By Eric Brinkman
The newest superfood to hit the market is widely known across the world, not just for its frothy green colour, but its historical significance, and the complex techniques used in growing it. Matcha comes from the Ujiregion of Japan, which has a population of 189,609 people. This place has a perfect climate, which is made of milder temperatures and incredibly fertile soil.
Some matcha farmers will have two or three harvests, but traditionally matcha is only picked once a year in May. Six weeks before harvest, the Camellia Sinensis tea plant is shaded for about 20 days using a large overhead hanged covering made of straw or vinyl sheets. This is an incredible technique that serves to keep sunlight out and to reduce the the speed of photosynthesis, resulting in high levels of theanine - the healthy stuff that bliss is made of.
After picking, the leaves are quickly transported to the tea processing facility where they are strongly steamed to stop any fermentation. This is a key step to the bright green colour that permeates the leaves. Following this process, the leaves are gently blown around to be cooled and dry evenly.
Finally, the dry leaves are sorted into what is called trencha. The leaves are then put in wooden boxes and stored in a fridge until the final processing step where they are ground by stone into a fine powder.
The tool you see to the right is a mini version of a trencha.
The technique is unique and so is the drink - and for that I say, Let's Matcha!
If you're interested in tasting matcha tea powder for yourself, click here!
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