What is Matcha
Matcha, also called Maccha in Japan, originated from Wei-Jin Period in China, and is made with tender tea leaves picked in spring, which are steamed to remove water and made into cake tea (namely mass tea) for storage. Cake tea is placed on fire for drying before drinking, and then grounded into powder, poured into a tea bowl and brewed with boiling water. Tea infusion shall be fully stirred with tea whisk to produce foam to drink.
Requirements for raw materials
Matcha has higher requirements for quality of raw materials. Tea leaves shall contain a high content of amino acid, protein and chlorophyll, and a lower content of caffeine. There are also requirements for fresh tea leave picking time and size of tea leaves. Production of matcha lasts for a short time, just around 50 days, and it’s best to use high-quality fresh tea leaves in April and May. Also, tea trees for matcha production shall be cultivated with cloning technology, so as to ensure purity of its breed. In addition, to ensure quality of fresh tea leaves, relevant workers shall take measures for sun-shading in planting. Tea leaves produced in this way are called covered tea, and matcha tea happens to be made with covered tea.
- Bowl warming. Scald tea bowl and tea whisk with boiled water.
- Paste preparation. This step comes from practices of ancient Chinese, not involved in Japanese tea ceremony. It is required to place 2g matcha into a bowl, then add in a small amount of water to make the tea starchy to prevent extremely fine matche from sticking into a lump.
- Tea whisking. Constantly whisk the tea paste with the tea whisk in W-shaped track at the bottom of the bowl to mix into a large amount of air to form thick foam.