When it comes to determining the quality of Matcha, colour plays a crucial role.
The colour of Matcha can indicate its freshness, taste, and overall quality.
Let's examine the way Matcha is grown, processed and stored so we can be well informed when it comes to selecting vibrant green Matcha Powder to drink.
Factors Affecting Matcha Colour and Quality.
There are several factors that can affect the colour and quality of Matcha.
THE WAY MATCHA IS GROWN
- Matcha powder is made using leaves picked in the first tea harvest of the year in May (also known as first flush) when the youngest, freshest leaves at the top of the bushes are selected.
- These young leaves contain the most chlorophyll which is why the leaves are so green. Younger leaves tend to produce a brighter green colour, while older leaves may result in a duller green or even a yellowish colour.
- How do the young leaves become so green? This is thanks to the tea bushes growing under shade cloth for roughly 3-4 weeks prior to harvesting.
- The blocking of sunlight under the shade cloth increases the chlorophyll, caffeine and antioxidant content.
- How does this growing technique affect the taste of Matcha? It results in a higher content of amino acid L-theanine and caffeine and lower content of catechin. This means the the “umami”& smoother taste is amplified in comparison to other tea types cultivated in full sun, in which catechin content amplifies a bitter taste.
THE WAY MATCHA IS PROCESSED
- Once picked, the tea leaves are steamed to lock in that vibrant green colour and all nutrients! The steaming of the tea leaves keeps them from oxidizing. It maintains the flavour, colour, and freshness of the tea and also preserves the chlorophyll content, the ratio of amino acids and other nutrients.
- After the leaves are steamed and air dried, the final step is the grinding of the leaves which is done by machine stone grinders. This delicate process saves the flavour, the rich green colour and the earthy aroma.
Watch the process here:
THE WAY MATCHA IS STORED
- The storage conditions of the Matcha can also affect its colour and quality. Matcha that is stored in airtight containers and kept away from light and heat will retain its vibrant green colour and fresh taste for longer.
- We recommend to refrigerate your Matcha in a light resistant container like our storage jars to extend the freshness.
Want to see the bright green colour of our Matcha? Check out the video below!