How Is Matcha Tea Produced?
Here at Tatsu Tea, we blend the finest matcha green tea with essential electrolytes and minerals to produce a refreshing, antioxidant-rich beverage. Matcha tea has been a favorite part of both Chinese and Japanese culture for over a thousand years. Well known for its vibrant green color and delicious taste, the origins of Matcha Tea can be traced back to China’s Tang Dynasty. Let’s take a look at how it’s produced.
The Production Process
Matcha is derived from the Camellia Sinensis plant, a popular plant that has three varietals able to produce high-grade matcha powders. These varieties as called okumidori, yabukita, and samidori.
Although other teas such as oolong and black tea can be produced from this plant, matcha has a unique production process and style. This style has been practiced using these three distinct varietals by certain Japanese farming families for over nine centuries. Suffice to say; these farmers have developed skilled practices for developing superior matcha teas.
The Harvesting Process
Many teas will be harvested several times across a year; Matcha producers often create second and third flushes for their crops. However, the most superior matcha teas are always harvested by hand, just once per year.
This laborious process involves applying vinyl sheets over the plants around six weeks before harvest time in May. These sheets are deployed to create darker conditions in which plants can finish their growth, halting photosynthesis as a result of the reduced exposure to sunlight.
Due to this reduction in light, the leaves produce more chlorophyll and amino acids. This increase in production is what gives matcha its sweet and mouth-watering flavor. Only the smallest, greenest parts of the plant are picked. Once picked, they are steamed to preserve all their coloring and nutrients. Next, the leaves are placed in large cages and dried using heated blowers.
Creating Matcha Powder
Once the leaves are dried, they are sorted following their grade. The top leaves are the tenderest, youngest, and greenest that have been produced. Next, the destemming and deveining process begins. The leaves that survive this process are called ‘Tencha.’
Tencha is kept refrigerated until it is ready to be ground. The most popular and superior matcha teas can take almost an hour to grind 30 grams. In fact, the name “Matcha” comes from this challenging grinding process.
For more information, and to purchase our refreshing, energizing, hydrating tea, click here to contact the Tatsu Tea team today!