Powdered green tea, or “matcha” as it’s called in Japanese, is a green tea famous for it’s delicious flavor as well as health benefits. It is made from the leaves of shade grown tea trees. When the leaves are harvested they are steamed, dried and then further processed to remove the veins, stems and impurities. Only about 10% of the original harvest remains, and this is called the “tencha”.
The tencha is then ground to a fine powder often in a stone mill. It takes about one hour to produce an ounce of matcha, because grinding any faster would result in a burnt tasting tea. Today the highest grades of matcha usually remain in Japan for use in their tea ceremonies. The majority of matcha available in the general market today is now ground by sophisticated machines, which make it affordable to the average tea drinker. Regardless of the grinding technique used, the production of matcha requires a great deal of hand labour, skill and time.
Green tea was brought back to Japan by Japanese monks and nobles who visited China from in 800 AD. It spread in popularity amongst the upper classes and Buddhist monasteries. Japanese Zen Buddhist monks used their amazing skills as master herbalists over 800 (1161A.D.) years ago to create matcha. It was originally drunk before meditation to help with mental awareness and clarity. In the 16th century Zen Buddhist monks created the Japanese Tea Ceremony and it quickly became very popular.
Matcha’s flavour blends well in dairy-based recipes and its powder form makes it easy to work with. Matcha is being used in ice cream, cheese-cakes, cream cheese spreads, white chocolate, latte beverages, hot chocolate etc. There is no limit to the recipes that matcha can be added to.
Matcha is just another form of green tea, so it has all the health benefits found in green tea. Regular green tea is a fantastic source of antioxident’s which have been shown to protect the body against free radicals that cause cancer. Green tea is already a better source than other much touted antioxident foods such as blue berries and chocolate. However, a serving of matcha has been shown to have up to 137 times the amount of antioxidents as regular green tea.
2011-07-25 12:54 编辑：kuaileyingyu