsu Matcha is a 100% hand-picked first harvest from the Yabukita and Oku Midori cultivars from Yame, Fukuoka. It is stone-milled to preserve as much as possible its precious content as well as exquisite taste and aroma.
The best plantations in Fukuoka prefecture are in the Yame area. Morning mists and river fogs are very frequent. Curtains of fog wrap green tea plantations, properly blocking sunlight. It makes the tea leaves more tender and sweeter. In addition, Yame enjoys a vast temperature difference from day to night.
Matcha is a green tea powder obtained by grinding the tea leaves with grounding wheel stones. Tea masters use minimally-processed tea, called Tencha, to produce fresh matcha from it. 3 to 4 weeks before harvest, farmers start to shade the tea bushes from direct sunlight. Shading tea helps the leaves to stack up on L-theanine, which gives the resulting tea a natural sweetness. The leaves also become rich in chlorophyll, antioxidants, and umami. After harvest, every leaf is carefully de-stemmed and de-veined, requiring skill, time, and patience. For ceremonial grade matcha, only manual de-stemming is acceptable.
There are two commonly known grades of matcha tea:
• The culinary grade matcha has a more intense flavor. It helps it withstand high temperatures during cooking. It also makes it stand out when mixed with other tastes, like those of dairy, sugar, etc. Otherwise, its sweet, grassy flavor will fade away.
• The ceremonial uses the youngest and most tender leaves. Farmers ground them with stone to ensure low temperature during the processing. That helps to preserve the inner substances intact. This grade of matcha has a more delicate taste and smooth, subtle texture.
We recommend you prepare this matcha in the traditional ceremonial manner using a chawan and a bamboo tea whisk.
- Using a small sifter, sift into a matcha bowl (chawan) a few bamboo scoops (chashaku) of matcha. We recommend using about 3 scoops per 3.5fl oz / 100ml.
- Start slowly adding water of about 175-185ºF / 80-85ºC
- Using a chasen (the whisk), whisk vigorously in a zigzag (but not circular) motion. Do not scratch the bottom of the chawan. Keep whisking until all the powder is dissolved and the tea is frothy. To achieve a better result, keep turning the chawan counterclockwise while whisking.
Video on How to Make Matcha