In this first blog we will talk about the green tea powder: MATCHA. This green tea comes from Japan, where it is already drunk for centuries, especially during Japanese tea ceremonies. In New York City is a real MatchaBar where they do all kind of things with this green powder tea. Matcha begins to get more and more publicity in the Netherlands, especially in the food world, but still many Dutch people don’t know it yet. Matcha is not just a tea, it is made from crushed tea leaves. The big question in this blog is: How is Matcha made? Matcha is made differently than all other green teas. Four weeks before the tea is harvested, the Camellia Sinensis tea plants are covered with screens, so they can grow in the shade approx. This process increases the amount of chlorophyll in the leaf, which gives the tea its great green color. Then the leaves are picked, steamed and dried. The stems and veins are removed, so that nothing but ” meat ” remains, also called Tencha. The Tencha is grinded into fine powder. However, it is not as easy as it seems. Grinding Tencha to Matcha powder is super labor-intensive; it takes seven hours to make 100 grams of Matcha tea! The six steps of “Making of Matcha ‘: Shade: Tea plants are shielded with special mats (the last 4 weeks of the growing process) and are largely protected from the sun; Pluck: The leaves are picked in the Spring. This is the first flush and the strongest and youngest leaves that provide a high quality tea (class A). These shade-grown tea leaves are also used for the Gyokuro tea; Steam: The tea leaves are steamed in special pans; Dry: The tea leaves are placed to dry; Tencha: Then Tencha tea is made from the leaves; Grind: Finally Tencha is grinded to green powder tea. The Tencha is stopped at the top of the ‘crusher’. This machine turns around and grinds it into Matcha powder. There are several qualities in Matcha. The greener the Matcha, the better the quality in terms of sweetness and fullness in taste. Lower quality Matcha are less green in color and are often used for cooking and baking, for example: a Matcha cake. HUG THE TEA is selling Class A Matcha in the shop. This is the highest quality and full of flavour. The Matcha tastes fruity, bittersweet, grassy and creamy! You need some accessories, to make Matcha tea. You ‘brew’ the tea in a special way: Put 1 Matcha bamboo spoon in a bowl Insert 1 tablespoon hot water to it Make a paste of it with the bamboo whisk Add 60 ml of 80 degrees water to the paste Whisk everything about 20 seconds in a 4 and W movement until its creamy and foamy Now you can either drink the Matcha as a teashot ! Check out our Instagram video: How to make Matcha in 1 minute! Matcha is a true SUPER FOOD. Read more about the health benefits of Matcha!