Organic Green Matcha Tea

Matcha green tea has received quite a bit of attention here in the west in recent years, and for good reason. Characterized by an unmistakable bright green powder, matcha’s rich history, production methods, and numerous health benefits set it apart from other tea varieties.

In the early history of tea, tea plants (Camellia sinensis) were only being cultivated in southern China. Eventually, trade between southern China and the island of Japan resulted in the tea plant’s journey to Japan. When tea began to be grown in Japan, tea culture was split for the first time and given the opportunity to develop separately from its Chinese roots.

In China, a variety of teas were being processed and consumed at the time tea reached Japan, including oolong, pu erh, and green tea. In Japan however, green tea was the predominantly preferred and consumed variety. Japan’s preference for green teas in the early years of Japanese tea culture led to the creation of popular green tea varieties that are still popular today, including Sencha and Gyokuro. It didn’t take long for the matcha production method to burst on the scene.

For matcha to reach its characteristic powdered state, it must first go through a painstaking, multi-step process. The leaves are first harvested after being shade-grown to increase the concentration of nutrients in the leaves. After harvesting, the fresh leaves are set out on mats to dry. When the leaves are thoroughly dried, the stems and veins of the leaves are removed and the material that is left goes through the crushing process. During crushing, much like the process of extracting good olive oil, the temperature cannot exceed a certain point. As a result, the crushing process is often slow and well controlled, but the result is well worth the hard work. When the work is done, the tea can be shipped all over the world to be enjoyed.

Because matcha is powdered, it can’t be prepared like other loose leaf teas. With other teas, the leaves are steeped in hot water, removed, and discarded. With matcha however, the powdered leaves are mixed with the water and consumed directly. There are many different ways and methods of mixing the powder with water, one of which is the Japanese tea ceremony. For people not looking to perform the ceremony, the method and equipment needed to make good matcha is simple. All that’s needed is a bowl, a bamboo whisk and a scoop. Simply scoop one leveled teaspoon of matcha into the bowl and pour in a ½ cup of heated water. With the bamboo whisk, gently but quickly whisk the tea to generate a consistent froth, and enjoy your bowl of matcha!

Part of what makes matcha so popular is its numerous health benefits. With the tea leaves being directly consumed, it offers a higher concentration of antioxidants, catechins, vitamins, and minerals than other teas. Studies have linked matcha green tea to weight loss and a higher level of energy without adding the jittery effect often associated with coffee.

For newcomers, the variety of matcha and differing methods of preparation can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. To help both the experienced matcha drinker and the newcomer alike, we at Herbal Republic offer a ceremonial grade matcha of the highest quality. Sourced from the same family farm in Japan for over 15 years, Herbal Republic Matcha is best when prepared in the traditional way using a whisk and bowl.

Matcha green tea has a rich history, many health benefits, and a delicious, fresh taste. Drinking matcha is a great way to connect with tea history and Japanese tea culture while incorporating a healthy and enriching experience into your life.