The Secrets of popular Japanese beverage “Matcha” that you show know before drinking
What is Matcha ?
What defines a “good” Matcha ?
Everyone wants the best quality “Matcha”, but how do we know that the matcha in front of us is good quality enough? Let’s get to know more about how to spot the differences of the matcha’s quality from these following points.
Look for the matcha green tea that is grown in Japan’s Nishio and Kyoto provinces or Kyoto’s Uji areas, which has a long history of green teas and is well-known in Japan as the center for matcha crop fields. Compared to other countries, Japan has the best capability to produce the highest quality matcha powders.
Touch and Feels
One of the simple ways to test whether the Matcha is good quality or not is to touch the matcha powder with your fingers. If it feels soft and delicate like baby powder or eye shadows then that matcha is of high quality.
Colors are the easiest way to classify matcha quality. Good quality matcha should be bright green; the greener the better, while lower grades would usually have slight yellowish – brownish colors.
Great scent is usually reflected with great taste. The matcha’s scent also reflects the quality as well. Good quality matcha will have a sweet refreshing scent that is formed by high amino acid, which will also benefit the matcha’s rich taste as well.
For those who have never tasted matcha before, premium matcha will have more umami taste when compared to the lower grade matcha’s bitter and astringent tastes.
You can notice that good quality matcha will have distinctive foam levels and cream foam on top; not just thin layers of air foam, which is one of the significant characteristics of quality grade matcha.
Why is Matcha so popular ?
“Matcha” is considered as quality grade green tea that is popularly used in tea ceremonies by the Japanese elites; with the delicate grinding of young shoots until becoming green matcha powders. Moreover, matcha tea is the most popular green tea that people across the world loves to drink with its refreshing taste and easy to drink.
Common Matcha Types That You Should Know
Nishio Matcha is Premium grade matcha from the production source at Nishio city which produces Japan’s top grade green tea; by selecting the first 3 tea sprouts that were covered from the sun to bring out the concentrated green colored teas and maintain most of the nutrients loaded with antioxidants that are perfect for strong taste lovers which can be made into both hot and cold latte or even other menus such as, green tea cake or ice cream fragranced with great scent of the deliciousness and rich bittersweet taste of the true green tea.
Uji Matcha “Uji” is the name of a city in Kyoto which is also a famous tea manufacturing source in Japan. During the 12th century of the Chinese’s Song dynasty, a Japanese priest brought tea seeds from China and chose Uji city as the cultivated area because of its abundant nature environments surrounded with mountains and rivers along with pure air and different climate between day and night, which is an important factor for the green tea’s quality. It can also be implied that the first tea consumed in the Japanese history was the matcha tea produced from the Uji town.
Tea Ceremony (Sadou)
In Japanese is called 茶道(Sadou) or 茶の湯 (Cha no yu) which is an ancestral tea drinking ceremony passed on from the generation to generation. The origin of the present tea ceremony is by Sen No Rikyo with the core hearts at the aesthetic and austere along with having a calm and pure mind to become one with nature. Moreover, the ceremony’s concept is linked with the relationship between the house owner and the guest; 一期一会(Ichigo ichie) which means “this might be a one time encounter so you should show respect and do your best”. The ceremony uses “matcha” tea that is made from tea sprouts hand-picked before the day’s first light by collecting only the first 3 perfect sprouts then later processed in the next steps. After that, the dehydrated tea leaves will be grinded into matcha powder and used in tea ceremonies. Therefore, matcha is popular in ceremonies because of its meticulous procedures under the fundamental zen philosophies that conceptualizes the harmony with nature, respect, pureness, and peace. The tea making procedures are:
1. Scoop the matcha powder into the tea cup with a Chashaku.
2. Get hot water with a dipper and pour it into the tea cup.
3. Mix the ingredients with a Chasen.
4. The guests will hold the cup with their right hand and place the cup’s bottom on the left hand.
5. Turn the cup clockwise before taking a sip.
6. After sipping, wipe the edges and turn the cup counter clockwise 3 times and place the cup back to return.
Remark Chashaku is a long tea laddie with a small sharp pointy end usually made from bamboo.
Chasen is a traditional tea whisk for making matcha.
Benefits of Matcha
1. 1g of matcha has upto 150mg of catechin with upto 1,300g of ORAC which is the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity that quantifies the total antioxidant capacity.
2. Abounded with vitamin A, C, and E that helps the antiaging of eyesight and bright skins.
3. Matcha provides energy as it is plentiful with natural caffeine. 1 teaspoon of matcha has upto 60-70mg of caffeine which is equal to 1 espresso shot.
4. Drinking matcha doesn’t have any side effects like coffee because of the matcha’s L-Theanine which compensates for caffeine’s side effects while providing energy to the drinkers instead of temporary refreshness that also increases recognition and concentration.
Nishio Matcha Green Tea Base (Rich Taste) is categorized in the “Matcha Premium Grade” perfect for vendors and bakeries that uses matcha powder as ingredients in whether hot or cold green tea lattes and even other menus such as, cakes and ice creams with the rich smell of the delicious true green tea. You can even use it as an ingredient in other bakeries as well like jam, cookie, cheesecakes would also be tasty.
Scent : distinctive tea scent
Color : dark green
Taste : rich taste
Uji Matcha Green Tea Base (Smooth Taste) is categorized in the “Matcha Grade Hight” suitable as an ingredient in green tea beverages with sweet smooth taste; whether hot, cold, or even frappe. Anyhow, the colors of the Hight grade will be slightly lighter than the Premium grade meaning that it would suit best when making hot or cold matcha latte that already has milk as an ingredient. This matcha grade will mix very well with milk and cream components more than the premium grades. Moreover, making ice cream with this grade will result in a rich flavored and appetizing scent with delicious tastes; no need to add anything else. The tea ceremonies also use the Matcha Grade Hight.
Scent : delicious tea scent
Color : lighter green
Taste : smooth taste, easy to drink
Uji Matcha Green Tea Latte (3-in-1 instant drink) is categorized in the “Matcha Grade Hight” by combining green tea powder with sugar and creamer until getting the perfect combination for vendors and home consumers that are green tea lovers. The product can be mixed into both hot and cold drinks; by just adding and mixing with water for a quick drink or even blending as a frappe would also give you the delicious and perfect green tea drink that meets the standard of the original green tea formulas.
Scent : fragrant scent
Color : Green milk color
Taste: fragrant sweet and rich taste
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