Not only brilliant in benefits, matcha tea is clearly brilliant in colour too.
Yet, why so green?!
Traditional matcha is made using pure gyokuro leaves, a Japanese tea variety that is shaded beneath special mats for 3 weeks before plucking. Talk about special attention.
The rich green colour of the leaves is facilitated by the shading which is said to produce a higher chlorophyll content.
Once plucked, the leaved are steamed before the drying process begins. This prevents oxidation and maintains the colour, fragrance, and flavour of the tea. At this stage, the tea is known as “aracha’.
Next, the aracha is transformed into what is known as tencha. All green tea produced in Japan goes through this steaming and drying process; where matcha differs, is in the drying process. Other varieties of tea are rolled and twisted after steaming, the leaves used for matcha are dried so that the stems and veins can be stripped away from the main part of the leaf. This is what is referred to as tencha. The tencha is then ground into its finely powdered form, matcha.
A delicate and lengthy process indeed. Well worth the wait (and effort) we say!