Matcha, or matcha green tea, is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves
This tradition goes as far back as 4000 years before. The green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest. This slows down growth, stimulates an increase in chlorophyll levels, turns the leaves a darker shade of green, and causes the production of amino acids. This process provides a sweet and gentle aroma to the tea while presenting a lighter shade of tea. The tea leaves are picked by hand in order to not damage them. Also, machines are never used to harvest these leaves. Small volumes of leaves are picked from the matcha plant. The harvesting process occurs only once a year. Owing to this, cultivation of matcha has expanded however the price is higher.
History of Matcha Tea
The history of this lovely beverage goes back 4000 year. It was discovered during the period when traditional herbal medicine was expanding and developing in China. The famous herbal practitioner was drinking hot water and a few leaves had fallen from the plant nearby. He drank it and realizing the enjoyable effects and decided to add it to his herbal pharmacy. In the 8th century, Japanese monks discovered matcha tea in china and brought it to Japan. The monks realized that drinking matcha improved their Zen meditation sessions by producing a state of calm alertness. For this reason, the monks began to import this tea into japan for many years. Slowly, drinking matcha tea became common among all people in Japan. Not long after, the cultivation of matcha tea in Japan began. These events occurred and expanded in various ways all over the world until the 16th century.
Japanese farmers began to do something amazing. During this century tea drinking traditions began to take shape. The name of these tea ceremonies in Japan are called sado or chado, where the art of making tea is put to the test. It was during these times when the Japanese cultivators realized that by placing the tea leaves in the shade, the tea undergoes major changes. So, they would Tana the young leaves. Meaning they would cover the young tea leaves with various items such as bamboo and rice shoots. During this period, matcha powder was produced in small quantities. Drinking this tea was a privilege of the royal family, high ranking monks, samurai, and affluent tradesmen. However, it wasn’t long after when new methods of cultivating and processing matcha appeared. This tea gained high popularity among the people of Japan and owing to its many health benefits and later, it was shared with the rest of the world as well.
In Japan, matcha is not limited to one type of tea or beverage, rather it is used as an ingredient in a wide range of food recipes, snacks, and deserts. Of the popular and highly admired beverages that contains matcha, one can name the cold matcha, mint matcha, ginger matcha, cinnamon, and cocoa matcha tea. Recently, green tea ice cream, has become a favorite desert. Many foods are prepared, using matcha as an ingredient. These foods typically contain mocha, saba noodles. However, the advancements of uses of matcha don’t end here! It is even used in various confections and pastries. This development of the uses of matcha is not limited to Japan only. In America and Europe matcha has been used as an ingredient in various alcoholic beverages. Starbucks also uses matcha in some of its cold beverages.
Caffeine in Matcha
The amount of caffeine in Matcha is less relative to coffee, the caffeine in matcha slowly enters the body. Instead of a quick boost of energy, caffeine from matcha is uniformly absorbed over the course of 3-4 hours and the body receives less of a shock while increasing its energy.
Components of Matcha Tea
This green tea has high amounts of anti-oxidants, fiber, cathicine, magnesium, chrome, zinc, chlorophyll, and a variety of vitamins such as E, K, C, B, and A.
For more information regarding this spectacular beverage and how it is prepared, stay tuned with Hunam as we will explore this subject more in our later articles.
Humag, Hunam’s News Magazine
Follow us, for further information in the field of Hunam’s coffee…