What is Matcha?
Matcha (抹茶) is a fine green powder made from whole ground tealeaves, and is distinctive in its rich flavour and dark green colour. The young shoots are shaded for 3-4 weeks, and after harvesting and drying the stems and veins are removed from the leaf to make Tencha. This is then ground into a powder with a stone mill or ball mill. Traditionally, Matcha is prepared by dissolving the powder in hot water, and a bamboo whisk (chasen) is used to froth up the mixture to achieve a smooth and creamy texture. Matcha plays an important part in the Japanese tea ceremony, the Sado or “the way of tea”, where tea preparation is used to emphasise beauty, simplicity and tranquility.
Mr Nakai’s family has been farming tea for seven generations. 26 years ago, he began farming organically after discovering high levels of pesticides in his blood. This news inspired him to grow tea in a safe and natural way, and he drastically transformed his farming methods in order to create what is known today as Organic Nakai Seicha Uji green tea. His teas are now certified by the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS). Although weeds are a problem, effective composting and long hours in the tea field, along with a deep respect for the environment, enables his tea farm to thrive by working together with the ecosystem. Mr Nakai believes that without weeds, there is no tea.
How to Make Matcha