Kreed Botanicals is providing Ceremonial Grade Matcha Powder here!
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Let’s talk more about Matcha, shall we?
Where is Matcha from? Did it originate from Japan?
You probably know Matcha coming from Japan. However, the green tea powder has its beginning roots in China – it is from where the idea of powdered tea prevailed. Japan is responsible for matcha’s mass production and the traditional tea ceremony which describes the luxurious status of this premium green tea. In fact, the very word Matcha is Japanese where “ma” means rubbed or ground and “cha” translates to tea. Therefore, matcha stands for grounded tea.
Let’s go back to the times when Tang Dynasty was reigning in China, a period spanning from 7th Century to 10th Century. It was the time when the concept of powdered tea emerged. The people from Tang Dynasty used to steam the tea leaves and form bricks. This practice made the tea harvest a rather simple process and trade was easier as well. Later, these bricks were roasted and pulverized resulting in a fine tea powder which could then be mixed with salt and water for consumption – sounds similar to how to make matcha these days, right?
After the Tang Dynast came the Song Dynasty, whose rule spanned from 10th Century to 13th Century. This was the time when Matcha powder truly found its foundation. During this period Eisai, a Japanese Buddhist Monk was staying in China, and when we returned, he brought with him the tea seeds and the Zen Buddhist methods of preparing the powdered green tea. These tea seeds from China were considered the highest quality in all of Japan at that time and it holds true to this day.
When Eisai brought back the tea seeds, he planted them on the temple grounds in Kyoto – the home of Kamakura Shogun. Kyoto still is one of the only regions where matcha is grown; Aichi being the other. Back then, matcha wasn’t produced in bulk and as a result, it was an emblem of luxury status.
Later, when Eisai returned to Japan, Zen Buddhists invested in a different method of cultivating the green tea plant – the method which is still In use and makes the matcha powder more potent.
What’s the process of making Matcha?
Matcha comes from Japan because it is the only region where it is produced. Matcha isn’t your regular green tea and thus, it is prepared in special conditions which come under Japanese expertise only. You might be wondering about the new method mentioned earlier – this is it.
The method is called tencha. Three weeks prior to the harvesting of the leaves, farmers cover the tea plants with bamboo mats or tarps. Doing so shields the plant from direct sunlight which in turn triggers the overproduction of chlorophyll – now you understand why matcha is such a vibrant green color! This process also accounts for the maximized health benefits matcha houses. Moreover, the deep earthy, umami flavor you taste while enjoying your match, it is also the courtesy of this specialized process – the amino acid theanine is responsible for it.
The attention which matcha requires doesn’t end with cultivation – it continues until you brew yourself a cup. When the tea leaves are ready for harvesting, they are hand-picked, steamed and then air dried. After the leaves are ready, they are sorted in grades: with kitchen grade being the poor quality matcha and the ceremonial grade being the premium quality. Later, the leaves are destemmed and deveined – now, they are ready to be grounded resulting in what is called “matcha!” Traditionally, matcha is ground using a stone mill or a mortar and pestle. However, for larger amounts, powdering machines are used.
Different kinds of Matcha?
There are two different grades of matcha:
- Ceremonial Grade
- Culinary Grade
There are five types of culinary grade available – premium, café, classic, ingredient, and kitchen.
The highest quality of matcha powder in the world is the Ceremonial grade. It is a luxury tea. The traditional Japanese tea ceremonies are incomplete without this tea.
The youngest leaves of matcha contain the maximum flavor. It is important to remove the veins and the stems of the plant because they are not useful. In fact, this is that part of the plant that contains the most nutrients and flavor.
To preserve the freshness, the leaves are finely grounded into powder using a stone grinder. This texture helps in generating a very delicate taste.
When comparing its flavor with other tea grades, the Ceremonial grade has a mildly sweet flavor. This is a very high-quality delicate flavor.
The Ceremonial grade has a good taste so it can be served without adding any ingredients to it. The reason is that when you add milk, sugar, or other ingredients, the original flavor changes.
You can prepare this matcha by adding hot water to it.
It is not ideal for cooking or baking because it is a high-quality tea that is very expensive.
With the Ceremonial matcha, you can create a thick tea blend that has a fresh and glassy aroma.
To prepare 1 cup of tea you need only 1/2 teaspoon of matcha powder. Just whisk it in hot water until no lumps remain and you get a smooth consistency.
Both Culinary grade and Ceremonial grade are of the same quality. It’s not like one is better than the other.
The difference is in the flavor. The Culinary grade is more bitter and robust.
The bitterness of this grade is good for preparing smoothies, lattes, and bakery products. Even while cooking, its bright green color or strong flavor doesn’t alter. This is the reason why it’s so distinctive.
Culinary grade matcha is available in five different types. The process of producing and harvesting these types is different from one another. Therefore, it is a very unique blend of Matcha.
The Premium grade is one of the most delicious types of matcha. This is the reason why it is so popular.
It is highly nutritious and so many people use it to boost their energy levels.
It has a fine texture so it is easy to mix in water. Also, the color is bright green so it looks more appetizing.
If you compare its price with the Ceremonial grade than, it is a lot cheaper.
The leaves of Café grade are less delicate in comparison to the Premium grade. Also, its flavor is a little bit stronger.
Many cafés use this as an ingredient to make coffee, lattes, and smoothies.
It’s dark green color and strong flavor remains unchanged under high temperature. This makes the tea an ideal ingredient for baking and cooking.
It is generally available in high-end cafés because it is slightly expensive.
The classic grade is high-quality matcha that has a bright color. Its texture is very fine in comparison to other grades.
Both Premium grade and Café grade are more expensive than the Classic grade. So, it is a more economical option.
As far as the flavor is concerned, it is strong and bitter but it is very creamy. The majority of matcha drinkers prefer this one due to its flavor.
Ingredient grade is mainly used for preparing many recipes. Its consistency is thicker than the Classic grade and Café grade.
Ingredient grade has a thicker consistency, so it is ideal for making smoothies, coffee blends, lattes, and other beverages. Also, you can use it for preparing desserts, cookies, sauces, and more.
However, it is important to use a matcha whisk so that the consistency remains smooth, otherwise, it has a tendency of forming lumps.
Kitchen grade has a lot of similarities in comparison to ingredient grade. Its leaves are delicate and its consistency is thicker than other matcha types.
The texture helps in bringing out the astringent flavor more. This flavor is due to the presence of theanine in matcha leaves.
Also, it has a lingering flavor that makes it perfect for large-scale production of matcha food items. You can easily find this same type of matcha in grocery stores. It has a slightly darker color which makes baked foods more appetizing.
What to look for in Matcha?
- If the tea has a vibrant green color then it usually means that it is pure.
- If the powder has a fine texture and density then it usually has a delicate flavor.
- The quality and the brand of the product.
- Manufacturing and production quality.
- Exposure to oxygen while packaging.
- Grinding and treatment before processing.
- Extra ingredients added to it.
DISCLAIMER: The Information on this website is for informational purposes only and not to be considered as medical advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat, or cure any medical condition. Kreed Botanicals and its editors do not provide medical advice.