History of Matcha
Matcha seems to be everywhere. From Beverly Hills to your local coffee shop, matcha has become a staple in teacups the world over. While matcha has become trendy in contemporary society, those just discovering it are shocked to find out they're late to the party by nearly ten centuries.
Sen No Rikyu, a Japanese tea master, is credited with making matcha preparation popular. It was here in Japan that Sen No Rikyu perfected ceremonial matcha as we know it today. Rikyu was a master and teacher of many things. His teachings perfected many newly developed forms in art, architecture, and the full development of the "way of tea". One of Rikyu's illustrious accomplishments is his development of the tea ceremony in the 1500’s that we still enjoy today. The principles Rikyu set forward for ceremonial tea drinking are harmony (和, WA), respect (敬, Kei), purity (清, Sei), and tranquility (寂, Jaku).
Benefits of Matcha
Along with it's earthy and delicious umami taste, matcha is brimming with health benefits. The most significant difference with finely ground matcha is you are actually consuming the entire tea leaf. With matcha, nothing goes to waste, and your cup contains far more antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins due to matcha being more highly concentrated than steeped tea.
While physical health is essential, much can be said about the correlation between matcha and mindfulness. It takes a few steps to prepare matcha properly. The simple act of whisking and sifting matcha makes us slow down. Matcha also has a higher concentration of caffeine and L-theanine. L-theanine has a relaxing effect whereas caffeine is a mental stimulant. The combination of the two creates a perfectly balanced state of consciousness. Because of this balance, Buddhist monks as far back as the ninth century viewed matcha as an essential part of their mindfulness practice.
At Sugimoto, we have a reverence for our product, its history, and its benefits. Not all matcha is created equal. In a world of GMOs and mass production, quality and health benefits can quickly go to the wayside. Sugimoto teas are produced with the same care and growing techniques that have been the highest authority for generations. We ensure only the best tasting and highest quality teas in the world can bear the Sugimoto name. To receive authentic benefits, start with authentic matcha.
A Few Simple Steps
- Add two scoops of matcha using your chashaku (scoop) into your chawan (bowl). If you don’t have a chasaku, use 1/2 a teaspoon of matcha (1g). Sift the matcha directly into the bowl using a tea strainer.
- Pour 3 oz. of hot water (185°F) into the bowl. We recommend pouring from the sides rather than the center of the bowl to avoid splashing.
- Whisk any matcha powder that got stuck on the side of the bowl into the water with a chasen. lightly whisk the matcha making the shape of the letter “M”. Start slow and build up the pace until your matcha is frothy and foamy.