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What is Matcha Powder?

What is Matcha Powder?

What is Matcha?

Matcha means ‘Rubbed or Ground Tea’ and is the Japanese term for the precious powdered green tea, traditionally reserved for the Japanese Tea Ceremony (Sadō).

The process of manufacturing premium matcha begins with choosing the right place for the cultivation of the tea plants (Camellia sinensis). The soil and climatic conditions play a key role in the final flavor and quality of the tea. Mountainous and hilly regions provide the perfect climate and morning mists needed for the cultivation of tea.

The matcha tea plants are shaded from direct sunlight for about 2-4 weeks before harvest. This increases the chlorophyll and L-theanine content making for a smooth taste and a rich vibrant green color. L-theanine is an amino acid specific to green tea that provides sweetness in flavor. It is the main reason why high quality green tea tastes less astringent and is more pleasant to the palate.

The different types of Japanese tea are commonly graded depending on the quality and the parts of the plant used. High quality matcha is always hand-picked to assure that only the unopened tea bud and the accompanying finest, top three leaves are chosen. The tea-leaves selected to become matcha are called tencha. The leaves are then carefully steamed to prevent the nutrients from oxidation and keep the tea fresh and green. After that, all the rough fiber, such as stems and veins, are removed to assure the fine powdery consistency and the sweet flavor typical for a great matcha. The tencha leaves are then slowly ground up in traditional granite stone-grinders to a very fine, talc-like powder ‒ matcha!

Since matcha is extremely prone to losing nutrients, color and freshness by being exposed to light or air, proper storage and packaging is crucial to assure highest quality.

 How can I determine matcha quality?

You can tell the quality and freshness of matcha by the color and flavor. The greener and more vibrant is the color (for both the powder and the prepared cup). 

What is the difference between Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) Organic and standard grade matcha? Is it just different leaves?

Different leaves yes, but actually different tea fields entirely. Tea leaves destined for Green Earth Matcha is Certified JAS Organic matcha have to satisfy a number of JAS regulations, such as containing no pesticides, using only natural fertilizers, protecting the fields from environmental contaminants, using only natural pest control methods, keeping strict log books and more. Green Earth JAS Organic matcha adheres to the regulations of JAS/JONA.  Green Earth matcha is also certified by EU Agriculture, the governing body for the European Community.

How does Matcha make you calm?

The L-theanine amino acid in matcha increases alpha waves in the brain. Alpha waves help us to feel calm, creative, alert and mentally focused.

Is Matcha addictive?

If feeling good and energized is addictive, then yes! 

Once I open a package of your matcha, should I refrigerate it?

Keep matcha in the fridge, inside the little pouch. Prior to being stone ground into matcha powder, our tencha leaves are stored slightly above freezing. Green Earth Matcha is like a raw, living food. Keeping it refrigerated will help it stay fresh longer.

I just purchased your product and was shocked at the bright green color. Is coloring added?

No, that bright green color is the beauty of a good quality matcha. It is the product of the way Green Earth Matcha is grown, harvested and processed. Young leaves are picked at first flush, and only the top leaves are used for Premium Green Earth Matcha. These small leaves are cleaned, stored slightly above freezing, then stone ground into a naturally vibrant green powder.

Does Green Earth Matcha contain gluten?

No, Green Earth Matcha is gluten-free.

Can Matcha interfere with the absorption and activity of prescription medication?

Since matcha is not a supplement but actually a whole food it does not have any more contraindications with medication than other foods like greens or teas like regular green tea. It is always recommended to check with a doctor before starting a new food or product when on medication to be safe.

When are the best times to drink Matcha? I am concerned about drinking matcha in the evening and then sleeping well.

You definitely have to be careful with when you’re drinking matcha, as it flows through your bloodstream 4 - 6 hours. It is not recommended to drink matcha less than 4 hours before bedtime. Initially, try matcha during the day to see how it affects you.

What happens if this tea upsets my stomach? Is this normal?

Initially, the stomach can get a bit unsettled as the body adjusts to this powerful tea. It is not recommended to drink it on a completely empty stomach.

How much caffeine does Matcha contain?

The key difference between matcha caffeine and coffee is that with matcha the caffeine is absorbed slowly and steadily. Any negative effects typically associated with caffeine are ameliorated by the calming and relaxing effect of l-theanine and Matcha’s high anti-oxidant levels. In combination, these compounds induce a healthy, sustainable energy boost unlike any other beverage on the market. Green tea typically has less caffeine than black tea, however one serving (1 gram) of matcha contains approximately 20-35 mg of caffeine which is much less than a cup of coffee at 80-120mg.

How is Matcha different from regular green tea?

With matcha you are ingesting the entire tea leaf, not just the infusion. As a result, and because of its processing method, drinking 1 cup of matcha = 10 cups of green tea in terms of health benefits.

How much Matcha can/should you drink per day?

Most people drink 1-2 cups per day.

Is Matcha GMO?

Green Earth Matcha is non-GMO. Scientists have yet to create a Genetically Modified tea. When you drink Green Earth Matcha, you can trust that it is non-GMO.

What tests are done to ensure that Green Earth Matcha is safe to drink and contains no radiation?

Regarding Fukushima, we understand your concern. We educate people every day on the benefits of matcha and caution them to research their matcha company before buying, as not all are alike. Most of our matcha is grown in Kagoshima. Kagoshi-ma is in southern Japan on the island of Kyushu, and is approximately 1000 miles south of Fukushima. Our manufacturers test the leaves, as well as having an independent Japanese lab test the finished product before it leaves the country. Our suppliers will continue to test long into the future.