Let's start at the very beginning.
What exactly is Matcha?
In a nutshell, Matcha is created when the leaves from shade-grown green tea are picked then ground down to produce a wonderful bright green tea powder.
But let's break it down step by step shall we?
Firstly, about a month before harvest tea fields are covered with a mesh shade cloth to partially block the sun. This slows down growth and allows Chlorophyll in the leaves to increase as well as amino acids to develop (including L-theanine, a stimulating yet simultaneously relaxing property).
Shading also inhibits the leaves producing a component known as Tannin, which ultimately results in less bitterness and more bold "Umami" flavours to flourish.
Next, around May each year, the shade cloths are removed and the tea plants are ready and ripe for picking either by hand (the traditional method) or by machine (for greater efficiency).
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 machine powdered stone mill when required.
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.
So tell me more about the health benefits of drinking Matcha
Matcha is an incredible superfood with many positive health benefits to make your mind and body feel fantastic! It all comes down to two main reasons:
- The Way It Is Grown and Processed-
By growing under lots of shade, the plants become full of amino acids and chlorophyll. Only the most nutrient rich leaves are picked by hand. The leaves are then ground down into a super fine powder so all the nutrients are retained.
- The Way It Is Drunk-
Unlike most teas drunk (including green tea), you usually throw away the tea leaves after the tea has brewed.
Not Matcha - you drink the entire tea leaf contained in the fine green powder which means you're not missing out of any of the goodness of Matcha. It contains up to 10 times the amount of nutrients found in a regular cup of green tea.
How do I use the Tea Shaker?
(It's so easy, just watch and find out!)
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS:
- Take 1 scoop of Matcha and place into the included tea strainer which sits on top of the Tea Shaker (with lid removed)
- Push the Matcha through the tea strainer into the shaker. This ensures the Matcha powder is nice and fine with no lumps.
- Remove the tea strainer and fill shaker with around 120 ml (1/2 cup) of water or milk and close the cap tightly (optimum temperature is 80 degrees)
- Shake the bottle about 10-20 times from up to down. Make sure the cap, silicon ring and bottle are tightly shut.
Enjoy the Matcha directly from the bottle or pour the Matcha in to a cup
How do I store Matcha?
Quality Matcha needs to be stored properly to ensure it remains fresh for as long as possible.
The compostable packaging is perfect for storing matcha as it protects it from exposure to air, heat and light that make Matcha appear dull and bitter.
When you open the vacuum sealed packet, take what you need to make your drink and then close back up and pop into your fridge.
Once opened Matcha should be consumed within 3 months for optimum taste but it is also completely fine to drink past this period up to 12 months.
How long will my Matcha last me?
A bowl of matcha or a matcha latte uses 1-2g depending on how strong you like it.
It will keep you going for a month for a daily cup of good quality Matcha.
Like the Premium Matcha it's suitable for drinking on its own (either just with water or mixed with milk) but is perfect for baking, smoothies, bliss balls and more!
What about Matcha's hip sidekick Houjicha?
Houjicha 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.
What is the Tea Shaker made of?
The unique Tea Shaker device is made out of BPA-free Tritan. Products made from Tritan are impact and shatter resistant, Plus they stay durable even after years of repeated use.
It is completely free of bisphenol A (BPA), bisphenol S and any other bisphenol compounds as well as estrogenic and androgenic activity.⠀
Also, the many holes found under the lid help produce delicate soft bubbles of Matcha which lead to an incredibly smooth and foamy texture to your Matcha (or Houjicha). This is a very unique quality which sets this Shaker apart from others out there on the market.
What is the Econic compostable packaging made from?
Econic® packaging is made from three compostable films derived from sustainably-produced wood pulp and GM-free corn sources.
The three films are laminated together to provide the barrier properties required to lock in the taste and freshness of coffee and dry foods.
Watch this short video to find out more about Econic Compostable Bags:
Where can I compost my bags?
How long does it take for Econic bags to break down in the compost?
Compost trials have shown that Econic® bags can break down into small fragments in as little as 16 weeks. However, the rate of breakdown will vary depending on the compost environment, temperature and humidity. Therefore, it will likely take longer to break down if you live in a cold climate.
Learn more here:
So what's in a name?
(in case you were wondering)
O-Yu (湯) in Japanese is also the word for Onsen (otherwise known as hot springs) ,the ultimate place of relaxation!