What is matcha?
Matcha is green tea leaves ground to a fine powder, making matcha a versatile ingredient that can be used for much more than just drinking. With regular green tea, the leaves are steeped in water and discarded before drinking - with matcha you are consuming the entire leaf not just what is left over from steeping tea. This means you get the benefit of all it's nutrients.
Matcha contains 137 times the antioxidants of green tea and just 1 cup of matcha provides the same nutrients as 10 cups of green tea.
What is the difference between matcha & green tea?
Both are derived from the same tea plant called Camellia Sinensis. The key differences are how the tea is grown, processed and consumed.
To produce matcha, the tea plants are shaded for 20 to 30 days before harvesting to boost the nutritional content. Only the youngest and most tender leaves are picked. The leaves then go through process involving the leaves being steamed to prevent oxidation, dried and then all the stems and veins are removed. The leaves are then ground to a fine powder using hard carved granite stone mills. Regular green tea on the other hand are grown in full sun and left to dry in the sun after picking or dried in a facility and sold as loose leaf or in tea bags.
Matcha's shading process increases the natural amino acid and chlorophyll content, giving matcha its vibrant green colour and packed full of nutrients. Its because of this that matcha has 137 times the antioxidants and 10 times the nutritional content than regular green tea.
Read more about matcha's health properties here.
Our matcha is sourced exclusively from a tea farm in Uji, which a town located in the southern region of Kyoto. Uji is known to be the birthplace of Matcha and matcha produced in this region is considered to be the finest. The regions hilly terrain, soil quality and mild temperatures create the ideal environment to grow the finest matcha.
Process & Packaging
Our matcha is grown, stone ground and packaged at the source and shipped directly to us. Producing matcha follows a series of steps:
- Shade growing:
Tea plants are shaded for 20 to 30 days before harvesting. This boosts the nutritional content and increases chlorophyll which gives matcha its vibrant green colour.
Once the tea leaves are picked, the leaves are steamed for 30 to 40 seconds. This stops oxidation and is one of the most important steps and determines the quality of the finished tea.
- Cooling & drying:
The steamed tea leaves are cooled using a strong blast of air and then dried.
- Sorting & de-stemming:
Leaves are sorted and graded based on quality. Stems and veins are removed.
- Stone grinding:
The leaves are then ground to a fine powder using hand crafted granite stone mills and immediately packaged. The granite stone mills are hand crafted specifically for this purpose and slowly grinds 40 grams of matcha per hour to minimise heat from friction of the turning stone which can burn and degrade the leaves. Some producers use different methods to increase production rates, however the result is a more gritty texture.
Both grades of our matcha are 100% Japanese Certified Organic by JAS. To be officially certified organic, it is necessary to meet the following requirements:
- No chemical or artificial fertilisers or pesticides
- Only organic fertilisers are used
- No genetic modification technology is used (no GMOs)
- Tea must be processed and packaged in facilities dedicated for organic tea
- Sites are inspected every year the governing body to ensure standards are met and maintained.