Bulk Japanese Matcha Teas

Matcha is the most talked about tea around, and for good reason. It is healthy, delicious, and can be meditative to prepare. It can be used as a quiet morning meditation, or a late-morning boost of motivation. Matcha is quite versatile and can also be made into lattes, cocktails, and used in cooking and baking.

on matcha history
Grinding tea was popular in China during the Song Dynasty and was widely consumed this way before it became popular in Japan. Powdered green tea was brought over to Japan in the 12th century by Buddhist monks. The tea was revered for its meditative yet invigorating properties. Samurai warriors started drinking matcha before battle for focus and energy. The ceremony of carefully preparing matcha was developed in Japan in the 13th century and is referred to as Chanoyu. It is a precise, meditative art of preparing the tea, and tea masters study chanoyu their entire lives. It is a method of preparing tea, but also a way of life. Powdered tea eventually grew out of fashion in China but Japan has kept the tradition alive.

on matcha making
Matcha tea leaves are ‘shade grown’. This means the tea plants are covered with a canopy for 3-4 weeks before they are harvested. This process restricts sunlight to the plants which slows down their growth. The lack of sunlight stimulates the plant to produce more chlorophyll and concentrates the number of vitamins and antioxidants in the leaves. Shade grown teas are a deeper hue of green due to the extra chlorophyll production.

When it’s time to harvest, tea leaves are picked, steamed, dried, graded, and then the stems and leaf veins are removed to create a loose-leaf tea called ‘tencha’. The tencha is then ground into a powder. The grinding process must be done with special stones and ground slowly. If ground too quickly, too much heat will be generated and ruin the integrity of the beautiful leaves.

on matcha types
There are two main categories of matcha: Ceremonial Grade and Culinary Grade.

Ceremonial grade matcha is higher quality and is suitable to be used for tea ceremonies. It is ground using the special stone mills and is harvested earlier, containing younger leaves and buds. The concentration of the amino acids in the younger tea creates a sweeter brew. If you’re looking to prepare matcha on its own without adding anything to it, a ceremonial grade is recommended. You’ll get the most vibrant, flavorful brew.

Culinary grade tea is a slightly lower quality matcha. It may use leaves harvested later in the season, and also larger leaves that are further down on the plant. It may also not be ground with the same care as the ceremonial grade tea. Culinary grade matcha may be slightly darker color and have a little more bitterness but it’s more affordable and is perfect to use in recipes, lattes, and cocktails as you’re combining the tea with other flavors.

on matcha and health
If you’re looking for a tea that will wake you up but also give you a focused, relaxed energy, matcha is the perfect choice. L-Theanine, a chemical compound in tea is super-concentrated in matcha, and it helps bring you calm focus, while the caffeine keeps you alert. Even though matcha packs a caffeine punch, note that it has about half the caffeine of a similarly sized cup of coffee. Matcha wakes you up but doesn’t give you those coffee jitters.

Because matcha is shade grown, the plants produce more chlorophyl and antioxidants. These antioxidants may help with overall wellness and may fight certain illnesses. When you drink matcha you are drinking the entire whole tea leaves ground into powder, so you are getting all the nutrients of the leaf, not just what was steeped into the water.

on matcha taste
If the correct amount of tea and the right water temperature are used, matcha should be velvety, sweet, and vegetal with a little bit of bitterness. Depending on where and how the tea is grown and processed, it will taste slightly different, some matcha teas may be sweeter, and some a little more bitter.

To make matcha you can use a Japanese bowl (chawan) and scoop (chasen) to whisk the powder into a tea, or you can shake in a mason jar, or even incorporate with a frothing wand.

Whether you are drinking matcha for the health benefits or just because you love the taste, experiment with different ways of preparation to see what you like best. You may find that some days you’ll crave a latte, while other days you’ll want a bowl of beautifully whisked, frothy pure matcha to sip in mindful meditation.

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Camellia sinensis
<span class="small">Organic Japanese</span> Matcha
from $29.60 
Camellia sinensis
<span class="small">Organic Japanese</span> Matcha
from $17.20