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Delicious, Healthy Japanese "Matcha Tea"

Food, Culture2015.10.01

Do you know about Japanese “tea culture”? The taste and color of Japanese tea is slightly different from tea drunk in other countries around the world. Visitors to Japan may come across Japanese tea in a hotel, restaurant, convenience store etc., and try it out. It features a characteristic fresh aroma, refreshing bitterness that includes sweetness and umami, and a beautiful color. There are surely many people who are surprised by its profound taste. So, most of the tea made in Japan is called "ryokucha", or "green tea". As its name suggests, it has a beautiful green color. Also, there are many types of tea that are included as “ryokucha”, such as “sencha”, “gyokuro”, “matcha” etc. On this page, we would like to introduce “matcha” tea to you, a tea that is gaining popularity around the world, not only as a drink, but also as a flavoring for sweets.

With lots of flavor and nutrients, it is becoming known around the world. A drink that allows you to experience Japanese tradition and culture while becoming healthy.

Matcha is a tea drunk at tea ceremony, a traditional Japanese tea ritual. The tea leaf production method and preparation are a little different from the tea drunk everyday by Japanese people. When making general Japanese tea, the tea leaves and hot water are put into a pot like when making black tea, it is then brewed to extract the ingredients of the tea leaves, and consumed. However, for matcha tea, the tea leaves are processed into a powdered form, dissolved in hot water and then enjoyed. The act of dissolving the powdered tea leaves in hot water using a special chasen whisk is called "tateru". The series of manners/rituals when making tea for another person is what makes up the "tea ceremony". Matcha was first drunk in Japan during the Kamakura period (1185-1333). The preist Eisai, who studied in China, brought matcha tea leaf manufacturing methods and the way of drinking it to Japan. At the time, matcha was used as a medicine due to its high nutritional value. However, after this time,
as the cultivation of tea trees began in Japan and the tea's excellent flavor was also recognized, it spread throughout Japan. Then, after a long time had elapsed, the tradition of tea ceremony was also established.

With a little practice, anyone can make it with ease. Easily enjoy matcha without being bound to the etiquette of tea ceremony.

While the tea ceremony was established as a way to enjoy matcha with formal etiquette, it has also spread as a drink that can be drunk by common people too. When you want to enjoy the taste of matcha at home, you don't have to worry about formal etiquette. Matcha is a tea that, with a little bit of practice, can be easily enjoyed by anyone.
When making matcha tea at home, it is easier to do so if you sieve the matcha powder beforehand. Put a scoop of sieved matcha powder (approx. 1.5g) into a teacup (chawan), and pour in hot water that has been boiled and allowed to cool a little (soft water, 70-85°C, approx. 70cc). Next, using a chasen whisk, slowly mix the powder accumulated at the bottom of the cup to disperse it. Then, raise the whisk a little off the bottom of the cup and shake it firmly back and forth while taking care not to rotate the hot water itself. When a lather is created, lift the tip of the whisk up the surface and slowly move it so that the lather becomes finer. Finally, gently lift the whisk upward so that the lather swells toward the center, and then your matcha tea is ready.

Delicious and healthy.
Please try the charms of matcha tea that cannot be found in other teas.

Japanese teas have been gaining popularity around the world for being delicious, healthy drinks. Among these teas, matcha is a very healthy, highly nutritional drink that allows you to intake the entire ingredients of tea leaves. Matcha contains catechins, which prevent/suppress hypertension, aging and diabetes, lots of vitamins that prevent cancer, colds etc. It also contains many active ingredients that prevent bad breath, tooth decay, freckles/skin dullness, constipation etc. Furthermore, the umami ingredient theanine is said to have a relaxing effect and improve poor circulation.

Matcha is full of many charms, such as taste, healthiness and popularity. It is recommended item for both yourself or to give as a gift. We would like you to enjoy these matcha charms for yourself.

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