Fall in Love with Matcha 💚
Hey tea lovers!
For Tea of the Week this week we are going to look into all the incredible benefits of matcha and the differences between the variety of matcha we carry at Full Leaf Tea Co. and help you choose the perfect one for you!
What is matcha?
First, let's talk about what matcha is.
Matcha is a type of powdered green tea that is made from shade-grown tea leaves, which are carefully harvested, steamed, dried, and ground into a fine powder.
The production of matcha involves several unique steps. The tea plants used for matcha are typically shaded for a few weeks before harvest, which stimulates the growth of extra vibrant leaves with increased chlorophyll content. This shading process also enhances the flavor and aroma of the tea.
The vibrant green color of matcha is a result of its high chlorophyll content. Matcha is known for its rich flavor profile, which combines natural sweetness with umami notes and a slight bitterness. It has a smooth, creamy texture when properly prepared.
Why should I drink matcha?
Matcha is a versatile and delicious type of tea that is packed to the brim with health benefits! Because you are consuming the entire tea leaf (in a ground form) instead of drinking the water the leaf has steeped in, the benefits can be even more potent in matcha than a cup of green tea. There are truly too many health benefits to list but let's talk about the main ones!
Matcha is incredibly high in antioxidants called catechins that help protect the body against damage from harmful free radicals, which are associated with chronic diseases and aging.
Along with the catechins, matcha contains a high level of caffeine along with L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness. The combination of caffeine and L-theanine can enhance focus, mental clarity, and sustained energy levels. Because of the L-theanine, matcha will not give you the brain fog and energy dump that a cup of coffee gives you. Additionally, L-theanine can reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Chlorophyll, the pigment responsible for matcha's vibrant green color, has been suggested to support detoxification by aiding in the elimination of toxins and heavy metals from the body.
Where does Full Leaf Tea Co. matcha come from?
We source all of our matcha from a single supplier out of Kyoto, Japan. We have carefully chosen our supplier to ensure that the tea leaves are cared for impeccably and harvested at the perfect time. Ensuring the matcha we carry is pure and sourced sustainably is incredibly important to us!
The matcha goes through a third-party testing facility prior to coming to us to ensure it is contaminant-free and ready to be blended into one of our sweet matcha preparations or packaged by itself for our plain matcha options.
What types of matcha does Full Leaf Tea Co. carry?
Why does matcha grade matter?
Matcha is graded based on several factors, including the quality of the tea leaves, their origin, processing methods, and appearance. Matcha is typically graded into 3 categories; ceremonial, premium, and culinary.
All three grades of matcha have their place and choosing which grade to purchase depends on exactly how you plan to use the matcha.
What are the differences between the three grades?
Starting with the lowest grade, culinary matcha is a great choice for exactly what it sounds like; cooking! Culinary matcha is meant to be used in preparations where you are going to be using a lot of matcha and mixing it into a batter, smoothie, or something where matcha going to be combined with other flavors. This type of matcha is going to be the least expensive option and will tend to be a less vibrant green and slightly more bitter than the other grades. However, culinary matcha still contains all the wonderful health benefits of the other grades.
The middle grade and most popular is organic premium matcha. Premium grade matcha is the most versatile of the three as it is a high enough grade to be drank by itself but also can be used in baking, smooth ies, and lattes. Premium matcha is a brighter green, less bitter, and smoother than culinary matcha lending itself to be a great matcha for anyone who wants to prepare it in a variety of ways. Our Organic Premium Matcha is what we use in most of our blended matcha, combining it with everything from chia seeds to wheatgrass for a delicious range of matcha preparations.
Ceremonial matcha is the highest grade and created from the youngest, most tender green tea leaves. Ceremonial matcha got its name because it is what is used in tea ceremonies and is best to drink by itself to appreciate the subtle flavors and nuances of the matcha. This matcha will be the brightest green, least bitter, and smoothest of the three grades but will also be the most expensive in most cases.
Choosing what grade of matcha is best for you comes down to exactly how you plan to use the matcha but you can rest assured that, no matter the grade, the matcha will still be packed with the same benefits.