Japan’s powdered green tea is not your everyday green tea. Popularly known as matcha, this green tea plays a pivotal role in Japanese culture and way of life. It has a complex flavour that is commonly paired with a traditional confectionery sweet or wagashi. Matcha is served as the essential part of the Japanese tea ceremony. Today, matcha has become an international favourite, used in various sweets and delicacies.
Tea was first introduced to Japan in the 9th century by China. Originating from the Camellia sinensis plant, this tea became popular as the “elixir of youth” with various health benefits. There are different types of tea created by the Japanese based on their distinguished taste and cultivation process. Other types of green tea include sencha, gyokuro, kukicha and many more.
One of the unique features of matcha green tea involves its cultivation process. Unlike other green teas infused with water and directly consumed, the leaves will be shaded for over a month before their harvest. With this, the tea leaves produce a sweet flavour of umami and they are ground carefully using a stone mill to create the powdered green tea or matcha. This powder is mixed with hot water and consumed.
Another extraordinary feature of matcha includes its proven health benefits. Matcha contains various nutrients that aid one’s metabolism and sleeping behaviour. Its aroma has a therapeutic scent that helps a person relax.
Drinking this flavourful beverage has been incorporated into the daily lives of the Japanese. Whether it’s their first thing in the morning or during their meal, many Japanese will offer tea as an essential part of the eating experience and it is best shared with your loved ones.