Matcha means ‘Rubbed or Ground Tea’ and is the Japanese term for the precious powdered green tea, traditionally reserved for the Japanese Tea Ceremony (Sadō).
The process of manufacturing premium Matcha begins with choosing the right place for the cultivation of the tea plants (Camellia sinensis). The soil and climatic conditions play a key role in the final flavor and quality of the tea. Mountainous and hilly regions provide the perfect climate and morning mists needed for the cultivation of tea.
The Matcha tea plants are shaded from direct sunlight for about 2-4 weeks before harvest. This increases the chlorophyll and L-Theanine content making for a smooth taste and a rich vibrant green color. L-Theanine is an amino acid specific to green tea that provides a sweetness in flavor. It is the main reason why high quality green teas tastes less astringent and is more pleasant to the palate.
The different types of Japanese tea are commonly graded depending on the quality and the parts of the plant used. High quality Matcha is always hand-picked to assure that only the unopened tea bud and the accompanying finest, top two leaves are chosen. The tea-leaves selected to become Matcha are called Tencha. The leaves are then carefully steamed to prevent the nutrients from oxidation and keep the tea fresh and green. After that, all the rough fiber, such as stems and veins, are removed to assure the fine powdery consistency and the sweet flavor typical for a great Matcha. The Tencha leaves are then slowly ground up in traditional granite stone-grinders to a very fine, talc-like powder – Matcha!
Since Matcha is extremely prone to losing nutrients, color and freshness by being exposed to light or air, proper storage and packaging is crucial to assure highest quality.
You can tell the quality and freshness of Matcha by the color, the flavor and by how well it mixes.
The higher the quality
Different leaves yes, but actually different tea fields entirely. Tea leaves destined for DōMatcha’s Certified Organic matcha have to satisfy a number of organic regulations, such as containing no herbicides or pesticides, using only natural fertilizers such as Chitin and Chitosan, protecting the fields from environmental contaminants, using only natural pest control methods, keeping strict log books and more. DōMatcha’s organic matcha adheres to the regulations of JAS/JONA/OCIA and IFOAM.
Non organic matcha doesn’t have to go through all these regulations although it is still very ‘clean’. We test every batch for chemical residue and there is never any detection of herbicide or pesticide residue.
The history of organic matcha began in 1972 with our producer Hottaen, who was instrumental in overturning the conventional wisdom of the Japanese green tea industry about the need for organic green tea certification. This all started in the Uji Region of Japan – where matcha originated. It took 20 years of determination, but finally in 1992 Hottaen was rewarded by receiving the first ever JONA Organic Certification for tea leaves. JONA (Japan Organic and Natural Foods Association) is recognized around the world for its high organic standards.
DōMatcha™ is available in most natural food stores in Canada and the US. To find a store near you that carries DōMatcha™, please go to our www.domatcha.com/store/
Preparing a cup of delicious DōMatcha™ is quick and easy – and fun!
To enjoy a traditional style Matcha, make it your own little ceremony, by using a traditional hand-made bamboo whisk and a beautifully decorated hand-crafted ceremonial drinking bowl. And remember – every cup is special!
Using a traditional bamboo whisk:
Put ½-1 teaspoon of DōMatcha™ in a large cup or a drinking bowl and add a small amount of hot water. Whisk in a quick, light zig-zag motion until a layer of green froth appears on the surface. Add more water if desired. DōMatcha™ can be used for ‘thin’ or ‘thick’ Matcha.
Using a spoon:
Simply blend ½-1 teaspoon of DōMatcha™ and a small amount of hot water with a spoon to make a smooth paste. Add more water and sweetener as desired.
The ideal water temperature for DōMatcha™ is between 65 and 85 degrees Celsius.
Due to its fine powdery consistency Matcha blends easily and is extremely versatile. Check out our recipe section for fantastic matcha lattes and smoothies. And have fun with inventing your own delicious matcha creations! The possibilities are endless…
The DōMatcha™ Ceremonial grade of matcha is handpicked in the spring at the first flush, only the brand new top leaves are chosen. These leaves render a very smooth but strong flavor, considered to be one of the top grades of matcha. As a result it commands a higher value in the marketplace. The 2nd Harvest DōMatcha™ is handpicked in August, the leaves for 2nd Harvest have been on the tea plant longer and render a more astringent flavor. As a result it has a lower value. You can see this by the pricing. The 2nd Harvest gives you more than twice as many servings for only $6-8 more than the Ceremonial matcha. If you are a purist or traditionalist and enjoy your matcha with just hot water, then the Ceremonial will give you the better tasting matcha. If you are going to use your matcha in a latte or a blender drink, then you may as well go for value and use the 2nd Harvest. I personally use the Ceremonial grades (organic and non) as they seem to give me more energy and mental clarity.
We keep our matcha in the fridge. We also keep it inside the little foil pouch in the tin. Prior to being stone ground into matcha powder, our tencha leaves are stored slightly above freezing. DōMatcha™ is like a raw, living food. Keeping it refrigerated will help it stay fresh longer.
No, that bright green color is the beauty of a good quality matcha. It is the product of the way DōMatcha™ is grown, harvested and processed. Young leaves are picked at first flush, and only the top leaves are used (for DōMatcha™). These small leaves are cleaned, stored slightly above freezing, then stone ground into a naturally vibrant green powder.
The tin is made from aluminum to make it recyclable. We suggest keeping our matcha inside the foil bag which is foodsafe and then inside the tin, rather than having it stored directly next to aluminum. This helps keep it fresher longer as well. Some matcha brands out there do not have the foodsafe bag and the matcha powder is in direct contact with aluminum. We do not know for certain if this is could be a health issue, but we are on the side of precaution (and we are on your side of precaution).
Shipping is $5 anywhere in Canada and the US, except Hawaii and Alaska. International shipments are $35, but check out www.domatcha.co.uk and click ”Add to Cart” for shipping estimates anywhere in the United Kingdom.