Matcha (Japanese Green Tea Powder) is regarded by many as super-food. Unlike most tea powder, Matcha is a premium grade of tea only produced in the strictest standard and small quantities to ensure freshness and quality.
Traditionally Matcha is the tea that Japanese use for tea ceremony and traditional Japanese sweets such as Wagashi and Chagashi.
There are 2 categories of Matcha based on the leaves used to make the powder – Tencha or Aracha. With each category of Matcha, there are still many grades. Tencha Matcha is made the traditional way and it takes an hour of careful grinding to yield 20g Matcha powder!
Matcha is fine like flour, and Tencha Matcha is usually finer than Aracha Matcha, and it’s best savoured on its own. Tencha Matcha is suitable to use in Koicha and Usucha tea ceremony.
|Tencha Matcha||Aracha Matcha|
|Tencha is the leaf traditionally made into Gyokuro and Matcha||Aracha is traditionally made into Sencha|
|More vibrant green colour – powder and brew||Less vibrant green – powder and brew|
|Traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremony||Traditionally used in Japanese sweets|
|Grow in part-shade||Grow in full sun|
|More Caffeine and L-theanine||More Catechins antioxidants|
|Only tender leaves from first harvest of the year is used||Made from harvests throughout the year|
|Stronger taste, less bitter||More economical|
|Great to drink on its own||Great for making food, like cookies, milkshake|
|Often reserved for tea masters and tea ceremony performers||More popular and the default “export grade” Matcha|
- Matcha should be purchased in small packets to ensure minimum degradation of quality.
- Consume as soon as possible once open, as Matcha will lose its flavour and oxidises quickly.
- If your packet of Matcha starts to lose its vibrant colour and fresh green tea smell, then no point of drinking it. Cook with it, or make something funky with it, like matcha face mask!
- Storing Matcha in fridge can slow down this process, but will not stop it.
- Some very bright Matcha powder from Asian stores actually have sugar, baking soda and colouring in it. Check ingredients if you are after genuine matcha powder.
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