What is Matcha?
Matcha is premium grade, shade grown, Japanese green tea ground into a super fine powder. From start to finish, the tea leaves are hand plucked, stemmed, steamed and aged in cold storage before finally being carefully stone ground into a fine powder for consumption.
During the growing stage, the tea plants are covered with shade cloths for 20 days before harvest. This slows down the photosynthesis process of the plant, creating a better flavour and resulting in high levels of theanine. Japanese shade grown green teas in general, are a deep rich green colour and are full of sweet vegetal flavours by virtue of their steaming process. The purpose of steaming is to prevent the leaves from oxidizing during later stages of processing. This careful steaming allows almost all of the natural green color, fragrance and nutritional components of the tea leaf to be retained. The manufacturing process of Matcha is exceptionally labour intensive which accounts for the general rarity and higher price tag of Matcha.
Rather than being steeped and discarded like regular tea, Matcha is whisked with water and consumed in its entirety. Since you are consuming the tea leaves, not just an infusion, Matcha has 10-15 times more nutrients than regular green tea. It also contains the highest concentration of antioxidants known in nature. Its powdered form makes it extremely versatile in food and beverage.