What is Matcha Tea?

Matcha is a type of green tea that originated more than 800 years ago. In the beginning, it was mainly used by Buddhist masters and samurai, until recently it started to be consumed in Europe as well. Fresh tea leaves are ground into a fine powder and the result is a remarkably green color with a wonderful taste and exceptional aroma. Matcha tea contains unique catechins and amino acids.

Interesting facfts 

∗ only 30 grams of matcha can be ground in one hour

∗ 1 cup of matcha tea is equivalent to 10 cups of normally brewed green tea

∗ by drinking matcha, you consume the whole tea leaf, not just the extract from it

∗ real matcha tea is made only from tencha tea

∗ scientists found that the concentration of antioxidants in matcha tea is up to 137 times higher than in regular green tea

∗ the contained L-Theanine contributes to calming the body and overall concentration

∗ studies suggest that green tea may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease

Matcha Tea contains amino acids, beta-carotene, catechins, complex polysaccharides, flavonols, saponin, theanine, calcium, chrome, manganese, potassium, selenium, vitamin C, A and E, zinc.

Between many qualities such as reduction of physical and mental stress, improvement of of mood and concentration, reduction of bad breath, fat oxidation, speed up of metabolism, promotion of longevity.  

How is matcha grown and harvested?

Matcha grows only in shaded fields. Four weeks before harvest, the field is completely shaded. Special shading technology blocks up to 90% of sunlight. The plant, which at that moment is almost in complete darkness, compensates for the lack of light by intensive production of chlorophyll. This makes the leaves richer in amino acids and gives them a typical emerald green color. You can recognize high-quality matcha not only by its deep green color, but also by its sweet and delicate taste.

The tea is harvested at the beginning of May. Even at this time, the leaves used for matcha are plucked exclusively by hand. Immediately after collection, the leaves are transferred to the factory - aracha. Here begins the long journey of turning the raw leaves into an absolutely fine powder.

First, the leaves are steamed. The hot steam prevents fermentation, keeps the leaves fresh and ensures that all the nutrients remain in the tea. Then the leaves are dried. When the leaves go through this stage, their weight is reduced to almost a fifth. At this stage, this tea is called "aracha", which can be loosely translated as raw tea.

The next stage is the selection of aracha tea. Sheets come in different qualities and that is why categorization is needed. Experts judge the color, quality and taste of the tea.

The final tea is a blend of different varieties and results in a consistent quality throughout the year. Finally, the process of removing stems, twigs and other unwanted parts takes place so that the final product is the finest and purest pulp from the tea plant. This is then cut into equal pieces and "tencha" tea is created.

Grinding matcha tea

The last step in the production of matcha tea is grinding, which takes place in completely hygienic premises of the factory with the help of granite mills. They grind the Tencha tea into a perfectly fine powder and this creates matcha. The size of one grain is 5-10 microns, where one micron is one millionth of a meter. It's so fine that the powder literally melts in your mouth.

One granite mill grinds only 30-40 grams of tea per hour, and even in the 21st century, only this technique will guarantee that the tea will retain its unique taste, color and aroma during production.

Blending different grades of tea leaves is one of the most important processes to ensure premium quality teas. The production of tea mixture is inevitable to achieve different qualities of matcha tea. There are more than 10 different quality classes, which differ from each other in color, taste and aroma. the highest quality matcha can be recognized by its soothing green color and aroma, which should be mild and sweet at the same time. In order for the mixture to be perfect, the assessment of a true master is needed, who follows strict criteria.

Matcha as an antioxidant

Matcha Tea is renowned for its antioxidant properties. Chlorophyll, the pigment that gives tea its green color, helps remove unwanted compounds in the body. The natural ingredients in matcha tea and their benefits EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is a catechin that is an important aid in the absorption of fats. It speeds up the metabolism and facilitates the burning of fat stores, amino acid L-Theanine. 

Matcha naturally contains 5 times more L-theanine than other teas. This amazing amino acid can naturally improve mental alertness while keeping you naturally relaxed. L-Theanine also improves memory. Tea, Camellia sinensis is the only plant that naturally produces L-Theanine. L-Theanine stimulates the brain's alpha waves, which are associated with relaxation and mental well-being. It helps to relax the mind while allowing full concentration. Therefore, matcha was a very popular drink among monks and samurai. Experiments have shown that Theanine has a positive effect on the mind and improves memory by increasing dopamine levels.