Matcha Tea Guide
Matcha Tea - Tea bushes and the habit of tea drinking were brought to Japan from China by Buddhist monks in the 8th century. The Chinese at this time predominantly enjoyed steamed green tea that had been pressed into a brick for storage; when drinking they broke tea off the brick, powdered it and whisked up into a bowl, much like Matcha. Inspired by this, the Japanese went on to refine these processes, innovating by shading tea bushes to encourage the production and concentration of chlorophyll and amino acids. This created their unique, umami-rich green teas and defined a tea culture they could call their own, with Matcha at the very heart.
JING Organic Matcha
The organic tea status is key to ensuring that no pesticides are utilised in the cultivation, something that can be a common concern amongst some Matcha products found on the market.
It’s the freshest you can get
Picked, sealed and kept in airtight packaging for an incomparably vivid green colour and rich flavour.
We focus on the flavour of the tea
We do not blend from multiple origins, where the integrity of the origin is lost. A tea should taste of its place and its people – the local terroir, passion and production methods refined over millennia.
Enjoy different ways to prepare
Prepare Matcha quickly and simply with our Matcha Shaker, or enjoy as part of a full ceremony with our complete range.
Matcha Guide - What is Matcha Tea?
Matcha is a powdered green tea from Japan, originating in China. It is made from a raw base of tea leaves known as ‘Tencha’. Traditionally the tea trees are shaded from mid-April until harvest, encouraging them to produce more chlorophyll that sweetens and develops the flavour and body of the tea. To preserve the fresh, green state of the Tencha leaves, they are steamed to ‘fix’ i.e. prevent enzymes from oxidising the leaf. These processes also encourage the rich, umami flavour that Matcha is revered for. The leaves are finely ground using stone mills to produce an incredibly smooth textured and vibrant green powder. This careful process takes one hour to produce 40g of Matcha.
How to Identify Good Quality Matcha Tea
Colour: The colour of Matcha is indicative of its quality and its freshness. The tea leaves for our organic Matcha are picked, sealed and cold-stored until they are stone-milled to order in Uji, Japan with traditional Mikage mills and sealed into airtight packaging. The result is an incomparably vivid and rich, forest green colour.
Texture: For the highest quality Matcha, look for those that have an extremely fine texture, with no ‘clumps’ of powder. The best Matcha are stone-milled laboriously for hours.
Origin: JING Organic Matcha is produced in Kirishima, in Kagoshima in the far south of Japan. The area – at an altitude of 450m - is overlooked by Sakurajima: an active volcano which periodically covers the area in white ash, making the terroir superbly fertile and creating mineral rich soils that nurture unique flavour profiles in the tea bushes. The mountainous climate fluctuates from warm to cold extremes, influencing the growth of the highest quality ‘Tencha’ tea leaves that flourish here, rendered from a single cultivar ‘Okumidori’ that expresses exceptional character: high floral notes, and deep, vegetal umami. The leaves are grown in the shade to encourage the production of amino acids and chlorophyll that contribute to the intense green colour and sweet flavour and they are steamed with new, state of the art equipment during processing to ‘lock in’ rich flavour.
Taste: Unlike other Matcha, which are often blended, our organic Matcha is a pure, characterful expression of the Okumidori cultivar: creamy, sweet, invigorating.
Organic: As a result of the fact that you are ingesting entire tea leaves in a powdered form, it is even more important to consider organic so that your beverage is pesticide-free. It is difficult to find excellent tasting Matcha that is also organic owing to high levels of pesticide-use in tea producing areas of Japan - so, if you happen upon a Matcha that is both delicious, characterful and classified as organic, you know that you’re buying something special.
Matcha Tea Health Benefits
Green tea, including Matcha, can be particularly beneficial to the health owing to the amino acids found present in the tea leaves, as well as caffeine and the given fact that tea is hydrating. How these will affect each individual will vary, yet it is widely researched that Matcha is particularly high in theanine.
Recent studies have suggested that theanine helps to relieve stress and promotes relaxation, as well as counteracting the stimulatory properties of caffeine. The catechins and vitamins present in tea also contribute to wellbeing – vitamin C to fight against the common cold, for example, or vitamin E which is known to prevent ageing and disease. Amino acids not only contribute to the antioxidising properties of the tea but also to the umami taste and sweetness of Japanese green teas.
Psychologically, the ritualistic nature of preparing tea can also have a calming effect.
Our Matcha Tea Range
How else to enjoy our Organic Ceremonial Grade Matcha
Usucha and Koicha
There is a distinction in Matcha preparation that renders a ‘thick’ (Koicha) or ‘thin’ (Usucha) Matcha beverage. Typically, the highest quality Matcha is reserved for Koicha because it will have the best flavours and quality to stand up in its intensity – if you were to use a lower quality Matcha, the experience would be quite unpleasant. Usucha would be the preferred preparation method here to dilute the flavour or, if it really is low quality, it would be better to use it as an ingredient in fatty or sweet foods which would mask any bitterness and elicit the earthy, vegetal notes that Matcha is loved for.
To prepare JING Usucha, we would recommend:
1.8-2g/120ml (80 degree water)
How to Store Matcha Tea
We have gone to great lengths to ensure your JING Matcha is as fresh as possible so that when you open the tin, you are greeted with nothing but beautifully bright and vivid green Matcha. To ensure it remains as such, it’s important to:
- Keep it in an airtight vessel
- Keep it in the fridge
While Matcha does have a good shelf life if stored well, it will deteriorate over time like any natural product and so we recommend you enjoy it regularly.