How is Matcha Made
Matcha’s unique production and processing are the result of how matcha is made and the key to its high-potency health benefits. The following are time-tested traditions still practiced by producers of high quality, truly authentic matcha tea like ours.
Matcha tea fields are typically covered with bamboo and rice-mat shades 2 – 4 weeks prior to harvest. Shading forces the tea plant to boost its natural production of chlorophyll and the uber-healthy amino acid L-theanine — which not only adds to the calm, mentally alert affect matcha is famous for, but also gives the tea a smoother, more satisfying matcha taste.
While hand picking inevitably increases the cost of production, it guarantees that only the absolute best tea leaves are selected for processing. Nothing beats the trained eyes and soft touch of this centuries old tradition. It is, in fact, the only way to ensure the highest quality matcha tea is produced. Young and old men and women alike participate in the hand picking process.
As soon as the tea leaves are collected from the field they are gently steamed to prevent oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that causes rusty blemishes to appear on natural organics like vegetables, fruit and even tea leaves. Matcha leaves, of course, are best kept naturally fresh and green.
De-stemming / De-veining
Before our matcha tea leaves are stone ground to a rich green powder, they are de-veined and de-stemmed to ensure only the sweet centers of each leaf are sent to the mill. A hundred years ago this painstaking process was performed by hand. Today, producers employ air-chambers and agitators designed specifically for tea leaves.
Finally, these shade grown, hand-picked, lightly steamed, de-stemmed leaves are slowly ground between two pure granite stones. It takes one full hour of grinding to fill a 1 oz/30g tin of our super-fine Tea Lover’s Organic Ceremonial matcha tea powder.