Matcha, the tea revered in the ancient Japanese tea ceremony (cha no yu), was brought from China to Japan by Zen Buddhist monks in the 12th century.
Unlike other green teas, matcha is made from leaves that are shielded from direct sunlight. The tea plant is covered with reed screens three weeks before harvest, resulting in a high concentration of chlorophyll and a deep dark green leaf. This gives matcha ten times as many antioxidants as regular green tea (it also has about half the amount of caffeine found in a comparably sized cup of coffee).
What makes matcha different is that no leaves are steeped (brewed). Instead, tea powder is frothed.
The dried leaves are deveined and destemmed, then ground into a fine powder — almost the consistency of talc. A spoonful of tea is then whisked into hot water with a bamboo tea whisk (chasen). The result is a foamy green drink with a fresh, vegetal sweetness.
It’s easy to make matcha at home.
Photo courtesy Republic Of Tea.
Making Matcha Is Easy
There’s no need to strain; just take a moment from your day and enjoy the calming drink.
Thanks to the Republic Of Tea for inspiring this post.
Learn all about tea in our Tea Glossary.
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