All About Matcha – Bonsai Cha

what is matcha?

Matcha is a powdered green tea derived from the tea plant Camellia Sinesis.

However, unlike green tea, matcha leaves are dried and ground into a fine powder and are consumed whole. The powdered leaves are whisked with hot water to create a rich and frothy glistening, emerald tea.

Matcha offers various taste profiles from bright and grassy to deep, rich and creamy with spinach and umami notes. Terroir has an influence on the quality and taste as climate, soil and topography influence the cultivars, resulting in diverse taste profiles. In Japanese, matcha literally means “ground tea”. The purest, highest quality matcha comes from Japan.

how is matcha made?

The production of matcha is a labour-intensive process that follows hundreds of years of ancient traditions. Tea leaves are harvested in May of each year. Six weeks prior to harvest, the tea bushes are covered with shading which increases the production of chlorophyll and theanine.

When the leaves have reached their optimal condition, only the top, brightest green leaves are carefully selected and harvested by hand. This harvest is known as “first harvest” and produces the best matcha available. Bonsai Cha Products are made from first harvest tea leaves. The leaves are then steamed, cooled and dried, then meticulously de-stemmed and de-veined by hand to create “tencha”. Using traditional stone mills, the tencha leaves are then slowly ground into a fine powder which becomes matcha.

what is hojicha?

Hojicha is roasted Japanese green tea. It has a distinct aroma and flavour with notes of wood, coffee and spice. Tea leaves are roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal at a high temperature, creating beautifully roasted reddish-brown leaves.

Hojicha is available in both powdered and loose-leaf form. High grade hojicha can be enjoyed on its own or added to milk to create a rich, creamy latte.

GRADES OF MATCHA

CEREMONIAL
GRADE

Top grade matcha. First harvest leaves. Rich and creamy with integrated flavours. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

Best enjoyed straight up.

PREMIUM
GRADE

Good matcha, but flavours are often undistinctive and subtle, offering freshness and astringency.

Best for your matcha latte.

CULINARY
GRADE

Elevate your dish with matcha. Second harvest leaves with a slightly bitter taste that will add a kick to your favourite dish.

Best for your morning smoothie.

HOW
DO YOU LIKE IT?


USUcha

½ teaspoon of matcha 75 ml (2.5 fl oz)
of hot water


KOIcha

1 teaspoon of matcha
40 ml (1.3 fl oz)
of hot water


MODERNcha

knowing quality matcha

Most people are unaware of the quality of their matcha.

Why?

Because good matcha is not readily available. Most matcha powders you find will likely be second or third harvest leaves, or mixed with other additives. The bitterness from using low grade matcha is typically masked with sweeteners and other additives which makes it less healthy and far less palatable.

A good quality matcha can be enjoyed on its own. Matcha in its purest form has natural sweetness and a smooth taste.

What do you need to watch out for? Read more below!

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