Technically just one of the different categories of Japanese green tea, Matcha seems to be everywhere! And in every conceivable form. Matcha differs from other green teas in the way it is grown, processed and prepared, and the health benefits that result from these differences are one of the reasons for its current popularity.
Unlike other types of tea, Matcha is consumed as a whole leaf, ground into a fine powder. This method of preparation and consumption allows all the nutrients from the tea leaves to be absorbed, making Matcha a particularly potent source of antioxidants.
The Japanese tea ceremony, in which the preparation of Ceremonial Quality Matcha is at the centre of an intricate choreography of graceful movements and gestures, is one of Japan’s most famous traditions, and Matcha is indeed synonymous with Japanese culture.
According to the Japanese Global Tea Association until the early 1900s, consumers would buy tencha (the raw leaf material for matcha) and grind the leaves themselves into a powder just before drinking the tea.
Today, matcha is readily available, but the quality can vary dramatically. Be aware that although matcha translates as ‘ground tea’, not all powdered green tea is the same as Japanese ceremonial quality matcha. For more information on what to look for, read our magazine article “A beginner’s guide to matcha“.
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