Matcha green tea has an interesting history. It actually goes back to the early 600’s in the Tang Dynasty in China. During the Tang Dynasty the tea was steamed to form into bricks, making their tea harvests easier to transport and subsequently trade. These tea bricks were prepared by roasting and pulverizing the leaves then mixing the resulting tea powder with water and salt.
Around the time of the Song Dynasty, which lasted from the 10th-13th centuries, a different method of tea preparation began. Matcha Green tea was prepared from a powdered tea from the steam dried leaves. The tea powder was then whipped together in a bowl with hot water similar to modern methods used today.
Also, during this time green tea was brought from China to Japan by the Zen Monk Eisai. In Japan green tea was held in such high regard that only monks and nobles had access to it. Eisai made green tea available to all members of society.
Eisai first planted tea seeds in Mount Sefuri since it was an ideal place for the tea plants to grow. Thanks to the efforts of Eisai the tea seeds were able to produce tea that was of the best quality in all of Japan. It was also around this time that Zen Buddhists started a new method of preparing the green tea plant. Tencha was developed by growing the green tea plant under shaded conditions – this method is know for increasing the health benefits of matcha.
Matcha green tea was mainly used in religious rituals in Buddhist monasteries. By the 13th century, Samurai warriors had begun preparing and drinking matcha as they followed the ways of Zen Buddhism, and the foundations of the tea ceremony were laid. The main princliples of the tea ceremony include: harmony (wa); respect (kei); purity (sei); and tranquility (jaku).
By the 16th century, matcha green tea drinking had spread to all levels of society in Japan. Sen no Rikyu, perhaps the most well-known-and still revered-historical figure in tea ceremony, followed his master, Takeno Joo’s, concept of Ichi-go Ichi-e, a philosophy that each meeting should be treasured, for it can never be reproduced. His teachings perfected many newly developed forms in Japanese architecture and gardens, fine and applied arts, and the full development of chad meaning “the way of tea”.
Recently Matcha Green Tea has gained a lot of attention all over the world due to its many benefits of the mind and body. Matcha has 137 times greater the amount of one important catechin (epigallocatechin gallate) than China Green Tips green tea, and at least three times more than what has been proven in other green teas. A cup of matcha green tea promotes concentration and clarity of mind without causing any of the nervous energy typically associated with coffee and the subsequent crash effect.
Matcha is a source of vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamin K and trace minerals. Matcha is rich in components with super antioxidant activity including polyphenols, catechins and chlorophyll. Presence of amino acids such as L-theanine and theophylline in the matcha tea makes it a multi nutrient-packed drink.
- When you drink matcha you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100% of the nutrients of the leaf.
- Matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea.
- One cup of matcha = 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea in terms of nutritional content.