The Making of Authentic Matcha Powder
Matcha tea, a finely ground green tea powder made famous by Japanese Zen monks, has become incredibly popular over the last couple years. Modern day tea drinkers love Matcha for the feeling of calm and focused alertness it provides, as well as its sweet, creamy and umami flavor. With the increased popularity of Matcha tea, countless varieties are readily available on the market. However, many of these green tea powders are far from authentic, with disappointing tastes to match. Wei Bertram, Arogya’s founding director and tea expert, travels to China to source the finest artisan and organic teas directly. She was delighted to find a genuine, high-quality Matcha tea from an organic tea producer in Zhejiang, China. So what exactly goes into making authentic Matcha tea as opposed to low-grade powdered green tea?
A veritable Matcha tea begins with the right tea leaves. The leaves must be harvested in early Spring from tea plants that have been deliberately shaded in the weeks leading up to harvest time. Shade-grown leaves are sweeter and have higher levels of amino acids and chlorophyll, which gives Matcha that unmistakable brilliant green hue.
The next step for high quality Matcha tea is the grinding process. This takes place in a specialized room where humidity and temperature are closely regulated to preserve the active constituents in the tea. Furthermore, in order to retain the original flavor, quality, and high anti-oxidant levels, the leaves must be ground without creating any heat from friction. This cold-grinding technique is accomplished by slowly and carefully grinding the delicate leaves with a granite mill. A single granite mill, with its meticulously slow process, can only produce about one ounce of Matcha powder per hour. The cold-grinding technique is what sets a true Matcha tea apart from commercialized, low-quality green tea powder.
If you love drinking straight Matcha tea, it’s worth it to invest in a high-quality Matcha. The complex yet smooth taste is incomparable! But if you prefer making Matcha lattes, or adding Matcha to your smoothies or baked goods, people generally use culinary grade Matcha. This lower grade Matcha tends to be louder and flatter in taste, which brewed straight doesn’t deliver a very subtle or refined experience. However, brewed with milk and maple syrup, or sprinkled on a chocolate truffle, culinary Matcha gives you a powerfully nutty, green, umami taste that doesn’t get drowned out by the other ingredients.
If you haven’t experienced a truly delicious and amazing Matcha tea, I highly recommend our ceremonial grade Matcha! Brewed just right, the incredibly satisfying flavor brings you right to the present moment to mindfully savor each sip of your cup, while giving you the sharpened focus to be super productive. And if you want to try whipping up some Matcha lattes, you can purchase our organic Matcha at our retail store.