Category: Learn About Tea
Most of us are by now familiar with green tea powder but there is more to Japanese green tea than just matcha.
Like most things in Japan, tea growing is done with careful consideration. An art form that honours tradition and spares no attention to detail.
Types of Japanese green tea
Whilst there are many types of Japanese green tea, they can be sorted into two main categories. Tea that is grown in the shade and tea that is grown in full sun. Matcha may be a powder, but it begins life as all tea does; the green leaves of the tea plant.
Matcha and gyokuro green teas
Matcha belongs to the group of teas that are grown in the shade. As we saw in our article on the different grades of matcha, some green tea in Japan is grown in the shade for around the last month before the harvest. This reduces the rate of photosynthesis, concentrating chlorophyll and increasing levels of theanine. A process that results in sweet mellow flavours, with less bitter undertones, and deep green colour.
Both matcha and gyokuro green teas are grown in this way. After processing, matcha ends up as a fine green powder whereas gyokuro is a leaf tea. The leaves are steamed and dried, then kneaded before sorting. Kneading breaks down the fibres so that flavour and nutrients are more readily extracted during brewing. Gyokuro karigane is a less expensive version of the tea made from the stems rather than the leaves.
Sencha green tea
Other teas are grown in full sunlight right up until harvest. This results in a concentration of catechins rather than theanine and these give tea its characteristic bitter flavour. With less chlorophyll than shade grown tea, the leaves are a golden green colour.
Sencha and genmaicha teas are both grown in full sunlight. The most popular green leaf tea in Japan, sencha is a bright energising everyday tea. It has a mellow and refreshing flavour with a balanced bitterness. There are many different types of sencha available.
Genmaicha is a blend of Japanese green tea made from sencha leaves mixed with toasted brown rice. Originally a cost effective way of making expensive green tea leaves go further, genmaicha is prized for its rich roasted flavour reminiscent of coffee that makes it ideal at breakfast time.
Hojicha is sencha that has been roasted. It is more similar to black tea but has a fresher flavour profile.
The difference between black and green tea
Tea all looks the same when it is harvested. It is the processing that makes the difference between green and black tea.
Once harvested, tea leaves destined to be black tea are left to wither and ferment. The process of fermentation allows the leaves to oxidise, changing the colour from green to brown then black. But it is not just the colour that changes. The deep earthy flavour of black tea is all down to careful control of this oxidation process.
On the other hand, leaves for green tea are exposed to heat as soon as they are picked. Usually steaming, this process halts oxidation and results in not only the green colour but the fresh grassy herbal tones of green tea.
Is matcha different from green tea?
Matcha is just one of many varieties of Japanese green tea, yet it is unique in that it takes the form of a powder. The entire leaf is processed and ground, with the resulting powder brewed and drunk. This is different from most teas, where the leaf is brewed and then thrown away.
Does Japanese green tea contain caffeine?
Japanese green teas are often higher in caffeine due to the gentle steaming process. The caffeine in tea is bound to antioxidants which slow the rate of absorption. This makes for a more gradual caffeine hit with none of the jitters associated with coffee. Gyokuro and matcha, the shade grown teas, have the most caffeine. Hojicha has very little caffeine, whilst sencha comes somewhere in between.
Making Japanese green tea
The subtle nuances of Japanese green tea can be lost if not brewed with consideration. Temperature and brew time are both of importance.
To brew sencha tea, boil water and let it stand for a few minutes to come down to 80C. Brew for 1 minute before lifting out the leaves.
Matcha tea is whisked into water of between 70 and 85C.
Genmaicha tea is brewed in freshly boiled water for 1 minute.
Hojicha tea is brewed in freshly boiled water for 30 seconds.
Health benefits matcha vs green tea
Matcha and other varieties of green tea share potent antioxidant benefits but it is thought that matcha is more beneficial to health as the whole leaf is ingested.
All tea begins with the plant Camellia Sinensis, whether it is green, white or black. Green when harvested, if not steamed within hours the leaves will oxidise and turn black. This is the black tea we are all used to in our daily cuppa.
But matcha goes beyond simple green tea. An art form perfected by the Japanese over thousands of years, it has a unique method of growing, harvesting, and production.
There are many different grades of matcha powder, which we will explain in this article.
What is matcha powder?
Matcha powder is a traditional green tea powder from Japan. Like fine wine or a good cheese, matcha is a product of its terroir. This is the environment in which it is produced and each element such as the soil and the climate will make a difference to the final flavour. There are various regions in Japan that are renowned for the quality of their matcha, just as there are areas of France renowned for producing excellent wine.
How is matcha powder made?
Tea for high grade matcha is grown in the shade, on specialist plantations. April is the beginning of the growing season, and there may be up to four harvests in a season. The first harvest, known also as a flush, is considered to produce the highest grade tea. Once the first green shoots appear, the tea plants are kept under gradually increasing shade in order to reduce the rate of photosynthesis. This concentrates the green pigment chlorophyll and increases theamine, the amino acid that gives matcha tea its soft sweet flavour.
The first flush begins in May. The young leaves are chosen and picked by hand. In any type of tea growing, this first harvest will have more nuance of flavour as it grows more slowly in the cooler weather. As the weather gets warmer over the season, the rate of growth speeds up and flavour changes. The green leaves are steamed as soon after harvest as possible to retain the vibrant green of the chlorophyll. At this stage, green tea would be rolled and left to dry but the delicate leaves for matcha are air-dried in a machine.
Finally the leaves are picked clean of stem and veins before grinding. Matcha tea is ground in a granite stone mill. It turns with a considered slowness designed to create as little friction as possible so as to retain all the delicate flavour notes of the final matcha powder.
There may be up to four harvests in a season, which ends in late autumn.
What does matcha taste like?
Matcha tea should be rich, aromatic and sweet with a grassy, vegetal taste from the chlorophyll. Higher grade tea will be less astringent than the lower grades, with minimal bitterness.
How to tell if matcha is good quality
There is a difference between high quality matcha powder and high grade matcha powder. The different grades of matcha are blended for different purposes, so culinary grade matcha powder from a reputable source is still a high quality product. Matcha, by definition is an artisan product of time and tradition. Yet, some will be of a higher quality than others.
A good quality ceremonial grade matcha powder will be…
Soluble, with a texture like fine baby powder.
Smooth and sweet with no astringency.
Grown and produced in Japan.
A vibrant green colour, yet this is not always a reliable benchmark.
How to choose matcha
Firstly make sure that your matcha is grown and produced in Japan. There is no labelling convention as such, and you could well be buying green tea powder which is not the same thing.
Buy according to your budget and what you need it for. First flush ceremonial grade matcha powder is best used for whisking in water. Slightly less expensive second flush ceremonial grade matcha powder can be whisked in water but will be slightly more bitter. You could use this in lattes and smoothies too as the more robust flavours blend well with milk. Keep the culinary grade matcha powder for cooking; the flavours are designed well to go with other ingredients.
Ceremonial grade matcha powder should be silky soft. Like baby powder. Lower grades will be less finely ground.
Different grades of matcha will have different levels of nutrients. The first flush matcha powder will have the most nutritional benefit, yet the lower grades are still all powerful superfoods.
What is ceremonial grade matcha?
Ceremonial grade matcha powder is the highest grade of matcha, blended purely for whisking in water and drinking as is. Used for centuries by monks and emperors to aid meditation, this is the stuff of the tea ceremony. The flavours are subtle and complex, delicate notes to be savoured.
Not all ceremonial grade matcha powder is first flush, but if it is it will be labelled as such. Our supreme matcha powder is first flush organic matcha powder.
Our imperial grade matcha is ceremonial grade second harvest. Slightly less delicate, it can be used for whisking or in your morning matcha latte.
Culinary grade matcha powder
Culinary grade matcha powder is blended to stand up to other ingredients. So that the flavours can come through ingredients such as fats, or cacao, and not be lost. Often used in lattes and smoothies too, this grade of matcha powder is less smooth and has more bitter and astringent tones. If you had a matcha latte or tea that you did not like, it may have been made with a lower grade of culinary grade matcha powder.
This is made from the the third or fourth flush (the later harvests) or a mix of both. The leaves are often picked mechanically and the grind can be coarser so it requires more whisking to dissolve.
There are several categories of culinary grade matcha powder.
Premium grade matcha powder is very fine and blends well. It is perfect for milky drinks as well as baking and cooking.
Cafe grade is less delicate with a strong flavour.
Ingredient grade is produced to match well with milk and dairy. It is stronger and thicker.
Kitchen grade is the economy blend of matcha powder. It is less delicate than the rest, and more astringent.
Culinary grade matcha powder is not an inferior product. It is simply a question of using it for the right purpose. This is what you will use to make your matcha brownies or matcha ice cream. It is the perfect matcha powder for baking.
We hope that has helped begin to explain a little about the different grades of matcha powder. Take a look at all of our organic matcha powder, or head over to the online store for more wholesale organic food.
Pep Tea imports superior organic ceremonial grade organic matcha wholesale tea powder. Our organic Japanese Imperial matcha tea powder is noted for that natural true taste of a high grade tea.
The best matcha tea is grown organically in Japan. The product is regarded among the highest grade matcha powders available. Pep Tea’s Imperial grade is an organic ceremonial grade matcha tea often celebrated in Japan.
The cultivation of the worlds best tea is grown in the famous southern region plantations of Japan. Organic Japanese matcha Imperial grade tea powder is produced from nutrient rich tea leaves that are extracted from the early picked tips of the tea plants.
It is also considered as one of the most superior and natural tea powders that are rich in antioxidants and many other nutrients.
Regular servings of Matcha Tea increases metabolism, helps to regulate weight and helps reduce cholesterol levels, plus it improves mood and memory.
Pep Tea is a leading organic Kombucha and organic Matcha tea brand in Australia.
Pep Tea supplies great organic kombucha and organic matcha powder wholesale. Our premium grade organic matcha green tea is very much popular among those that enjoy the taste fine and superior. Pep Tea’s Matcha tea powders are one of the few authentic matcha teas imported from Japan and certified organic by the Japanese ministry of Agriculture.
Premium organic matcha green tea is our special high quality organic culinary grade for fine cooking. It is produced from autumn crops and it is grown organically in Japan. The cultivation of matcha tea is generally done in the regions of Kagoshima, Kyoto, Mie as well as Aichi parts of Japan. The powder of Matcha green tea is produced from the tea leaves which are grown in the hilly areas. Then the leaves are ground into fine powder.
Premium organic matcha green tea is available in foil lined and resealable pouches. The front label of the pouches shows the process of making matcha tea and back label shows the logo of organic certification of Japanese ministry of Agriculture.
Visit our online store to know more details about the product. Buy your favorite product now and get online discounts on various products.
Matcha tea powder is a product of Australia’s Pep Tea brand. Pep Tea is basically specialized in wholesale distribution of high-quality organic teas especially Japanese organic green matcha tea that is popular for its quality, purity and other health benefits.
Matcha is rich in vitamins, fiber as well as chlorophyll. Matcha is considered to be an antioxidant powerhouse that provides certain health benefits. It contributes selenium, vitamin C, chromium, zinc as well as magnesium. Matcha tea aids to strengthen the mood and concentration of an individual. The health benefits of consuming Matcha include lowering cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood sugar and many more.
Pep Tea is referred to as the name of an Australian business and also it is a registered trademark of Opera Foods Pty Ltd.
You can buy organic Matcha wholesale from Pep Tea or our parent company Opera Foods.
Matcha is a type of green tea which is grown in the famous tea plantations of Japan and also in China. The drinking of powdered green tea leaves for heath reasons became a ceremonial tradition which was practiced in Japan. Over the centuries the tradition is still being continued in Japan whereas in China it had slowly lost some its importance until recent years. Where ceremonies were held the High grade matcha tea is made and served according to the auspicious rituals of the Japanese tea ceremony.
Pep Tea a leading brand of Kombucha and Matcha was established with the vision to bring the old tradition of Matcha tea to Australia. Besides the authentic traditional facts they also provide amazing benefits to our body.
Caffeine in Matcha
Like coffee, matcha contains caffeine, but instead of the jitters it gives you a clean high. A matcha tea provides more caffeine than black tea around the same as a cup of brewed coffee but less than the amount of an espresso, however, the tea’s buzz is much more energising and longer-lasting
It depends on how strong you drink it of course but on average Matcha tea contains on average around 70mg of caffeine for an 8 ounce cup. Whereas black tea contains, on average, around 55 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces, and coffee contains around 100 mg. Interestingly, green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine.
Caffeine is usually thought to be safe in moderate amounts. Experts consider 200–300 mg of caffeine a day to be a moderate amount for adults. So a moderate dose of caffeine through drinking Matcha tea is about 3 cups per day.
Consuming Matcha tea on a daily basis increases the antioxidant compounds in our body which can protect us from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and dementia. Whereas you should also be careful about the amount of Matcha consumption you take as overdose of caffeine can leads to side effect. To make one cup of Matcha Tea you should use 1/2 teaspoon of Matcha Powder as one cup of Matcha green tea is equivalent to 10 cups of ordinary Green Tea. So Generally it is though that if you consume Matcha Tea on a daily basis you should probably not have more than 5 cups a day. If you keep these things in check then the Matcha Tea is capable to keep you energized throughout the day and give you great health benefits.
Order high-grade Matcha powder wholesale from our online store. Pep Tea is a trademarked brand of Opera Foods who deliver products overnight to most postcodes in Australia.
Though Matcha has originated in Japan and China it has recently gained popularity in Australia. Organic Matcha Tea has become the most loved tea among various other Green Tea because of its amazing health benefits.
High Grade Matchan ot only tastes a little sweeter but it also makes you feel better before you start your day. But you have to be cautious when you are buying the Matcha green tea powder; you have to notice several factors like it’s Colour, Price, and Benefits. If it has a vibrant green colour it means the leaves have been the first crop of the season grown in shade to have maximum chlorophyll content. On the other hand, if it has a browner colour it means they are from a later season harvest and contains less chlorophyll.
Buy the best Matcha Tea powder from Peptea and if you want Organic Matcha wholesale you can order from our wholesale supplier Opera Foods.
Ceremonial grade Matcha Tea, if is organically grown, is one of the best foods to fight cancer. It is very high in antioxidants because it uses the whole of the tea leaf. These leaves are picked from the first flush of fresh tiny leaves, which is shade grown, and then stone ground into a very fine powder.
Foods to fight Cancer- Matcha Tea
Not all antioxidants are created equal. Green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins. Among antioxidants, catechins are the most potent and beneficial. One specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) makes up 60% of the catechins in Matcha Green Tea. Out of all the antioxidants, EGCg is the most widely recognized for its cancer fighting properties.
Brewed Green tea is particularly rich in EGCg compounds, with about four times more EGCg than black tea. However Ceremonial grade Japanese Matcha Green Tea contains around 3 times more EGCg than tradition brewed green tea. So high quality Matcha teas are Foods to fight Cancer .
Drink it daily, if you want a food to fight cancer, but do choose a Match tea powder that is Certified Organic and 100% Japanese and then only ceremonial grade from the first flush crop of the season, from the famous southern Japanese tea plantations.
NB: (Many Matcha tea products are blended with late season inferior crops, or milled in metal grinders that are not as finely ground or most often even blended with cheap Chinese Matcha teas that are not grown & processed under the same health standards. Read how to recognise the grade and quality of Match Tea at www.peptea.com.au)
Tea is a universally popular and quite aromatic beverage most often prepared by steeping or soaking in boiled water the cured, dried, oxidised, fermented, or ground, leaves of the Camellia Sinensis tree, an evergreen bush native to East Asia. Apart from water, tea is the most popular drink for humans.
The Tea plant is native to the borderlands of north Burma and southwest China. The habit of drinking tea is believed to have started during the Shang Dynasty in in the Yunnan region of China, where it was taken for medicinal purposes.
Later it is thought that Sichuan, residents began to boil tea leaves for consumption into a concentrated liquid without the addition of other leaves or herbs, and so started using tea as a stimulating drink, as opposed to purely as a medicinal treatment.
Two principal varieties of the tea plant are grown in plantations for tea beverages: Camellia sinensis is used for most Chinese and Japanese teas, and a sub-species, Camellia assamica, is used in most Indian teas (except Darjeeling which uses the original Camellia sinensis).
Within these two botanical tea varieties, many strains and varieties of tea exist. Leaf size is the main basis for the classification of tea plants, with the three key classifications being; China type, characterised by the smallest leaves; Assam type, characterised by the largest leaves; and a Cambodian type, characterised by medium sized leaves.
Many different types of tea have evolved by varying degrees and methods of treatment of the tea leaves; some teas, such as Chinese green teas, and Darjeeling have a slightly bitter, and astringent flavour, while other teas have quite different profiles including sweet, nutty, floral or grassy.
During the centuries, a variety of different techniques for processing tea leaves, and a range of different forms of tea, were developed. In the Tang dynasty, tea was steamed, then pounded and shaped into cake form, while in the Song dynasty, loose-leaf tea was developed and became popular. During the Yuan and Ming dynasties, unoxidized tea leaves were first pan-fried, then rolled and dried, a process that stops the oxidation process that turns the leaves dark, thereby allowing tea to remain green. In the 15th century, oolong tea, in which the leaves were allowed to partially oxidize before pan-frying, was developed. Western tastes, later, favoured the fully oxidized black tea, and so the leaves were allowed to oxidize further. Yellow tea was an accidental discovery in the production of green tea during the Ming dynasty, when apparently poor control practices allowed the leaves to turn yellow, but yielded a different flavour as a result.
Green tea was known as the “healthiest” form of tea due to its lack of processing, resulting in extremely high nutrient levels. However the ancient Buddhist monks in Japan went one better with Matcha Tea, by grinding the leaves to a powder and because the entire leaf is ingested in a powder form, it is the most potent green tea available.
In Japanese “cha” means tea, and “ma” means powder, thus the word matcha translates literally as powdered green tea. It is believed that the very first green tea seeds were brought to Japan from China by Eisai (1141-1215), the founder of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, in 1191 A.D., who planted them on the temple grounds in Kyoto. Eisai encouraged the cultivation of tea trees, and his Kissa yojoki (Health Benefits of Tea), tied tea-drinking to longevity and launched tea in Japan on a large scale.
Kombucha Tea is a living health drink made by fermenting tea and sugar with the kombucha culture. The resulting brew can taste like something between sparkling apple cider and champagne, depending on what type of tea you use. It’s not what you’d imagine fermented tea to taste like.
The exact origins of Kombucha Tea have become lost in the mists of time. It is thought to have originated in the Far East, probably China, and has been consumed there for at least two thousand years. The first recorded use of kombucha comes from China in 221 BC during the Tsin Dynasty. It was known as “The Tea of Immortality”
Masala Chai Tea is a flavoured tea beverage made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices, and herbs. Originating in India, the beverage has gained worldwide popularity, becoming a feature in many coffee and tea houses. Although traditionally prepared by a concoction of green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger, and black peppercorn together with black tea leaves, retail versions include tea bags for infusion, instant powdered mixtures, and concentrates
Many Western commercial preparations now also use non-traditional ingredients such as vanilla or chocolate, relegating the traditional masala spices to a relatively minor role.
Herbal tea usually refers to infusions of fruit or herbs made without using the tea plant, such as steeps of rosehip, chamomile, or rooibos. These are not teas, they better called tisanes or herbal infusions to prevent confusion with real tea which is made from the leaves of the tea plant.
Pep Tea brand’s organic #kombucha flavours are refreshing tasty drinks that have wonderful health properties. Australian #SUGARTAX advocates will be pleased to know that Pep Tea’s Kombucha contains only 2.7% sugar. #PepTea Kombucha is very low compared to popular oft drinks at between 9.6% & 18% sugar.