Matcha Powder Tea is finely ground powder produced from specially grown and processed green tea. It is special in two aspects: farming and processing. The green tea plants used are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest, and the stems and veins are removed during processing. During shaded growth the plant, Camellia sinensis, produces more theanine and caffeine than the average green tea plant. This combination of chemicals is considered to account for the calm energy people might feel from drinking matcha.
The powder of Matcha tea is consumed differently from your average tea leaves or tea bags. The ultra-fine powder dissolves quickly and easily in liquid, typically water or milk. And, because matcha is made from the whole tea leaf, the consumer receives 100% of the nutritional value of the green tea plant. Which, in this case, contain an amazing assortment of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants! Each serving is said to be equal to 10 servings of your average green tea.
The traditional Chinese and Japanese tea ceremony centers on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha as hot tea and embodies a meditative spiritual style. In modern times, matcha also has come to be used to flavor and dye foods such as mochi and soba noodles, green tea ice cream, matcha lattes, and a variety of Japanese wagashi confectionery. Often, the former is referred to as ceremonial-grade matcha, meaning that the matcha powder is good enough for tea ceremony. The latter is referred to as culinary-grade matcha, but there is no standard industry definition or requirements for either.
Blends of matcha are given poetic names known as chamei (“tea names”) either by the producing plantation, shop, or creator of the blend, or, by the grand master of a particular tea tradition. When a blend is named by the grand master of a tea ceremony lineage, it becomes known as the master’s konomi, or a Butcher block of Leaf.