What is Matcha?

It is a specially grown form of green tea traditionally from Japan. It has as much caffeine as coffee, yet it is unlike coffee in every other way. It is the ideal coffee replacement, but without the typical jitters, and better yet the coffee crash, and it's incredibly healthy. It has to be tried, and experienced to know what matcha is. It is a new taste, so we recommend a matcha latte, sweetened with a little sugar, steamed with milk or any alternative. It can also be added in it's pure form to smoothies, shakes, etc.

Look for the real thing at your neighbourhood cafe or tea shop, just like premium coffee beans, you get what you pay for. Not all matcha is created equal. Ours is also Organic!

If you are still with us, we have already mentioned that Matcha is a highly concentrated form of green tea that has been grown in Japan for for over 800 years. The youngest emerald green leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, are shaded from the sun for 6 to 8 weeks then hand-picked in late spring. Shading the tea slows down growth, increasing antioxidant, and L-theanine levels, also chlorophyll levels are much higher as sunlight damages nutrients in general in all growing plants. These shade grown leaves are called "Tencha", (Sencha leaves are sun grown) are then lightly steamed and dried, stripped of veins and stalks, then ground into powder with granite stone grinding wheels. For premium Matcha powder only the top leaves are harvested. The oldest tea plants (30 years or older) are held in the highest regard and are cut back after picking so that they will produce only one crop per annum. Our "Koicha" or thick style ceremonial matcha comes from these plants. For all the younger plants, a second pick (considered inferior in quality) is performed in early summer. Following harvest, the regions' tea masters determine the years' finest grades of Matcha much like wine connoisseurs in the west select the years best wines. Tea Masters also have the important job of blending different Matcha crops which are then sold in the marketplace for a wide price range according to quality. Below is a nutritional table showing the nutrient breakdown for a 10g sample of our "1st Harvest" pure matcha. In general, the 1st Harvest from the spring crop contains more antioxidants than second harvest matcha, and Ceremonial matcha's from older plants contain higher L-Theanine levels.

Nutrition Table

 Item   per 10g sample
 Calories  34.7 Kcal
 Protein  2.74g
 Total Fat  .65g
 Carbohydrates  4.47g
 Caffeine  .35g
 Dietary fiber  3.18g
 Vitamin A  2910.0 ug
 Vitamin C  17.5 mg
 Vitamin E  2.38 mg
 Iron  1.4 mg
 Calcium  33.5 mg
 Potassium  266.0 mg
 Catechins (8 in total)  1.5g
 L-theanine  126.3 mg
 L-glutamine acid  36.5 mg
 Free Amino Acids (17 items)  total 323.7 mg

As you can see from the table Matcha does contain caffeine, however, the caffeine is balanced with L-theanine to give a slow-release energy boost for 4-6 hours. For most people it energizes without producing side effects of jangled nerves and upset stomach associated with coffee. It is alkaline and unusually rich in antioxidants with an ORAC count higher than Blueberries (nutritionists recommend 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units daily). As a national beverage in Japan, it is used in traditional tea ceremonies where it is carefully brewed with water and whisked in a chawan (small bowl)-- a custom that pays tribute to its maintenance of health and promotion of longevity. The tea ceremony is an elaborate ritual that takes hours and is thought to bring the mind into a state of balance and harmony.