Matcha (抹茶) is created when the leaves from shade-grown green tea are hand picked then ground down to produce a wonderful bright green tea powder.
The young tender leaves are steamed and dried immediately after harvest to retain their freshness. The next step is sorting and de-stemming to obtain the raw material required for Matcha called Tencha.
Tencha is blended and then refrigerated to then be ground traditionally in a stonemill.
Matcha first originated in China in the 8th Century and then made its way over to Japan in the 12th Century by the founder of Zen Buddhism, Myoan Eisai who brought tea seeds for cultivation.
Matcha became popular with the samurai warrior class with monks giving Matcha to samurai as a pre-battle drink to increase energy and endurance.
In the 16th Century, Sen No Rikyu was a great tea master who defined the rituals of the Japanese tea ceremony (otherwise known as Cha-no-yu) which then became well established as part of the Japanese culture.
Since then it has been enjoyed in Japan for its rich flavour but has only recently caught the rest of the world by storm.
The Premium Matcha Powder that Matcha Yu imports from Japan has been grown and hand picked in the fields of Uji (Kyoto prefecture) at the Kifukuen Tea Farm that has been in the same family for 8 generations.
Over the past 50 years, Kifukuen Tea Farm has won 1st Prize more than 20 times in an annual competition for tea in Japan. The winners are commended by the Japanese Emperor and it means that the government acknowledges the tea as a high-quality superior product. There are many winners in the tea category such as "Sencha" and "Gyokuro" varieties but Kifukuen Tea Farm is the only winner in the "Tencha" (the tea leaves that are ground to make matcha) category so far.
Kifukuen Tea Farm has been awarded
Thankfully Matcha Yu has established a wonderful business partnership with this highly renowned Tea Farm to ensure you receive the best quality Matcha here in Australia.
The Certified Organic Culinary Matcha is grown in Kagoshima (Kyushu Island) then treated at the Kifukuen Tea Farm in Uji. It retains high quality and is perfect for Lattes, Baking, Smoothies and more!
And let's not forget Matcha's hip sidekick...
Houjicha (ほうじ茶 ) is roasted Japanese green tea and emerged early in the 20th century in Kyoto, when tea merchants began roasting leaves over charcoal.
The roasting process has a decaffeinating effect on the leaves, making Houjicha a tasty low-caffeine alternative for tea enthusiasts.
The roasting process also changes the flavour of the tea. With a nutty taste, Houjicha is a unique tea in that it has a “roast” flavour that no other tea has. Interestingly enough, this flavour makes Houjicha taste quite a bit like freshly roasted coffee.
Houjicha is most commonly made with bancha, although it is also made with sencha and kukicha tea leaves as well.
Our Houjicha is sourced from Kyoto, Japan and is made from Sencha tea leaves, cut after it's first harvest.
Houjicha is perfect to use to make a latte, in baking, smoothies, ice-cream and more!