10 Fakten über Matcha Tee

10 facts about Matcha tea

Although the idea of ​​grinding tea and then drinking it was first developed in China, real matcha comes from Japan. Over the centuries, processing methods have been refined and shade cultivation was introduced in the 16th century. This is what makes Japanese matcha so unique and gives it a distinctive umami taste.

Each quality has its color. Shade cultivation means that the leaves only receive 10 percent of sunlight. This leads to an increased concentration of chlorophyll and amino acids in the leaves. This gives the leaves an intense green color. If the leaves are ground into matcha, this coloring appears in a bright green, rich shade. The higher the quality, the stronger the green. Poor matcha qualities or even "fake matcha" can be recognized by the fact that the color is yellowish or even brownish.

The aroma is largely determined by the shade. The longer the tea plants are shaded, the more amino acids are formed. These ensure a sweet and gentle taste that becomes more intense the longer the tea is shaded. The crowning glory is the umami taste and nutty aroma that is typical of Japanese matcha and is a characteristic of Japanese tencha production.

Original Japanese Matcha is characterized by the fact that the plants are shaded for up to four weeks before harvest. Shade cultivation means that the leaves only receive 10 percent of the sunlight. This leads to an increased accumulation of chlorophyll and amino acids in the leaves. The overshading means that authentic Matcha is not bitter. The reason for this is that the formation of bitter substances, which are accumulated in the leaves to protect against sunlight, is significantly inhibited.

Matcha is not just ground green tea. In addition to the shading, the processing into Tencha is the main difference to conventional green teas. The purpose of green tea is to process the leaves in such a way that the ingredients are easily soluble in water in order to produce a delicious infusion. Tencha, on the other hand, is processed as gently as possible so that the ingredients remain in the leaf flesh and can be fully absorbed. Characteristics of Tencha processing include steaming and then baking the tea leaves. This gives them their nutty aroma, which you can smell every time you open a fresh can of Matcha.

When the leaves are processed into Tencha, all leaf veins and stems are removed. Only the pure leaf flesh is ground. You can therefore recognize original Japanese Matcha by its ultra-fine texture. The reason for this fineness is the young, fresh leaves of the tea plant. These are softer than old leaves and can therefore be ground much finer. By the way: only young leaves should be used in ceremonial qualities, otherwise the taste experience suffers.

Original Japanese Matcha has been ground in stone mills for centuries. Our stone mills are made of granite stone because it is particularly durable and does not overheat so quickly. This is a crucial factor for the quality of the Matcha. This is also the reason why we at Aiya employ master stonemasons who take care of the production and maintenance.

A special feature of ceremonial premium qualities is the umami taste. The Japanese researcher Ikeda Kikunae was the first to describe the taste quality umami in 1908. Ikeda discovered that the gustatory perception reflects another quality in addition to the basic qualities of sweet, sour, salty and bitter. If you are curious about what umami tastes like, simply add a little more of our Super Premium Ten (from about 3 grams upwards). But don't forget to choose a water temperature below 80°C so that the matcha doesn't become bitter. If you prepare the matcha in this way, you will get a particularly sweet and creamy result and lots of umami.

Matcha is celebrated in the media as a superfood because of its ingredients. This is partly due to the catechins and in particular the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) it contains. Research is currently working on numerous studies to determine its effects. There are already indications that EGCG could help with many illnesses. You can find out more about this in this article, for example.

Night owls and grumpy morning people will be happy to know that matcha contains caffeine. And that's not all! Unlike coffee, the caffeine in matcha has a much longer effect due to the delayed absorption. This is due to the tannins to which the caffeine is bound and only absorbed by the body during digestion. This means that you can enjoy the effects for a long time.

The tea-exclusive amino acid L-theanine adds a calming note to the caffeine kick. Therefore, despite the caffeine it contains, you won't feel restless or jittery after consuming matcha (as can be the case after a strong coffee).

We've all been there: you go into a shop and see an item that's super cheap. You can't pass up this bargain! When you get home, you realize that the bargain isn't what you were hoping for. It's the same with Matcha. The complex production process automatically means a higher selling price. In this case, the price can be used as an indication of quality. If you come across very cheap Matcha, you should check if it's really original Japanese Matcha or just ground tea. Because Matcha is not a protected term. Theoretically and practically, all ground teas can be declared and sold as Matcha. So, keep your eyes open when buying Matcha!

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