You may have noticed us talking (a lot) about a little green tea called matcha this month. Though its grown hugely in popularity since we first brought it to the UK 6 years ago, it still remains an a fairly unknown tea to a lot of people.
First things first, matcha comes from Japan and secondly it is made from the tea bush – Camellia Sinensis (the same plant which makes black tea / green tea / oolong). Our matcha is grown in Nishio – one of the oldest tea growing regions in Japan which produces some of the very best matcha. It is only harvested once per season in May – lower grades may be harvested numerous times. At the end of March each year the tea bushes are shaded which reduces the amount of sunlight and hence photosynthesis. This stresses out the tea bushes and the chlorophyll / amino acid level increases.
The tea leaves are soft and crammed with good stuff by the time they are hand picked. The leaves are then steamed and dried, this leaf is then called tencha and is ready to be sorted / filtered – removing any tough stems. The super quality leaves are then ground between granite stones which takes an hour to make 1 tin!
So, what makes matcha good?
Matcha quality can vary, the shade levels varies and hence the chlorophyll content varies. This all impacts on the below…..
An umami flavour
Smooth not bitter
Bright green appearance
Our premium grade matcha is really top notch and we are so thrilled so many of you have been trying it for the first time this month and taking part in our #matchachallenge. There’s still time to get involved so don’t miss out!