About matcha

Matcha is a type of Japanese tea made from finely ground green tea leaves. It is best known for its various health benefits and its rich history dating back as far as centuries. The origins of matcha are in Japan, where it is intertwined with traditions and rituals to this day, and has deep cultural significance.

The origins of matcha

It may sound strange, because we just said that matcha is especially belsng in Japanese culture, but matcha's origins begin in ancient China. Because that's where they first drank green tea for its medicinal properties. Around the 8th century AD, a Buddhist monk brought the first tea plants from China to Japan. And so the first forms of a tea culture emerged there too.

The development of matcha in Japan

In Japan, a real culture developed around drinking tea. In the 12th century, the Japanese tea ceremony, or "chanoyu", began to take shape. This ceremony centres on simplicity, harmony, respect and purity. Matcha became the centrepiece of this ceremony, with the process of preparing and serving matcha becoming a truly spiritual and meditative experience, aimed at achieving inner peace and enlightenment.

Over time, matcha became increasingly popular. So much so, that in modern times it is experiencing a real resurgence. Because even we in the West have now discovered not only the rich flavour and health benefits of matcha, but also the versatility of the green powder in baked goods and other dishes.

You can read more about those health benefits here.

Price of matcha

Generally in matcha powder more expensive than a traditional green tea. And even within matcha itself, prices can vary incredibly. The higher price is mainly due to the production process that matcha goes through. This is because it is more complex and scarce than other green teas, and it starts with the cultivation of the tea plant.

This is because the tea plants used for matcha are shaded for a few weeks before harvesting so that the leaves produce chlorophyll, which creates the familiar bright green colour. This is followed by a precise process of picking, steaming, drying and grinding, which requires a lot of handwork.

But then where does this difference in price come from between different matcha varieties? That is again down to the quality of the tea leaves. More expensive matcha often uses the smallest leaves from the first pick of the tea plant. These are delicate and scarce. For cheaper matcha, leaves from a later pick, of which there are more, are more likely to be used. These leaves tend to be stiffer, which affects the final flavour and texture of the matcha powder. This matcha is still good to drink, especially if you drink it as a latte, but is also often used in dishes or baked goods. If you prefer to drink matcha pure, it's better to choose a more expensive matcha variety.

Want to know more about matcha? Then feel free to contact us at [email protected] or +31 (0) 233 033 608. Our matcha experts will be happy to help you with all your questions!