Our matcha journey starts with the tea plants themselves. The green tea pants that are made into quality matcha are grown primarily in the southern parts of Japan. Nishio, Uji, and Shizuoka all have the ideal growing climate and soil for tea. The highest class of green tea is produced in these areas. The matcha used at 3 Leaf Tea is no exception. We import exclusively from Japanese farms in Uji and Shizuoka.
Once established and of a harvestable size, the tea plants must have a balance of sun and shade to maintain the deep green color of their leaves. Exposure to too much sun causes the leaves to increase the production of chlorophyll, which makes the leaves turn a lighter green and ultimately result in a lower grade of matcha. The shaded leaves are harvested, by hand or by machine, and then dried. The tea leaves are now called “tencha.” Tencha leaves destined to become matcha then have their stems removed and are stone ground to a fine powder by a large granite stone mills.
Even after grinding, matcha retains its original color. Matcha should be dark green and be as smooth as talcum powder. When prepared with a hot liquid and whisked, it should create a foam of fine bubbles. There are several different methods to prepare matcha. Premium and ceremonial quality matcha have a creamy, vegetal taste with a sweet, grassy finish. Cooking grade matcha will be yellow-green, much coarser and be much more difficult to froth. This matcha will taste bitter if prepared in a drink but is perfect for cooking and baking applications. We carry 3 different matcha grades; cooking, premium, and ceremonial grade.
Drinking green tea has a multitude of health benefits. Matcha is an excellent source of antioxidants which have the power to neutralize potentially cancer-causing free radical cells in your body. What’s more, antioxidants are also shown to slow cognitive deterioration in older adults and improve information processing speeds in the brain, keeping you smarter for longer. In addition to antioxidants, matcha contains a unique type of amino acid. The amino acid found in matcha is called L-Theanine. L-Theanine, combined with caffeine, helps you feel calm, but alert, without jitters. While the overall caffeine content is less than a cup of coffee, the energizing effects are said to be more intense and longer lasting. Read about the complete list of benefits here.
At 3 Leaf Tea, our good reputation is based on the high standards we demand of our tea and tea suppliers. It is our mission to bring our customers only the freshest, quality matcha. Feel free to ask us any questions, and let us give you the best matcha experience possible.