Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. Matcha is considered a more powerful version of regularly brewed green tea; instead of steeping and removing the tea bag, one would be consuming the entire tea leaf that was ground up into fine powder. It is special in two aspects; farming and processing. The green tea plants for Matcha are shade-grown for around three weeks before harvest, and only the finest tea buds are then hand-picked. After harvesting, the leaves are laid out flat to dry (instead of being rolled up), to eventually become what's known as tencha (碾茶). Then, tencha will be de-veined, de-stemmed, and slowly stone-ground to the fine, bright green, talc-like powder known as Matcha. This whole process is a delicate art and labor intensive process, and the quality of the final powder is greatly influenced by the soil, the climate, and the farmers.
Matcha is the favorite of centuries-old Japanese tea ceremonies, and its pleasant taste and health benefits make it a favorite of many tea-lovers today. Matcha powder is whisked in a bowl with hot water to create a frothy, bright green, and nourishing beverage.