Matcha green tea has received quite a bit of attention in recent years, and for good reason. A distinctive bright green powdered tea, matcha’s rich history, production methods, and health benefits set it apart from other tea.
Tea was first brought to Japan from China, where a variety of teas were being processed and consumed, including oolong, pu erh, and green tea. In Japan however, green tea became the predominantly preferred variety. Japan’s preference for green teas in the early years of Japanese tea culture led to the creation of teas that are still popular today, including sencha and gyokuro.
Like gyokuro, the tea leaves used in matcha are grown in the shade. This increases the amount of chlorophyll in the leaves, which results in a deeper green colour. Shade-growing also encourages the formation of amino acids. The leaves are hand-selected and picked, then laid out to dry flat. Dried leaves then have the stems and veins removed, and are ground into powdered Matcha.
Because matcha is a powder, it cannot be prepared like other loose leaf teas. With other teas, the leaves are steeped in hot water, removed, and discarded. When preparing matcha, the powdered leaves are mixed with the water and consumed directly.
There are many different methods of mixing the powdered tea with water, including the chadō or Japanese tea ceremony. For every-day and non-ceremonial tea-making, the method and equipment needed to make good matcha are simple. We created the Herbal Republic Matcha Instruction sheet below to help our customers create the best matcha drinks at home.
You can download a printable version of our matcha instructions here.
Herbal Republic carries both Matcha Special (used for lattes and drink mixes) and Matcha Supreme (ceremonial grade matcha) in our shop. We will also be adding matcha whisks to the Accessories section of the shop very soon.