Arguably the best known of the teas to come out of Japan, matcha has found its way into a variety of foods and beverages. Although relatively new in Western countries, this vibrant green tea powder has been enjoyed in Japan for over 800 years and is used for the meditative, elaborate Japanese tea ceremony.
Four weeks before harvesting matcha, the tea bushes are covered with bamboo mats or tarps to reduce the amount of natural sunlight. This increases the chlorophyll and amino acids in the tea and turns the leaves a vibrant green colour. Moreover, the increase in chlorophyll adds to the sweetness of the leaf.
The finest leaves are selected and processed through a number of stages, producing an unground leaf that is known as Tencha. This is then funnelled in between two large granite stones which gently crush the leaves and produce the finely ground and vibrant green powder known as matcha. Matcha tends to be rather more expensive than most teas and this is due to the very slow process of grinding. After the grinding process, the matcha is immediately packed and sealed to maintain the freshness of the powder at its peak.
The hue of green is a key indicator as to the quality of matcha. High quality matcha is deep, vibrant jade green in colour. If the leaf has not been properly shaded before the harvest then the resultant powder will have a brownish or yellowish hue. Furthermore, matcha that is old or that has been poorly stored will produce a brownish or yellowish hue. Another indicator of match quality is the feel and texture of the powder. A high quality matcha will feel very fine and silky, similar to the feel of talcum powder.
How to make the best afternoon tea at home如何在家里做最好的下午茶
Our Tea Taster, Dominic Marriott, and an afternoon tea expert explore how to make the best afternoon tea at home.
The Art of Tea Tasting品茶的艺术
From selecting the finest teas that go into Ahmad Tea blends to checking those blends are up to scratch, our team of Tea Tasters are crucial to maintaining a top quality product. Here’s an insight into art of Tea Tasting at Ahmad Tea HQ.
Tea in the Land of the Samurai日本武士之地的茶叶
Exploring the history, geography, culture and production of tea in Japan.
Tea Around the World世界各地茶叶
Renowned as the epitome of Englishness, the cup of tea has a rich tradition in the British Isles. But there are many other countries where tea history goes back much further, where tea customs are very different to those of the British. Here we take a look at the history and traditions of some tea-loving cultures.
Tea Travels: Assam茶的旅行:阿萨姆邦
For obvious reasons Tea Tasters at Ahmad Tea HQ are some of the most envied people in the organisation. And never were they more so than in late August when they took a trip to the spectacular region of Assam in northern India to visit some of the world’s top tea estates. Here are some notes from their Tea Travels.
Darjeeling’s First & Second Flushes大吉岭第一和第二冲水
Having such a unique and interesting profession makes Ahmad Tea’s Tea Tasters quite a hit at dinner parties (if they do say so themselves)
Focus on Africa – Tea in Uganda聚焦非洲——乌干达的茶叶
Our African Tea journey arrives in Uganda, a country that has overcome political turmoil to become Africa’s second largest tea producing country.