What is matcha? | Keisari Matcha

What is matcha?

Matcha is made from specially grown green tea leaves which have been milled into a fine powder.

In the weeks before harvesting, the tea leaves are covered in shade to increase the production of chlorophyll and amino acids, which gives matcha its signature green vibrancy and rich taste. This is different to regular green tea powder which has not been shade grown.

After harvesting, the leaves are steamed and dried, before the stems and veins are removed from the leaves. The tea is then slowly ground into a fine powder to become matcha.

Processing methods

All Keisari matcha is stone milled.

Matcha is traditionally made in Japan using stone mills, but many other producers have adopted the cheaper and faster method of using jet mill machines to grind their matcha instead.

Jet milling produces matcha at a faster rate, but at a higher temperature. This significantly reduces the matcha aroma and flavour, and increases its bitterness.

Matcha that is slowly ground from stone mills will typically produce only 30-40 grams of matcha per hour. Stone milling delivers the best tasting result as the matcha is not affected by heat.

Harvesting

Keisari matcha is harvested at different times of the year, with the first harvest typically occurring in spring; the second and third harvest in summer; and the fourth harvest in autumn.

The young green tea leaves picked earlier in the season generally delivers a sweeter, more delicate taste. Keisari Premium Organic Matcha is produced using only the leaves from the first harvest in spring. From within this same harvest, it is the finest selection of tea leaves that yields our highest grade matcha powder, Keisari Finest Organic Matcha.

These matchas are best enjoyed simply as a matcha tea, but are also excellent in lattes.

Our original Organic Matcha is made from the second harvest in summer, which has a more robust flavour. It is best suited for milk-based drinks such as lattes or for use in cooking.

The difference between organic and non-organic matcha

All Keisari matcha is organically farmed and is certified by the Kagoshima Organic Agriculture Association (KOAA). Synthetic fertilisers and pesticides are not used in organic farming methods.

Fertilisers are commonly used to increase crop yields by helping plants to grow faster and bigger. While chemical fertilisers can achieve this faster than organic fertilisers, its use over time, along with pesticides can result in a buildup of chemicals such as arsenic, cadmium, and uranium which eventually make their way into the tea leaves.

 

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