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All about matcha

What is Matcha?

A long standing tradition of Japanese Culture, and the focal point of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, Matcha Green Tea is the highest quality green tea powder made with stone mills. Unique to Japan, and made from the nutrient rich young leaves picked from the the tips of shade-grown camellia sinesis plants, Matcha Green Tea is steamed, stemmed and de-vined before being stone-ground into a very fine powder.

Where does Matcha Green Tea come from?

Matcha is premium green tea powder from Japan used for drinking as tea or as an ingredient in recipes. While other green teas are grown throughout the world, matcha is unique to Japan. It is the heart of the Japanese way of tea and has been celebrated in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony for hundreds of years.

How is Matcha made?

Ceremonial grade matcha is grown under a shade cloth as leaves reach maturity, as direct sunlight promotes bitter tannins in the leaves. The leaves are picked by hand and steamed for 15 seconds immediately after harvesting. The leaves are then immediately dried for many hours. The tea leaves are de-stemmed by and chopped into ‘aracha’. The leaves are then de-stemmed again and de-veined (the veins in the leaves are removed).

Now, this is called Tencha. Tencha is then ground by a stone mill into matcha. Matcha used for chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony must be made into powder by a stone mill and use only tea leaves from the first harvest of the season.

 

 What is the difference between Matcha and Green Tea?

Matcha, sencha, gyokuro and kabusecha are all made of green tea leaves. The difference is in the process. Matcha is made by grounding up green tea leaves. Sencha are grown in the full sun, gyokuro are shaded with a reed screen for several weeks and kabusecha are covered with a cloth placed directly on top of the plants. 

 

Organic or not?

The question is, is organic matcha better than non-organic matcha? While "organic" does have real meaning and environmental value, it is not focused primarily on the quality of the tea and does not come with guarantees.

 In today’s huge global marketplace, there are lots of cheap organic Matcha products from China and expensive ones from Japan. It is well known in the matcha community that the color, flavor and price are much better for non-organic matchas. And Although Nippon Cha does produce and sell organic matcha, we have found that our customers have long favored the taste, color and overall experience of our traditional, non-organic matchas. It should be noted that only organic fertilizers are used in the cultivation of all of Nippon Cha’s products. Furthermore, the residual pesticide regulation is very strict in Japan, so food products made in Japan are considered very safe.  

 

How much Matcha should you drink a day?

Matcha has about 70mg of caffeine in one cup. The amount of caffeine that should be consumed in one day by the average adult is 400mg. Therefore about 5.5 cups of matcha per day is safe to drink, based on 1g servings, around ½ a teaspoon, which is enough matcha to keep you energized throughout your day. 

 

Important:

IS MATCHA VEGAN AND GLUTEN FREE?

 Yes, matcha is both vegan and gluten free.

 

What makes Matcha so healthy?

Matcha is loaded with antioxidants as well as other needed nutrients like Vitamins A, C and E, dietary fiber, chlorophyll, and polyphenols (naturally occurring micronutrients found in plants) all of which contribute to its many health benefits.

This is because when drinking matcha green tea, you are consuming the ground up tea leaves, rather than the liquid from the brewed loose or bagged tea. Drinking matcha helps ensure you receive all the antioxidants and nutrients your body needs.One serving of matcha powder contains 1,384 ORAC units of antioxidants – more than almost any other food on the planet. Antioxidants are special nutrients that protect your body’s cells against harmful damage from free radicals. These toxins make you susceptible to inflammation, many types of disease and chronic conditions.Matcha is also rich in a powerful type of antioxidants known as catechins, which have powerful cancer-fighting properties. The most active and abundant catechin is EGCG. Among it’s many benefits, Catechins like ECEG can prevent heart disease, increase your metabolism, burn fat and has anti-aging antioxidants that protect skin and reduce inflammation.Matcha also contains a healthy dose of the amino acid L-Theanine, known to improve learning and memory, enhances your resilience to stress, improves the sleep quality of people with ADHD and can even help smokers stop smoking. When caffeine and L-Theanine are consumed together, they produce a sustainable source of energy that lasts 4-6 hours, along with a calm-yet-alert state of mind, without the jitters or crash of coffee. This is why matcha was the favored beverage of the samurai and Zen Buddhist monks alike.