What is Matcha?

Matcha is the highest quality of Japanese green tea. Our premium, shade-grown leaves are meticulously ground into a vibrant green powder, capturing centuries of tradition in every sip. This traditional tea offers a smooth, distinctive flavor, and our 100% pure matcha powders are a powerhouse of antioxidants and nutrients.

The Origins of Matcha

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Matcha isn't just tea; it's a cherished part of Japanese culture, with roots in the 12th century. Zen monks in 8th century China pioneered the art of pulverizing steamed green tea leaves. In 1190, Buddhist monk Eisai Myoan brought this tea to Japan, where it captivated Zen monasteries. Monks treasured matcha for its ability to keep them alert during meditation and for its healing properties.
The art of matcha flourished in Japan with the traditional tea ceremony, "chado," and meticulous methods of shade growing and stone grinding. Today, matcha's global popularity continues to grow as the world embraces this Japanese treasure.

Matcha grades

Not all matcha grades are created equal and that is with intention. Each grade varies in quality, characteristics, and usage, but crafted with the same level of care by our partner tea farmers.
In general, there are 2 main categories of matcha: ceremonial and culinary.

Ceremonial Grade

Ceremonial matcha is considered the highest grade of matcha, crafted from first harvest tea leaves. Traditionally enjoyed without any additives or sweeteners to allow its pure, vibrant flavor to shine through.

  • Usage: Traditional Hot or Iced Matcha Teas
  • Color: Vibrant Green
  • Taste: Smooth, Light, Nutty Notes & Floral Sweetness

Culinary Grade

Culinary matcha is crafted from second harvest tea leaves and provides beautiful color and rich, distinctive flavor to blended preparations (like lattes and smoothies) and recipes.

  • Usage: Baking and Blending Matcha Delights
  • Color: Dull or Light Green
  • Taste: Earthy, with Sweet Nutty & Umami Notes

Where does Latte Mix fit?

Our matcha latte mix is a proprietary blend of both Ceremonial and Culinary matcha grades, perfect for cafe style hot or iced matcha lattes.

How It's Made

Matcha is green tea, but not all green tea is matcha. Specialized techniques are used in the farming and production of matcha to yield its wonderful taste and high nutrient content.

  • 1

    Green tea plants are shaded in darkness for 25-30 days before harvest.

    Shading protects tea leaves from frostbite and boosts nutrient production. Inhibiting sunlight results in thinner tea leaves which are often deeper in color.

  • 2

    In the spring and summer, leaves are selectively picked depending on grade.

    Ichibancha (meaning “first tea” is harvested from late April to May) and Nibancha (meaning “second tea” is harvested from June to July).

  • 3

    steaming & drying after harvest preserves flavor and nutrients.

    Steaming tea leaves halts oxidation during processing. Once the tea leaves are steamed, they are rolled and dried (known as Aracha or crude tea).

  • 4

    Leaves are de-stemmed and de-veined to improve texture and taste.

    The tea leaves undergo further processing as the stems and veins are removed with pressurized air to become Tencha (ten meaning “grind”).

  • 5

    Very much like wine, tencha is carefully stored and aged.

    Kuradashi (literally meaning bring out of cellar) is an important step in crafting divine matcha. Tencha is carefully stored and aged for several month to develop a richer, more complex flavor profile.

  • 6

    Tencha is slowly ground into a fine powder.

    Matcha is made by stone grinding tencha in a traditional large granite mill called ish-iusu. The finished matcha is then carefully packaged to maintain freshness.

More About Matcha

  • Matcha Health Benefits

    Learn the health benefits of matcha green tea powder and why it's one of the healthiest drinks you can enjoy. Explore how to make matcha part of your daily routine and experience the benefits.

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  • how to make matcha

    A frothy matcha shot is the foundation for any matcha drink you'd like to make. Add your matcha shot to any drink you fancy. Here are three ways you can craft a matcha shot at home!

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  • why jade leaf?

    Matcha is about people - from the farmers who cultivate each leaf with care, to the tea masters who craft the leaves with precision, to those of us who enjoy the taste and the way it makes us feel.

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