Matcha Tea (jap.: 抹茶 „powdered tea“) is a green tea that is milled to finest powder by means of large mill stones. Milled is only the “Tencha”, which is the tea leaf material left after the removal of all stems and leaf veins. Matcha is the type of tea that is used in he Japanese Tea Ceremony as a standard. The higher the quality, dependent of the quality of the used Tencha as well as of the freshness of the Matcha powder, the brighter and shinier its green color and the more delicious the typical mellow sweet flavor, whose exact profile however is subject to quality and type-specific variations. Matcha powder is particularly rich in catechins, carotin and the vitamins A, B, C and E, whereas the technique of stirring the powder into hot water (instead of sieving the whole leaves out when pouring out the tea, as is common for other Japanese green tea types such as Sencha, Kabusecha or Gyokuro) ensures that alle active substances are becoming part of the tea and being taken in. The manufacturing of Matcha tea had initially been invented in China, where however it soon had sank into oblivion again. In Japan, the process was adopted already early, starting from approximately the 12th century, after the tea plant had become know in Japan through the Buddhist monk Esai. The Japanese Zen scholar had brought tea seeds and the pertaining knowledge from China and ensuingly engaged in spreading the cultivation of the tea plant and the know-how of its processing to green tea in Japan During the 16th century then, the preparation of green tea, especially Matcha tea, was further developed and perfected and ritualized in the form of the Japanese tea ceremony by renowned Japanese tea masters such as Sen no Rikyu. Matcha powder is also used to refine dishes (“cooking matcha”) as well as some leaf teas such as for example Genmaicha (see Genmaicha with Matcha) used.
Our Kabuse Matcha Mantoku comes from Japan’s second largest tea cultivation region, the prefecture of Kagoshima located on the island Kyushu, forming the most souther tip of Japan. There, the tea bushes grown in small tea gardens on volcanic soil. In order to increase the quality of the used Tencha leaves through a prolongation of the maturing period, the tea gardens are shaded with kabuse nets (half-shaded tea) for approximately three weeks before the harvest. Immediately after the picking, the tea leaves are steamed, cooled and dried and vacuum-sealed by the Japanese producer, who is health and environment-friendly-certified both to Japanese and EU standards. What is unique about our Matcha is that immediately after the vacuum-sealing the Tencha material is send to the company’s permanent establishment in Germany, where the precious powder is gained according to the traditional Japanese way through the milling by means of huge millstones in a dedicated facility (a “Matcha mill”) set up for this purpose on German shores. At this, the Japanese granite millstones revolve very slowly to prevent the stones from heating up. This is why only ca. 30g of fine green powder per hour is milled. The resulting freshness of the so gained Matcha powder right up to your tea cup is so far unparalleled at least on the German market.
Considering the high sensitivity of the ready milled Matcha powder against any oxidation, the fresh, timely milling is of invaluable benefit for the end consumer, who gets to enjoy the full relish of aroma, taste and other active ingredients untampered by oxidation processes. This is also the reason why we recommend you to store our Kabuse Matcha Mantoku in a cool and dry place and after use always reseal the package, which we deliver to you in a resealable zipper bag and/or box for this purpose. It is also recommended to use up a bag of Matcha tea within a few weeks, once open.
This radiating bright green Matcha Tea belongs to the true rarities in the world of tea! Matcha Mantoku is a highly multifacetted Kagoshima Matcha Tea. Its fragrance has a fresh and at the same time warm note, it unfolds a wealth of aromas beyond description, intensive, yet without any astringency. It produces not only a wonderful light (thin) ‘Usucha’, but is also perfectly suitable for the preparation of the thick ‘Koicha’!
Depending on the size of the tea cup, dose 1 to 2 grams of Kabuse Matcha Mantoku into a Matcha cup (Chawan), pour over with as soft as possible water of a temperature of ca. 80°C and beat until fluffy with a whisk (e.g. Bamboo Matcha Whisk). The higher the foam rises and the firmer its consistence, as the more skilfully prepared the Matcha tea is considered.
According to personal preference, the tea can be prepared stronger or milder by increasing the water content and/or increasing the dosage. Based on this, the Japanese Tea Ceremony distinguishes two basic types of Matcha preparation, the strong and creamy “Koicha” (濃茶) and the mild and thin „Usucha“ (薄茶). Kabuse Matcha Mantoku is perfectly suited for both types.
For more information and backgrounds on Matcha and other Japanese green teas, please also read our pertinent article in Siam Tea Blog, providing an overview of Japan’s tea world, culture and history in a comprehensive yet understandable manner: