The science of Matcha tea
In Japan, growing and producing the perfect green tea is a fine art, and bringing out the delicate flavour from the raw green tea leaves requires both creativity and skill.
Our Matcha tea is from a small eco-run farm in Shizuoka, Japan. Tea production started here during the ancient Kamakura period between 1185 and 1333, and has remained here ever since.
The taste of hundreds and hundreds of years of blending wisdom and mastery is evident in every single cup of Shizuoka tea.
A certain shade of green
At the beginning of April, the first precious shoots of the season start to appear at the very tips of the tea plant. These shoots are covered and grown in the shade for about 20 days, forcing them to produce more chlorophyll and turning them a beautiful vibrant green colour.
The first day of spring
In Japan, Risshun is traditionally the first day of spring, and Hachijuhachiya is the 88th day after Risshun.
Hachijuhachiya marks the beginning of tea-picking season and usually falls in early May. This is when the first flush of leaves are lovingly hand picked.
This ‘first flush’ of leaves are considered to be the absolute finest in freshness, quality and flavour, and are ideal for making the perfect matcha tea.
Steaming and drying
When the first flush has been picked, it’s carefully steamed. This is one of the key differences between Japanese green tea and other green teas. Steaming prevents oxidisation, retains the natural green colour, and locks in the unique fragrance and nutritional value of the leaves.
Next, the leaves are air-dried, and the veins and stems are removed. The remaining material – ‘tencha’ is the raw form of matcha tea powder.
The final product
The final part of the process sees the dried leaves stone ground in to a fine powder. Producing beautiful, vibrant matcha green tea, ready for a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.