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Buying matcha may seem an easy thing to do, however you might very easily end up with a product that has nothing in common with the real japanese matcha.
There are so many products on the market labeled as “matcha” when, in fact, they only imitate matcha. The real japanese matcha is always in the form of very fine powder, however not every powdered green tea is the real japanese matcha. So what are the specifics of the matcha, which is coming solely from Japan and has got absolutely no competition?
- Specific method of cultivation: For four weeks before harvest the tea plants are covered and shade-grown.
- Japanese exclusivity: Genuine matcha comes strictly from the tea plants, which are cultivated and manufactured in Japan. The name “matcha” itself originates from Japanese, literally meaning “powdered tea”.
- Tencha as an initial product of processing of matcha: Tencha consists of the pure tea leaf tissue without any stems and veins.
- Slow grinding in granite stone mills: It is a traditional way of producing a matcha powder of the best qualities.
- Sensory characteristics: Matcha has got a very bright emerald green colour(the darker the colour, the higher grade of matcha), smooth mildly sweet taste with subtle bitter note in the end and a pleasant fresh little grassy smell.
- Absolute purity: There are no additives, neither natural, nor artificial.
- Higher content of health promoting-substances: There are exceptionally high levels of L-theanine, EGCG and other antioxidants in comparison to regular green tea. For example the level of EGCG can be up to 137 times higher. This is the result of the process of shading the tea plants several weeks before harvest, which is stimulating and intensifying the production of chlorophyll and increasing the amount of other substances as well.
- Fair price: A higher price is directly proportional to the time consuming production and rarity of matcha.
Green tea powder - matcha imitation
- Ordinary way of cultivation: The tea fields are exposed to the sunlight all the time.
- Non-Japanese origin: The tea plants are grown in the countries outside of Japan.
- Sencha as an initial product of processing of matcha imitation: It consists of the whole tea leaves with stems and veins. The traditional process of cutting out the leaf tissue is being omitted.
- Grinding of sencha: Presence of the stems and veins as well as the grinding method, which is lacking the proper know-how, influences the overall quality of a powder.
- Sensory characteristics: The powder is rather coarse-grained and it can contain visible leaf particles. The green colour tends to be dull, sometimes yellowish or it even turns brown. Taste is perceived as astringent or bitter.
- Additives may be present: Substances that can improve taste and colour, like for example sugar or Copper, may be added.
- Average content of health-promoting substances: The amount of antioxidants and other substances equals the values measured in regular green teas.
- Very low price: In this case the low price indicates significantly lower quality.
Now you know that you have to be very careful when buying matcha. If you come across product labeled as “matcha” which originates from China or other country than Japan, you know that it is not the real matcha what is inside and it should rather be called “green tea powder”.
When making the final choice, check the country of origin and quality certifications. Especially look for updated proof of pesticide residues content. “Updated” is really important, because only then you can be sure about the product safety. Also it is real advantage to have the opportunity to check the sensory characteristics of the product in person. Buy matcha only from trusted retailers, who can kindly provide you with all the certifications and other informations that you require. Japanese matcha is a very unique traditional product and we hold it in high esteem, although we are presenting its consumption in a modern way.
In 2013, I traveled to Japan in order to introduce our innovative ideas in there. Everyone I had spoken to gave me a very positive feedback and that encouraged me to take the plunge into matcha business head first and offer this precious tea to the Czech customers. Since that time I have been very satisfied with our achievements and especially with the feedback from you, our dear customers. Thank you very much for your confidence in our company and for your ongoing support. Since I believe that any customer is going to appreciate the company which is doing a fair business, I can guarantee you that we will stick to the quality and legislative standards, so that you can be always sure that you are getting organic matcha from the certified supplier. For it is a satisfied customer who determines whether our business remains successful.