Matcha is the traditional Japanese green tea powder. Using high quality green tea leaves, grown with the strictest of traditions.
Before I discuss Matcha, I need to talk about Tencha.
Tencha is the dried green tea before being ground into Matcha. Tencha also becomes Gyokuro, which is the highest grade of Green Tea.
For tea to be classified as a Tencha, tea leaves need to be shaded for 20 days or more in the field. The light-blocking process inhibits photosynthesis in the tea bush, boosting chlorophyll levels and creating a deep green leaf color. This process provides levels of natural plant sugars, amino acids and caffeine, along with decreased levels of catechin.
High quality Matcha has a distinctive sweetness, with a rich and creamy texture with umami and the highest quality Matcha is less bitter.
The quality of Matcha greatly depends on the tea bush cultivator, shading technique and picking standard used to produce Tencha.
Matcha was originally used only for the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Today, Matcha has become more popular not only for the Tea Ceremony but also as a casual everyday healthy drink.
Momo Tea Matcha collection are categorized "Ceremonial" grades” and “Culinary" grades.
Koicha (Thick tea), is the highest grade of Matcha is used in Japanese tea ceremony to make tea with a very thick consistency.
It could be described as a “tea espresso”; due to the very high concentration of Matcha to water, the Matcha use for Koicha must contain the very best fresh young Tencha leaves. Making Koicha with good Matcha will produce an incredibly bright green color.
The Koicha will be very strong, with a sweet leaf-like flavor. Momo Koicha has been ground up by hand in Uji, Kyoto.
Usucha (thin tea) is used in Japanese tea ceremony as well. With Usucha it is essentially normal to use more water than with Koicha. Matcha that is used to make Usucha, therefore, does not need to be as high quality than the tea leaves used in Koicha. Still, Momo Koicha uses fresh young Tencha leaves, grind up by hand in Uji, Kyoto. It is also highly recommend and acceptable to be used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
After whisking well with a bamboo whisk, Usucha shows bright frothy green foam with a creamy beautiful light green color. Momo Usucha has distinctively sweet, rich and creamy texture with umami.