Matcha latte in a fancy ceramic mug

7 Matcha Green Teas For a Proper Japanese Tea Ceremony

Matcha tea is steeped in Japanese history, culture, and tradition.

Way of Tea

Centuries ago, Zen Buddhists in Japan made a discovery. They found that the way to inner harmony and spiritual awakening lies through the cup of tea. Not just any tea, though. Their preferred variety was, and continues to be, matcha, the tea used in traditional tea ceremonies. Harmony, respect, purity, tranquility are the principles of the Japanese tea ceremony, “way of tea”.

What is Matcha? Silhouette of a smiling Cheshire cat

It’s a special, chlorophyll-rich green tea with a long list of health benefits. To begin with, the way we consume matcha tea is unique. Matcha consists of finely powdered green tea leaves, which are dissolved in water when preparing the tea. What this means is that all the nutrients and minerals are actually delivered to your body instead of being thrown out once you’ve steeped your tea.

Speaking of nutrients and minerals…

Matcha is extremely rich in antioxidants, leaving even pomegranates and blueberries far behind. The tea antioxidants themselves belong to a special type – catechins, that are especially effective in tracking down free radicals from the body. In the holistic community, matcha tea is known to speed up metabolism and fat burning rates, reduce stress, and boost mental concentration with L-theanine. It also gets you a healthy dose of vitamin C.

Why is Matcha so special?

It’s a known fact that all Japanese teas – Sencha, Genmaicha, Hojicha – are rare and valuable. The key to Matcha’s unique properties lies in the way it is cultivated. Premium Japanese Matcha teas are made of Gyokuro tea leaves grown in the shade, covered with straw mats. This slows the growth of the tea plants, thus increasing their levels of chlorophyll. Hence the color – the most beautiful shade of green. The slow growth of the tea leaves also allows them to accumulate more antioxidants, amino acids, and flavor. 

Is Matcha good for your skin?

Being a powdered tea that you consume entirely, Matcha packs quite a punch in terms of the antioxidants it delivers to your body. In fact, the antioxidant level in a serving of matcha tea could be over a hundred times higher than in an average cup of green tea. In addition to antioxidants, the tea is also higher in its vitamin A, C, K, and B-complex content. Together, these compounds can work wonders for your skin. They get rid of free radicals that tend to speed up aging and reduce acne-producing sebum and bacteria. In the long term, they also provide UV protection and reduce the risk of skin cancer. In fact, matcha tea is so good for your skin that it’s actually used in face masks!

Grades of Matcha

Did you know that it isn’t just premium matcha teas that deserve a special place on your kitchen shelf? Lower-grade Matcha teas work great as additives in baked goodies, smoothies, ice-creams, and so on.

Matcha cakes on a cutting board

Different retailers might use their own classifications of matcha products. However, there are only three traditional grades:

  • Ceremonial grade
  • Classic, Café, “In-between” grade
  • Cooking or Kitchen grade

You pay for brighter emerald color, finer powder, and delicately sweet taste with a slightly astringent finish. Only the youngest and most tender leaves are used for high-grade matcha. At approximately half or a third of the price, you would get a lower grade green tea powder, which is a little more bitter, but actually has a stronger flavor. It will work better for cooking, baking, and making smoothies, not to mention it is more economical for that purpose. Culinary grade matcha would still make a great cup of tea, and it would be perfectly appropriate to mix it with some milk and a bit of sugar. The difference in nutritional value between the grades is really insignificant.

Tea tips: how to make matcha

Special tea calls for special handling. Never pair matcha tea with boiling water; it can lead to an unpleasant ‘grassy’ taste. Instead, give the boiling water about 5 minutes to cool down before dissolving the powdered tea in it. First, add just a few drops of water to the teaspoon of matcha and mix it into a paste. Then, add more water to the cup.

And just like that, your matcha is ready for you to savor…

Where to buy the best Matcha tea online?Silhouette of Alice

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Matcha Tea Grade A
Matcha Tea Grade A
Fresh, grassy, sweet. Organic grade A matcha that provides a rich, complex taste and a boost of calm energy for the day. This Chinese matcha is made from fresh leaves and stone-ground into a powder for a frothy, creamy, and smooth finish when prepared. Delicious any time of day!
Matcha Powder Tin
Matcha Powder Tin
An invigorating stone-ground green tea powder. This green tea is made from tea leaves that have been stone-ground into a powder, providing a strong, stimulating flavor.
Organic Matcha Green Tea Ceremonial Grade
Organic Matcha Green Tea Ceremonial Grade
The shubei tea species of organic high-grade matcha originate from Japan and then cultivated in Hangzhou city, China. As one of the varieties specialized in producing matcha in Japan, it has the following two advantages:1. The leaves are tender in dark green color, containing higher chlorophyll content.2. Lower caffeine content and subtler bitterness, which give matcha better taste.The raw material for making matcha is a kind of steamed green tea ,called tencha, fresh leaves of which will be covered in shade before harvesting; this process not only increase the content of amino acids and vitamins A, but also make the tea in jade green. In addition, the shade-grown tea owns higher content of theanine in the leaves, serving matcha the sweetness and distinct umami, which also described as 'seaweed flavor'. The tea leaves for this matcha are finely ground into silky smooth powder by using a specially-designed stone mill. Take a sip, and you will feel the smooth liquid carrying that refreshingly grassy and vegetal taste accompanied by frothy and mellow texture as well as a slight of nut scent in your mouth afterwards. There's no need to add any sweetener when drinking, but you can also apply honey, milk or juice according to your preference.
Organic Powdered Matcha Green Tea, Liquid Jade
Organic Powdered Matcha Green Tea, Liquid Jade
Grown in Uji, which is regarded as the center of Matcha production. Matcha, has a rich history and a special spiritual significance. It has traditionally been prepared in 'Chanoyu', the Japanese Tea Ceremony, and it said to help bring about mental concentration, emotional stability and composure.
Organic Ceremonial Japanese Green Tea Powder
Organic Ceremonial Japanese Green Tea Powder
Our top grade of organic matcha is made from the first springtime harvest of tencha, savored for its umami sweetness, creamy taste and enlivening energy. Prepare Teahouse Matcha in the traditional, ceremonial manner called Cha No Yu using a tea bowl and a bamboo tea whisk.
Matcha Tea Powder Organic, Fair Trade
Matcha Tea Powder Organic, Fair Trade
Matcha is a green tea produced from shade grown tea leaves and milled into a fine powder. It has a smooth, refreshing, slightly sweet flavor with a vibrant green color and silky texture.

More tea, please!

Silhouette of a standing cartoon rabbit with a cup of tea