Do you like matcha green tea? Do you love it as matcha as I do?
Matcha green tea is steeped in Japanese history, culture, and tradition.
Way of Tea
Centuries ago, Zen Buddhists in Japan made a discovery. They found that the way to inner harmony and spiritual awakening lies through the cup of tea. Not just any tea, though. Their preferred variety was, and continues to be, matcha, the tea used in traditional tea ceremonies. Harmony, respect, purity, tranquility are the principles of the Japanese tea ceremony, “way of tea”.
What is Matcha?
It’s a special, chlorophyll rich green tea with a long list of health benefits. To begin with, the way we consume matcha tea is unique. Matcha consists of finely powdered green tea leaves which are dissolved in water when preparing the tea. What this means is that all the nutrients and minerals are actually delivered to your body, instead of being thrown out once you’ve steeped your tea.
Speaking of nutrients and minerals…
Matcha tea is extremely rich in antioxidants, leaving even pomegranates and blueberries far behind. The tea antioxidants themselves belong to a special type – catechins, that are especially effective in tracking down free radicals from the body. In the holistic community, matcha tea is known to speed up metabolism and fat burning rates, reduce stress, and boost mental concentration with L-theanine. It also gets you a healthy dose of vitamin C.
Why so special?
The key to matcha tea’s unique properties lies in the way it is cultivated. Premium Japanese matcha teas are made of gyokuro tea leaves that are grown in the shade, covered with straw mats. This slows the growth of the tea plants, thus increasing their levels of chlorophyll. Hence the color – the most beautiful shade of green. Slow growth of the tea leaves also allows them to accumulate more antioxidants, amino acids… and flavor.
Grades of Matcha tea
Did you know that it isn’t just premium matcha teas that deserve a special place on your kitchen shelf? Lower grade matchas work great as additives in baked goodies, smoothies, ice-creams, and so on.
Different retailers might use their own classifications of matcha products. However, there are only three traditional grades:
- Ceremonial grade
- Classic, Café, “In-between” grade
- Cooking or Kitchen grade
What you pay for is brighter emerald color, finer powder, and delicately sweet taste with a slightly astringent finish. Only the youngest and most tender leaves are used for high-grade matcha. At approximately half or third of the price you would get a lower grade green tea powder, which is a little more bitter, but actually, has a stronger flavor. It will work better for cooking, baking, and making smoothies, not to mention it is more economical for that purpose. Culinary grade matcha would still make a great cup of tea and it would be perfectly appropriate to mix it with some milk and a bit of sugar. The difference in nutritional value between the grades is really insignificant.
Making the most of matcha tea
Special tea calls for special handling. Never pair matcha tea with boiling water; it can lead to an unpleasant ‘grassy’ taste. Instead, give the boiling water about 5 minutes to cool down before dissolving the powdered tea in it. First, add just a few drops of water to the teaspoon of matcha and mix it into a paste. Then, add more water to the cup.
And just like that, your matcha is ready for you to savor…
(see our top 10 picks below)
-Which way I ought to go from here?
-That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Top 10 Japanese matcha green teas to buy online
our price rating$
100% Certified Organic Matcha. Increases energy and focus, and lifts your vitality and concentration with the slow release of nutrients. Our Matcha provides hours of steady energy without the caffeine crash. Natural Calorie Burner. Increases the rate of thermogenesis and helps maintain a ...
ALL YOU NEED TO FIND YOUR FOCUS IS IN THIS KIT: one tea bowl, a bamboo whisk and celadon whisk holder, a tea sifter, a bamboo tea scoop, a 30g tin of matcha - yields 15-20 servings.
Organic yerba mate, green tea powder. This high energy blend is an East meets West fusion, resulting in a natural appetite suppressant with EGCG antioxidants and a powerful caffeine boost. Our Organic Yerba Mate is imported from Brazil in its freshest green form, neither aged nor roasted. We blend ...
Green tea. Our Artisan Matcha is usually reserved for the Japanese Emperor himself. We are the only company to offer it in the U.S. Like Grand Cru champagne, our Artisan tea is crafted to yield an astoundingly smooth, balanced flavor. It is produced on a small family farm that has honed its ...
Fine powder made by grinding shade-grown Gyokuro tea leaves. To prepare, place one teaspoon of tea powder in a bowl, add a few drops of hot (160-180F) water, and whisk into a paste. Then add more water and stir to produce a dark green liquor with bright foam. The resulting cup is sweet and vegetal, ...
**Limited supplies available**Distinguished by its superior aroma, full body, and malty finish, this ceremonial matcha is sourced from Ippodo, one of the most prestigious sources for Japanese green teas. This tea exhibits excellent flavor and color and is a breeze to whisk.Caffeine Content: Medium ...
Our premium Organic Matcha is a rare treat for the eyes and taste buds. It is certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is the only organic matcha produced in Japan. Matcha is the bright, fine-powdered green tea used for ...