Join our email list and get $5 to shop! Free shipping on all orders.

A Terroir Case Study: Matcha Green Tea

Matcha green tea is becoming increasingly popular, whether you're a tea connoisseur or not (matcha latte anyone?). However, Matcha has an old history and has been revered for hundreds of years for its unique flavor, impressive health benefits, and impressive production process.


In this post, I'm going to reveal some of the aspects of the craft that go into producing Matcha. Truly, it's a grand manipulation of the tea's terroir and the refinement behind the way it's processed once harvested.


First off, most Matcha is made with tea leaves of the Yabukita cultivar. Yabukita is Japan's most common tea plant cultivar and is also used to produce Sencha green tea. When you're drinking Matcha, you are consuming the entire tea leaf in a powder form, not an infusion of the leaf, like with other teas. Because of this, bitterness can come out more easily so the quality of the tea leaves is very important.


About 20 days before the mid-May harvest, the tea plants are shaded with cloth and tarps. The sun is responsible for converting an amino acid called theanine in the tea plant into other compounds like tannins, which are responsible for bitter flavors. The shading step, therefore, enhances the levels of this amino acid, favoring more umami flavor over bitterness.


After harvest, the tea leaves are steamed and dried. At this point in the process, the tea is called Aracha. Next, workers remove the veins in the leaves so that only the supple parts of the leaves are kept and dried once again. At this point, the tea is called Tencha.


Using a stone mill, the Tencha is ground into a micro-fine powder (under 10 microns) to produce what we know as Matcha.


Aside from your green tea latte, Matcha is also the tea used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony. This ritual lasts hours and is hyper-focused on every small step in the simple act of preparing tea. What a way to fully appreciate your perfectly crafted Matcha tea!

Share this post

Leave a comment

Note, comments must be approved before they are published