All genuine green tea originates from a tea plant called “Camellia Senensis”, a local bush of South China. Green tea is known as the “healthiest” form of tea because of its processing and high natural supplement level of Antioxidants, L-theanine and EGCg.
In Japanese, “Cha” implies tea, and “ma” means powder, thus matcha is actually powdered green tea. History of drinking tea as recreational drink originates during Tang Dynasty 618 A.D in China, and during Song Dynasty 960 A.D., the method of making powdered tea from steam-prepared dried tea leaves, and preparing the beverage by whipping the tea powder and hot water together in a bowl became popular for medicinal purposes. It is believed that Green tea seeds were bought to Japan from China by Zen Monks in 1191 A.D., who sowed tea plants on temple lands and introduced Zen theory to Japan, were the first individuals to crush and eat green tea leaves in a powdered form. Preparation and consumption of powdered tea was formed into a ritual by Zen Buddhists as it stimulates presence of psyche, mental sharpness and a calm, meditative state simultaneously along with its natural health benefits. Hence Zen practice and Matcha were bound together at exquisite etiquette tea ceremonies bring together all participants.
Ground tea powder soon lost favor in China, but it flourished in Japan. Powdered green tea, Matcha production methods have been honed and optimized in pursuit for perfect electric green powder with subtle umami sweet taste for nearly 800 years. As it gained more popularity in Japan, it is used in Japanese Tea Ceremonies and an important item in Zen monasteries. It is produced using highest evaluation of Gyokuro Japanese green tea where tea buds are shade-grown, and leaves are handpicked, and stone grounded to fine powder. Matcha, the whole leaf is ingested in powder form thereby ingesting all green tea natural supplement goodness, making it the strongest green tea on planet.
For most people, matcha green tea is strictly Japanese tea. Only 2% of Matcha produced in Japan is exported and with increasing popularity and to meet demand in western world, other countries, viz. China, have started to grow and produce green tea powder to meet 80% of world’s supply.
With increasing awareness of Matcha tea health benefits, many China Tea producers are importing Tea Plants from Japan along with Japanese techniques of Gyokuro and expertise to make high grade Organic Matcha. Chinese Matcha is slightly different than Japanese counterpart, however, both teas are high in natural Anti-oxidants, EGCG and L-theanine contents.
At Pristine Leaf, we offer wide range of Matcha green tea powder sourced from Japan as well as from China.