A young monk came to the wise tea master Lao Cha and asked him:
– Sensei, every time I sit down to meditate, I fall asleep. But if I drink coffee, I get restless. Spending my days studying, I feel that I lack vitamins and energy, and it becomes harder and harder for me to concentrate on Buddha’s teachings.
– Your problem is easy to resolve, young man. Your answer is Matcha. It is the healthiest tea of all. We call it “a miracle in a cup”. Just drink it, and you’ll see.
Matcha is a kind of green tea powder obtained by grinding the tea leaves with grounding wheel stones. 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 single leaf is carefully de-stemmed and de-veined, which requires skill, time, and patience. For ceremonial grade matcha, only manual de-stemming is acceptable.
Our top-grade organic ceremonial matcha is made from the most tender, hand-picked young leaves from the springtime harvest of Kanayamidori, Okumidori, and Asanoka cultivars. Those are produced by a family farm in the Kakegawa region of southwestern Shizuoka, Japan.
Shizuoka is Japan's largest tea-producing region. It accounts for roughly a third of Japan's total tea production. Shizuoka has a rich tea history, growing tea for over 800 years. It is one of the original places tea seeds were brought from China by the Zen Buddhist monk Eisai. Many mountainous areas dot Shizuoka's landscape. The volcanic soil is rich in nutritional substances and trace minerals. They get sucked in by the roots of the tea plant and create the unique flavor profile of this premium tea.
There are two commonly known grades of matcha tea. 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, smooth and subtle texture and is best to drink. 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.
Our ceremonial grade matcha has a bright green color, smooth texture, and savory umami flavor. Contrary to popular belief, it is not bitter. After some whisking, it acquires a rich, frothy texture. This craft tea is an ideal choice for indulging in relaxation. We recommend you to prepare it in the traditional ceremonial manner called Cha No Yu, 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 1 scoop per 30ml.
- 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