Matcha, which literally means “powder tea”, is a finely milled green tea powder. This treasured drink is an integral part of the culture of Japan, and is perhaps best known for being served in the traditional tea ceremony.
Matcha is distinguished by its elegant aroma and its exquisite balance of tastes, with marked sweetness, strong umami, and astringency. The higher the grade, the greater the umami, the more pronounced the sweetness, and the more vivid green the color. Matcha is further renowned for putting the drinker in a state of calm relaxation. The finest varieties of matcha are made from spring young tea leaves like gyokuro the highest grade of sencha tea. These youngest, most tender leaves grow shaded in the last few months before picking, in order to ensure they are rich in umami with a beautiful green color. Only the flesh of these leaves is used to make matcha, with the stems and any other hard parts discarded. This is to produce tea with a more refined flavor. The differences in quality derive from the timing of harvest ranging from spring to autumn, the state of the tea leaves as impacted by the climate, and the methods of processing used. Matcha is judged by its powder color, brewed water color, and taste. The bad example has astringency, brewed water color tends to be yellow with no aroma.
Compared to sencha green tea, matcha contains more of all the same health and vitality boosting active components. Consuming the whole leaf in powdered form ensures that the entire line-up of nutritional benefits, including vitamin C, minerals, catechins, theanine, antioxidants, dietary fiber, EGCG, and polyphenol. What’s more, the versatility of matcha means that you don’t have to drink matcha tea to benefit from these active components. Its powdered form means it can easily be used in a whole range of recipes and cuisines.
- Wheat free
Different grades vailable
Available in tin, box or bulk
Matcha tea is an amazing nutritional powerhouse. Compared to the already significant benefits of sencha green tea, it contains more of all the active compounds which make it so good for you. For example, matcha contains up to 137 times more EGCG, a powerful antioxidant compound responsible for many of the health benefits of green tea, than regular green tea.
Matcha is the most versatile of all teas. Because matcha is a powder, it can be used in many more ways than just as a tea to drink. As a cooking ingredient, the use of matcha is limited only by your imagination. As well as using matcha as the main ingredient in drinks such as straight tea, lattes, and smoothies, try it to great effect in desserts and sweet treats such as ice cream, chocolate, and biscuits. You might also be inspired to try it in a range of savory dishes.
Matcha is available in a number of grades. The highest quality matcha is intended to be used in the tea ceremony, where the tea is served straight so that the elegance of its taste and aroma migiht be appreciated. The more basic grade of matcha can still be enjoyed as drink, but it has a more pronounced bitterness than higher grades, so is generally more suited to baking or cooking.