Matcha tea is the only well-known and comparatively generally consumed form of powder green tea and is carefully associated with Japan. The word itself, matcha, means as “rubbed” or “ground tea”. Semantics aside the famous Japanese tea service and Japan’s production and consumption of this powder green tea support this connection. Nevertheless the history of matcha tea has origins anywhere else! It is not well regarded that grinding tea into a fine powder is a practice that began in China.
Back in China’s Tang Dynasty (7th – 10th Century) as tea gained increasing recognition methods of better storage, more efficient storage and easier transportation over distance were sought. This finished in the act of ‘pressing’ tea cakes. These were shaped of tea molded into cakes after traditional development, pressed firmly and then baked or fired for preservation. While preparing tea from pressed cakes one must break off bits then crumble the pushed leaves to permit infusion. In the past tea preparation methods involved beating and roasting the tea until it was powder before infusing with hot water. From these inception the process slowly progressed whereby the grinding of green tea produced by normal methods (unpressed) by monks became popular in the Song Dynasty (10th – 13th Century). By now the monks had ritualised the process of whisking the tea powder in a bowl with hot water, a practice still forming the basis of comprar te matcha preparation today.
It was not until the 12th Century when a traveling monk finally brought this green tea powder snow to Japan. After some time as this form of tea drinking declined from common practice in China it gained popularity in Nippon. The process of whisking green tea with hot normal water has remained to this day, even though the Japanese have engendered their own complex cultural and ritualistic practices to form precisely what is now referred to as the Japanese tea ceremony.
Seeing that its introduction to Japanese people shores in that far away past, one geographical area especially has become famous for its production of matcha en ciudad de mexico. As with almost any tea factors such as climate, geology, soil and altitude comprise growing conditions that impact after the caliber of matcha that can be produced. Uji in Kyoto prefecture is an area in which these conditions are ideal due to its wealthy soil, sloping mist engulfed hills and a healthy temperature differentiation of warm days and cool night times. These inherent environmental conditions alongside production methods pursuing careful tradition and high standards have lead to this area gaining esteem as the premier matcha growing region in Asia today.
Typical matcha en guadalajara development methods follows standard tea farming methods until the final three weeks, or 20 days of their growth. Traditionally at this stage the tea is shaded by reed or straw screens, in modern large scale farming this is often replaced by black tarpaulin sheeting. This kind of serves to limit the sunlight achieving the leaves which has several results. Most evident is that the leaves turn a nicer vivid shade of oriental due to increased blattgrün production. Levels of a particular valine called L-Theanine which is exclusive to green tea, are also increased. This causes both a sweeter taste and a higher value for one of the health great things about consumption. This can be the compound which is recognized as providing this tea its stress reducing effects promoting a relaxed yet focused alertness. After that shading period is complete, the best quality matcha will be produced from the highest part of the plant, the unopened tip and two topmost leaves. The hands plucked tips are then steamed to arrest oxidation process, retaining the fresh quality and nutrient rich content.
At this stage the tea now qualifies as Tencha both a completed tea in the own right, and the progenitor to both the best Gyokuro and matcha tea. For matcha production the fibrous stem and train of thought structure is then stolen from the leaves going out of small irregularly shaped parts of the tea tea leaf which can finally be stone ground into the final product! Some maintain that hand milled matcha is still the best and it is certainly more authentic. These days and nights professional methods can guarantee greater consistency due to stringent temperature regulation, mincing precision and greater running power and speed all thanks to mechanisation. Privately I really believe each method has something to offer present tea enthusiast.