Luxury Tea Living: It's All About Matcha
Posted on 02 June 2016
If you are a tea fanatic such as myself, the chances are that you would have heard about Matcha, the finely ground vibrant green tea powder originating from china. Packed full of goodness, this tea is taking the tea world by storm with an increasing amount of tea shops now offering Matcha in their ranges with beautiful sets to compliment. After hearing so much about this super tea, I decided to discover more about the tea and its origins with the wonderful team at Whittard of Chelsea were on hand to help me to find out more!
There is such an extensive process behind this tea that contribute to its fine taste and nutritional benefits and I was very surprised to discover what this tea goes through before it makes its way into our homes. Matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves and the preparation of the tea starts several weeks before harvest when they are covered to prevent the reach of direct sunlight. The lack of sunlight slows down the growth of the leaves which in turn stimulates an increase in chlorophyll levels, turning the leaves a darker shade of green. When ready for harvesting, only the finest tea buds are hand picked which are then laid out flat to dry to become tencha. Tencha is then de-veined, de-stemmed, and stone-ground to a fine powder to become Matcha.
Presentation and preparation is incredibly important with Matcha. Many traditional Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies centre around the preparation and serving of this fine tea and Whittard of Chelsea have released a beautiful Japanese tea set (imaged above) to help you make the most of your Matcha which includes: (A) bamboo whisk (B) Tin of Matcha tea (C) Bamboo spoon and (D) handcrafted bowl.
The team at Whittard suggest the following for the perfect brew: "Add two bamboo scoops (1 flat teaspoon) of Matcha to your tea bowl and mix with a couple of drops of water to make a smooth paste. Top up the tea bowl to ¾ full water at 80°C (cool for five minutes after boiling). Mix with the bamboo whisk until a creamy froth forms on the surface. Do as the Japanese do, and use two hands to hold your tea. Sip without slurping."
After getting my hands on the tea set and trying it out for myself I can say that I was overwhelmed by the quality of the tea and the set itself. Whilst it takes a bit more preparation than most teas, I actually felt like I was making something, giving me more interaction with the tea which was rewarding when you get to sit back and enjoy the brew. The tea itself is very fresh tasting, I would imagine drinking it cold but the warm water gave it a beautiful balance. I have definitely discovered a new tea to obsess over and cannot wait to brew more!
Click to discover more products and teas available from Whittard of Chelsea by viewing their official website and store.