What is Matcha?
Matcha is a high-quality green tea powder with a high concentration of antioxidants that is currently making waves in tea beverages and is becoming more widely available for consumption. It is a traditional powdered green tea made by finely grinding green tea leaves. But did you know, Matcha has been around for thousands of years? It is commonly consumed in Asia and has recently become a top trending food in North America- from small-time coffee shops to large companies like Starbucks.
Where did Matcha originate?
Matcha's origins can be traced back to Southern China during the 8th century, when the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis, was first cultivated and has since become a well-traveled and popular species.
Fun fact: Matcha was actually invented by accident. The discovery was made when the farmers covered their plants with reed to protect them from frost damage. This led them to believe that tea plants grown in the shade produce a deeper flavor and are therefore of greater grade.
The tea was introduced to Japan by Buddhist monks in the 9th century. Still, it only became popular in the 12th century when the Legendary Zen Monk Eisai returned home permanently and brought with him green tea seeds to plant on the temple grounds in Kyoto, Japan.
He was the first to encourage the cultivation of tea gardens in Japan, as well as tea drinking, for improved health among the samurai class. The ceremony is said to have been an important part of samurai training, helping them sharpen their focus and become more alert for battle. Gradually, this became a simple ceremonial practice and later shifted to a symbol of status in Japan.
How is Matcha made?
Unlike any other tea that is directly exposed to sunlight, “tencha”, the green tea plant, used for Matcha are shade-grown for 21-30 days prior to harvest. The leaves are then hand-picked, steamed, and dried before being ground into a fine powder.
It has been proven that tea leaves grown in the shade for an extended period of time contain higher levels of chlorophyll and L-theanine- giving the Matcha a sweeter taste and a vibrant green color. This sets it apart from other varieties of green tea.
It is safe to say that Matcha production is more labor-intensive, hence higher in cost. As a result, some companies use "sencha" to make Matcha. They are also tea leaves from the same plant Camellia Sinensis. It is, however, grown in direct sunlight.
To learn more about our matcha process, click here.
Health Benefits of Matcha tea
Matcha is renowned for its health benefits from high antioxidant levels to low caffeine content, making it a popular choice for those looking for a healthier alternative to coffee or other caffeinated beverages. Its widely recognized and unparalleled health benefits stem from its high levels of nutrients and antioxidant properties. Other teas also have health benefits, but these can vary depending on the type and processing method.
Matcha consumption has been linked to numerous health benefits, including maintaining a healthy heart, improving brain function, burning calories, and even preventing cancer.
In contrast to tea or coffee, in which the substances are all filtered out, Matcha is the world's only tea where the entire leaf is ground up and consumed entirely, thereby providing greater benefits and flavors unmatched by any other tea.
In light of the fact that Matcha is not soluble, it must be ingested immediately after preparation to fully enjoy its palatable flavor. Drinking matcha involves consuming the entire leaf rather than just the infused liquid, as in any other tea. This makes it the only suspension tea in existence.
How did Matcha become popular?
One of the main drivers of Matcha's popularity is its distinctive taste, with a lot of options to choose from. The powder has a natural sweetness and an umami-rich flavor, making it a popular ingredient in desserts and drinks. Additionally, Matcha is a rich source of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, making it a popular choice among health-conscious consumers.
Another factor contributing to the rise of Matcha's popularity is its versatility. The powder can be used in a wide range of products, from traditional tea and latte drinks to baked goods and even ice cream. This versatility has allowed Matcha to become a popular ingredient in both traditional and modern cuisine, appealing to a wide range of consumers.
The rise of social media has also played a role in the popularity of Matcha. Influencers and food bloggers have taken to the platform to showcase their favorite matcha-based creations, further increasing the powder's exposure and popularity.
Helpful tips for picking the right Matcha
Looking for the best Matcha brand as a first-time buyer can be difficult and confusing as there are lots of brands that have already emerged in the market.
Here are some guides that you might find helpful in buying and making your Matcha:
Culinary grade Matcha vs Ceremonial grade Matcha
- You must consider how you plan to drink your Matcha when purchasing one. A Ceremonial Grade Matcha would be perfect for you if you want to enjoy matcha at its best with only hot water. It has a subtle sweet taste, however, more costly than the culinary one.
- The Culinary Grade Matcha, on the other hand, can be an additive for lattes, baked goods, smoothies, coffee, and many other things. It can range from a deep shade of green to a dark shade of green in contrast to the Ceremonial Matcha's bright green color and sweet flavor. Given that less L-theanine is present due to its harvesting process, which is what gives Matcha its sweet flavor, this may imply that it will have a more bitter taste, hence, slightly less expensive than the former.
For our production of ceremonial and culinary grade Matcha, Midori Spring only employs 100% authentic organic Japanese tencha. We can guarantee you that our products are nothing short of extraordinary while being reasonably priced.
Invest in high quality accessories in making your Matcha
Purchasing high-quality tools like a bamboo whisk and a bamboo scoop will give your Matcha-making experience a more authentic sense. Its distinctive design is ideal for preventing clumping as the powder fully dissolves in water as opposed to using just a spoon or fork.
Everything you require for your Matcha-making experience is available at Midori Spring. What are you waiting for? Shop Now!
Organic vs Non Organic Matcha
Although organic Matcha has started to resurface the market, it still makes up less than 1% of the market. This is due to the fact that it is more challenging to grow organic tea trees. Organic Matcha should be grown free from pesticides and other chemical pest control methods. However, Midori Spring takes pride in being among the 1% of the market with an Organic certification. This demonstrates our commitment to giving our customers high-quality products.
What is the Traditional Method of making Matcha?
What you need: Matcha Bowl (Chawan), Matcha Whisk (Chasen), Bamboo Scoop (Chashaku), Small Sifter
- Warm up matcha bowl and bamboo whisk. Place whisk in a bowl and fill ⅓ of bowl with hot water. Let it sit for 1 minute then discard water. Dry bowl with clean cloth or paper towel.
- With the bamboo scoop, place 2 scoops of Midori Spring Matcha through a small sifter into the bowl to avoid clumping.
- Pour 60ml/2oz of hot water (72-76℃, 162-169℉) into bowl and whisk briskly in a “W” motion until fine foam appears. The whisk should not scratch the bottom of the bowl.
- Sip and Enjoy your Midori Spring Matcha.
For a full guide, click here.
Celebrating Tea Mastery
We don't just source tea; we form bonds with tea masters. These partnerships allow us to offer unique, artisanal teas that aren't mass-produced but carefully crafted. It's a celebration of skill, tradition, and the art of tea-making.