What is matcha?

Today I would like to have a brief introduction of matcha.

Matcha is a kind of finely milled green tea powder but different from the regular green tea powder. Tea leaves for making matcha is called tencha.

Before harvesting, tea plants will be completely shaded over 20 days from early mid-April. This causes the  amino acid, theanine and the alkaloid caffeine in the tea leaves to increase and yields a sweet flavor, distinct aroma and green color.

After harvest, tea leaves will be only steamed and laid out flat to dry. Unlike other regular green teas, tencha will not undergo a rolling process, so the shape of tencha is alike to sea sedge. It has a small flat square shape and darker shade of green.

The regular green tea powder is made from sencha. Tea trees grown for sencha are not shaded, so the color of it will be lighter green and the flavor will be a little bitter. After harvesting, tea leaves will undergo the rolling process, so the shape of it is thin and long, like a needle.

In the picture is our SMILE TEA ceremonial grade matcha. It is both easy and delicious to make in hot or cold water, or even make into other desserts.

While drinking our SMILE TEA ceremonial grade matcha, it will have an initial vegetal taste of Chlorophyll and an astringent taste of catechins that followed by a lingering sweetness of amino acids in your mouth.

Next time, I would like to share about some of the ways to make matcha, and others story about matcha.