Surely you’ve seen it or heard about it – this bright lime green tea product that you see mostly in the refrigerated drink section of your local grocery store. You’ll also see it in health food stores in a powder. Matcha Tea is gaining popularity in the tea world. But what do you know about it?
Matcha is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, as all true tea is. In tea production, just prior to harvesting, the plants are shaded by mats usually made of straw. This is to increase the chlorophyll and amino acids. When plucked, leaves are steamed, dried, and sorted for grade and the veins and stems are removed. Then they are crushed into a bright green fine powder. The powder is then used to add into hot water or it is frequently used in cooking. I’ve seen Cakes, Pies and Ice Cream made with Matcha Green Powder. Since you are consuming leaf tissue, not just the normal infused water from regular tea, you are getting more caffeine than with traditional brewed tea. The taste has been described as somewhat grassy and much stronger than traditional steeped green tea.
While growing and processing your own Matcha Tea might be a little challenging, we think it is possible for the home grower to process their own Matcha Tea from their own plants. It may take some experimenting with different techniques to make the “tea powder” but nothing tried nothing gained! If you want to take the easy way out, you can buy the powder from any health food store and make your own blends.
To learn more about Matcha Tea, you might want to check out this great article on making your own Matcha Tea.