Our 2019 Ceremonial matcha is a bit of departure from our usual blends. This year we fell in love with a matcha from Uji blended from the pinnacle Uji Hikari cultivar and the relatively unusual Ten-Miyou variety (cultivated from natural hybrids of Samidori). The Uji Hikari brings smooth , creamy luxury while the Ten-Miyou has a nutty, walnut skin bite and fresh leather character which is so intriguing. A really engaging and unique blend which we can't stop sipping!
Our matcha is the tip-top grade. It is sourced from Tencha grown in the most famed matcha producing area of Japan - Uji near Kyoto and stone ground to under 10 microns. The cultivars used are top level. Saemidori is a delicious, bright tasting variety and this is blended with the smooth and silky Uji Hikari. We love Uji Hikari in our matcha but it is relatively low yield and much more expensive. If you would like to taste a 100% Uji Hikari Matcha then we sometimes get a batch in stock.
Matcha is super finely ground (under 10 microns) green tea. It is made so fine using a stone grinder to prevent the addition of heat from machine grinding which reduces the nutrient content. The small particle size means that the tea leaf suspends in water and produces a smooth textured tea. This style of brewing tea is actually very ancient and the method used a few thousand years ago before tea production expanded to allow for brewing whole leaves.
The health advantage of drinking matcha is that you are actually consuming the whole leaf which means that the full therapeutic effects of tea are given to your body. Studies have shown that matcha provides between 3 to 137 times the amount of antioxidants (in the form of high potency catechins) compared with brewed green tea. These figures vary so widely depending on the tea and matcha chosen for the studies. It shows how much difference there is between high quality and poor quality tea. The 137 times figure comes from a study against Starbucks green tea.
We think it is a conservative estimate that one shot of matcha gives the same amount of antioxidants as drinking 10-20 cups of high-quality Green tea. Antioxidants may be fundamental to good health by soaking up the free radicals in your body which lead to ageing and ill health.
During the growing of the tea leaves the plants are shaded from the sun for at least 20 days. This causes the leaf to increase chlorophyll production which gives you a bright green colour and associated health benefits. The Tencha is then stored for many months in a cool environment to age before grinding. If you miss out on this step then the matcha will be lightweight and pale instead of dark and robust.
The most convenient way of drinking matcha is in the form of a tea 'shot'. We recommend using a teaspoon for 60-70ml of cold or hot water (between 70 and 80 degrees). Stir vigorously or whisk to make a smooth drink. Sip and enjoy the marine air and grass flavour or down it like a health shot. Drink one or two shots a day. We do not advise drinking before bed as it does contain caffeine.