When you drink matcha you consume the leaves, unlike other green teas. For this reason matcha contains, by volume, higher concentrations of catechins and vitamins.
There are 2 types of matcha- koicha and usucha. These are chanoyu (Japanese Tea Ceremony) terms and literally translate as "thick" and "thin" tea.
Usucha comes from the leaves of tea plants that are less than 30 years old. Koicha comes from the first harvest of plants that are a minimum of 30 years old.
In tea ceremony koicha is brewed with less water than usucha. Koicha has a naturally mellower and sweeter taste and the tea is made thicker for that reason..
Prepare Matcha Your Way
Matcha preparation is personal, and there are no rules outside of Tea Ceremony. Well, there is one rule- don't use boiling water. That's all!
If you are new to green tea it may take you 2 or 3 attempts to find the concentration that is right for you. Koicha when prepared in tea ceremony is very thick, like syrup. If you use usucha for this the tea would be somewhat bitter.
Most customers do not prepare matcha to the syrupy thickness of tea ceremony koicha. While there is a qualitative difference between the 2 (thick tea is composed of the highest quality leaves) there is also a significant difference in cost. If you have not tried matcha before we recommend that you purchase our inexpensive usucha first and see if you like matcha.
Matcha comes from gyokuro leaves that have been steamed and dried. All stems and veins are removed from the leaves. The pure dried leaves (tencha) are then stone ground into a super fine powder that is the consistency of talc. Matcha is uniquely Japanese.
Japanese Green Tea Online ships matcha fresh from Japan, and we order fresh teas weekly from our Uji tea growers.
Uji, the Source of Quality Matcha.
Most high quality matcha comes from the Uji Tawara area, which is the premier matcha producing region in Japan. Uji Tawara is famous in Japan for shincha, matcha, gyokuro, and sencha.
This region has perfect conditions for producing high quality gyokuro and matcha- misty climate, sloping hills, and a wide range of temperature between day and night.
To prepare quality matcha you will need 2 items- a matcha bowl and a bamboo whisk. The chashaku (bamboo matcha spoon) is not necessary. Some customers, however, enjoy using the chashaku as it adds to the ritual effect of preparing the tea.
For strong (thick) tea use one level teaspoon for 4 to 6 ounces of water. For medium (thin) tea use half or one quarter that amount. First put the powdered tea in the bowl. Then pour hot (not boiling) water over the leaves.
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