Types Of Matcha Green Tea
Depending on the preparation method, there are two types of matcha: the thinner Usucha and the thicker Koicha.
Koicha is the green tea of choice in Japanese tea ceremonies and special tea parties. It is much sweeter and more full-bodied than Usucha.
For a beginner and everyday use, I recommend making Usucha.
What Are The Steps To Craft Ceremonial Matcha
There are a handful of essential details that work behind the scenes to craft your favorite matcha. Tea masters use techniques passed down over countless generations , which allow them to carefully control the growth of the tea leaves.
They delicately protect against excessive sunlight by providing intense shading especially during the time leading to harvest. Furthermore, they specially amend the soil with traditional fertilizers, leading to authentic matcha.
And besides these, the sheer mindfulness that is poured into the individual leaves helps them grow to possess savory flavor, and calming benefits for our health.
This is a year-round endeavor, whereas harvest itself takes place in the Spring . Theres little downtime in preparing and tending to the health of the tea plants the rest of the year, many which approach or exceed 100 years of age and require special consideration.
Below we review more thoroughly the steps behind traditional cultivation. With even one area of expertise missing, we would not have the matcha we know and love today.
Are There Different Types Of Matcha
As we first mentioned, people new to matcha see a lot of conflicting information. One of the most popular questions is, whys it different from regular green tea? Theres a LOT to unpack here, it goes far beyond the simple fact that it all comes from the same plant.
It has a lot more to do with how its grown…
Picking Up The Right Matcha
Procuring high quality, authentic matcha is a must. Vahdam Teas work directly with farmers in Japans best tea-producing regions to procure freshly-harvested and ground pure matcha tea. As soon as you open our matcha green tea powder, you get a whiff of the sweet grassy aroma, which is a sign that you have opened a good pack of matcha. We have a best-by date stamped, packaged in a vacuum-sealed bag to protect the tea from light and come in small batches because matcha loses its potency in about 2 months once opened. Last, but not the least, if you are looking to get a good quality matcha green tea within a good price, we suggest getting a culinary grade matcha for if you are looking to make matcha smoothie or a sweetened latte.
The Important Of A Matcha Whisk
Matcha can be traced back to over one thousand years when it came over from China to Japan, and it has played an important role in many different cultures and societies from monks to Samurai.
Over the centuries, the process for creating matcha has been improved and perfected, and one of the most important tools youll need to make your perfect cup of matcha is the whisk.
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Common Question Is Matcha Fair Trade
Originally countless, less than 60 traditional matcha tea-farms now remain in Japan. These few handfuls are the exception which have been able to maintain authenticity and the many centuries of premium ceremonial quality matcha tea.
And for the others, corporate interests have leveraged economic needs to industrialize tea farms into lower-qualities and higher-yields.
Long lineages of tea farming families have been forced now to supply poor quality, less labor-intensive green tea powder.
- Most of this is not, in fact, matcha, but a machine processed powder, often produced from second or third flush tea leaves.
- Forcing the tea plants to produce more than one annual yield causes stress to them many which approach or exceed 100 years of age and may not recover.
This is green tea powder uncharacteristic of premium matcha less vibrant and flavorful , all while reduced concentration of nutritional benefits.
The Bottom Line: Is Matcha Right For Me
So, no matter what your hustle is, or what it demands of you physically or mentally, matcha is a reliable way of getting more out of your day and feeling resilient as you accomplish amazing things.
Sourcing the most authentic matcha means an amazing source of daily energy, and a means of dedication to this long tradition at risk of being lost. Theres only 5 dozen tea-farms left in Japan producing true Ceremonial Grade matcha will you help us support them?
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Whats The Difference Between Ceremonial And Culinary Grade Matcha
Ceremonial and culinary grade matcha are both made from powdered green tea, but there are are a few important differences. Ceremonial grade matcha is designed to be enjoyed on its own, and has a more nuanced flavor. Culinary grade matcha is designed to be used in smoothies, lattes, and baked goods, and has a bolder flavor that stands up well to the addition of other ingredients.
Whats The History Of Matcha
Matcha is the product of an ancient lineage of tea-farming. It was first brought to Japan around 1190AD the Buddhist monk Eisai was the first to bring the practice of powdered green tea from China.
As an object of mindful practice in the cultivation and precise grinding of the tea, it wasnt long until it became a uniquely Japanese beverage one which transformed the political and monastic circles.
The prestige of its cultivation and preparation was originally enjoyed by the highest class of society. Tea masters, often leaders within Zen Buddhism, were honored with the role of administering the Japanese Tea Ceremony within the political circle.
- Eventually matcha was in every nook and cranny of Japanese living, and today internationally!
In many ways, we see the practice of matcha drinking as synonymous with the ancient practices of the Zen Buddhist school the preparation of matcha may be used in many ways, including for intense focus, enjoyment, and a heightened awareness conducive to meditation.
This amazing health drink we cherish today was only one of the many prolific transfers of knowledge, agriculture, and even religious practices across this time-period of Eastern Asia. We see the long, fruitful history with ancient roots dating back more than 1,500 years ago in China.
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Do I Have To Use Matcha In A Ritual
Zen practitioners realized that matcha boosted their memory and focus, which steadily gave rise to the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Although less common it is still practiced today. Matcha however has become much more modern, used in recipes, exotic lattes, and even quick preparations using an electric frother.
Modern enjoyment has followed in suit with a range of ways to enjoy this special tea, and no longer do you have to set time aside for a daily ritual, although welcomed by many, youre free to make your matcha lifestyle fit your own personal needs.
How To Prepare Matcha Tea
At Matcha Cafe Bali we love to create special recipes with matcha, like adding this magic powder to pancakes or even to our delicious potato gnocchi. But today we want to focus on the very first way to enjoy it: whisking it into hot water to create a frothy, nourishing tea.
It’s very simple to make and a healthy habit to add to your daily routine. For us its the perfect way to start the day. Its energizing and calming both at once, and above all else, its delicious.
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What Color Should Matcha Be
Look for a deeply bright green color for your matcha. Imagine an emerald hue and try to match it to the matcha available to you. The relationship between vibrant color and quality is a reliable one for matcha.
- It allows you to make a good judgment about the concentration of vitamins, minerals, and health optimizing compounds.
Unlike first-harvest matcha, those are qualities with greater bitterness, yellowed green color, and reduced health benefits. Thats because this tea comes from plants stressed into multiple harvests each year, significantly reducing the levels of nutrients and healthy phyto-compounds.
Usually, that is tea intended only for baking, since it is low cost and ok when balanced with other flavors. Yet for the average person, its not ideal.
How To Make Matcha At Home
The tea by itself wont please everyone, but thats where the creative matcha drinks come inhot or iced, latte or smoothie, with whole milk, coconut milk, or almond milk lightly sweetened or traditional. Some cafes purchase a matcha mix with sweetener already mixed in, lending the drink an artificial taste beverage purists would rightfully reject.
If youre going to make any matcha variation at home , heres how to do it yourself.
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What Does Matcha Taste Like
Quality matcha, when properly prepared and brewed, will have a lovely and earthy flavor. Ceremonial-grade matcha lends itself to a natural sweetness without the need to add any sugar or other sweeteners. Some people describe matcha’s flavoring as grassy, nutty, or even slightly bitter.
Many people who drink matcha enjoy it plain, although some may prefer to add a little milk or honey for a smoother taste. Its versatility and ability to be customized is part of what makes matcha green tea such a great way to start your day!
Are There Side Effects From Matcha Tea
Drinking green tea and matcha are considered healthy and safe, but people sensitive to caffeine should be aware that both contain decent amounts of the stimulant. In 2016, the World Health Organization also linked the consumption of hot drinks, like coffee and tea, to a higher risk of cancer of the esophagus. However, the risk is much lower than the risk of cancer from other causes, like smoking.
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A Brief History Of Matcha
Matcha may be easy to come by today in your local tea or coffee shop, but historically it was a much more revered drink, signaled by matcha green teas central place in the Japanese tea ceremony.
Learning how to prepare matcha demands a dive into its history and cultural significance. Though the exact origins of matcha depend on who you ask, most agree that green tea powder emerged about 1,000 years ago, between the 10th and 13th centuries.
Green tea in particular has strong ties to Japan. Around the 1500s, Zen Buddhists developed the Japanese Tea Ceremony a social gathering that revolves around appreciation of nature, tapping into spirituality, enjoying quiet conversation with fellow guests, and Japanese green tea, of course.
At the center of this ritual is preparation of a cup of tea.
There are specific rules governing when the tea should be prepared, how it should be passed from guest to guest, and in what order they get to enjoy it. All of this is to underscore that quality matcha is special, and preparing it correctly calls for a bit of time and attention.
Matcha Green Tea Benefits
If you have always wondered if Matcha tea might be for you, you should learn more about this fantastic tea.
This is an ancient tea that is still considered a special tea that will take care of many of your health needs due to all the healthy compounds present in this tea.
Matcha is a prized tea made with soft powdered tea leaves mixed into hot water. This gives the tea a unique flavour profile that is soft, delicate, and gently frothy.
You will never experience another tea like it, and you will love its beneficial pick-me-up properties as well!
If you have been wondering about tea Matcha Benefits, read on!
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Categories Of Culinary Matcha
So being mindful of the culinary grades that youre drinking is still important. There are five categories of culinary matcha that you can learn about and better recognize.
- The first one is a premium grade, which ideally would be used in those crafty lattes:
- The second is cafe grade, while decent, may require an extra pump of liquid sugar.
- Similarly, the third category is ingredient-grade, which as the name supports, would be ideal as one of many ingredients in sweets, cafes, muffins, or maybe even a horchata.
Finally, there is classic-grade matcha and kitchen-grade matcha. Like the other three, these are representative of a different cost point and flavor than ceremonial grade matcha. And while there is some overlap in how they all are categorized, these would do best in any preparation including them as secondary ingredients.
- In any of these cases, you want to avoid the culinary matcha being the primary flavor, just as you would avoid eating something super sweet or overly bitter.
Matcha In The United States
From here in the U.S, this rare form of tea has grown massively. Matchas audience ranges from older people looking for an edge in longevity and health in those later ages, all the way to the millennial generation.
Exotic recipes and coffee equivalents are now status quo at your local specialty cafe, and even the big-box chains too .
- Recipes are craftier than ever to incorporate it into adaptogen tonics, and even Matcha Golden Milk Lattes.
Generations young and old, the spiritual and mindful aspect has translated to modern practices of yoga, meditation, and a variety of different fitness studios.
- Exercise regimens now host matcha in part of mindfulness, and mental perspective, relating to how it influences their health and outlook.
Perhaps, its the newest yet most ancient health move. Matcha offers good vibes and helps tackle health physically and mentally in a new and exciting way that speaks to your body in a way that youll love.
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Benefits Of Organic 100% Double Green Matcha Tea Bags
MatchaMatcha is exceptionally high in antioxidants, with 10x the amount found in regular green tea. Matcha green tea is also thought to boost the bodys metabolism and improve memory and concentration.
Matcha Caffeine ContentBecause matcha preparation uses ground tea leaves that cannot be removed after steeping, the caffeine content in a cup of matcha is much higher than that of a cup of tea prepared using tea bags or leaves. However, the exact caffeine content may vary depending on the ratio of water to matcha powder used. Matcha contains less than half the amount of caffeine per cup than in a similar-sized cup of coffee.
Benefits of Matcha Tea
How to Steep MatchaBecause matcha is a powder made from ground tea leaves, it is not steeped in the traditional way. To prepare matcha, add between ½ teaspoon and 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder to a cup. Fill a kettle with water and heat to just short of boiling. Pour 6 ounces of the steaming water into the cup of matcha powder. Then, blend vigorously with a tea frother or bamboo matcha whisk, until the top is nice and foamy. You may need to experiment with the proportions of water and matcha powder to find your favored strength.
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Health Benefits Of Matcha
Unlike drinking regular tea, with matcha tea powder you are consuming the entire leaf of the plant. That means you get even more health benefits from your beverage, including vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Matcha has been proven to help lower cholesterol and blood sugar and is also a source of vitamin C as well as beneficial minerals selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium. One of the biggest known benefits of matcha is its amount of EGCg, an antioxidant that boosts the metabolism and helps fight cancer.
Matcha has about three times the amount of caffeine of regular tea about as much as a cup of coffee. However, since the human body tends to metabolize tea differently than coffee, the caffeine boost from matcha usually presents itself as a slow burn rather than a sudden burst.
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Types Of Antioxidants In Matcha
Specifically, matcha is known to have five major catechins: catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate, epigallocatechin, and epigallocatechin gallate . Each of these has special actions in the body that may offer health protections.
Shade-grown matcha also has antioxidant activities from flavonoids like quercetin, myricetin, and kaempferol. Traditional harvest also means prized phenolics like ferulic, chlorogenic, and gallic acids each reported with anti-viral, immune-boosting, or antioxidant actions.
When you drink matcha, in some cases you’re ingesting more than 100 times the concentration of those compounds than standard green tea .
Here Are More Specific Differences:
The highest quality is known as thick tea or koicha, the type of matcha typically associated with the tea ceremony, and is typified by very little bitterness and sweeter notes.
Second, is usucha or thin tea which is a drinking grade of matcha. Excellent when prepared at a lower concentration, which accounts for higher levels of bitter notes and astringency, while enjoyable for aroma and vegetal flavor.
Third, is culinary grade matcha, a low cost, and more bitter flavor tea. This is matcha powdered produced from more mature tea leaves that havent received the same levels of individual treatment or careful shading.
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Get Yourself The Right Tools To Brew Your Tea
This is one of the most important things you must do in order to make the perfect cup of matcha.