25 Matcha Trivia You (Probably) Didn't Know

by Kei Nishida

25 Matcha Trivia You (Probably) Didn't Know

Matcha has been consumed in Japan since the 7th century and is famous for providing drinkers with a calming sort of energy. Matcha is a specific type of Japanese green tea that differs from other traditional teas in the preparation process and in how the plant is grown.

Matcha tea plants are shaded for a few weeks before the harvest to increase natural levels of caffeine and amino acids. The leaves are allowed to dry, stems and veins are removed from the leaves, and then the tea is ground into a fine powder. The powder can be dissolved in milk or water to produce a slightly sweet, richly flavorful tea.

In this article, I will cover 25 Matcha Trivia Facts you may not have known. This is part of a chapter from my recent book: Green Tea Mania : 250+ Green Tea Facts, Tips & Trivia You (Probably) Didn't Know.  Enjoy!

  • The process of making Matcha begins about twenty days before the harvest, when the tea leaves are shaded from the sun. Shading concentrates the plant's chlorophyll content, its dark green coloring.  Shading also boosts nutrient content.  During this shaded growth, the tea plant produces more theanine and caffeine.
    Shading of Green Tea
    Shading of green tea
    • The process of shade growing, which takes about three weeks, gives the tea its high caffeine content.
      • Believe it or not, it contains more caffeine than coffee does. One teaspoon contains 70 milligrams of caffeine, while a shot of espresso contains just 64 milligrams of caffeine. This means that one cup of this tea will give you a greater energy boost than your average cup of coffee will.
        • Matcha contains 10-15% more life-sustaining amino acids and other nutrients that your body needs. One cup of regular green tea contains 3 mg amino acids compared to 44.7 mg in Matcha.
          • Not all matcha is created equal. Ceremonial grade powdered tea is equivalent to that which is used in traditional Japanese ceremonies, while culinary grade is used to flavor noodles, lattes, ice cream, and more.
            • The unique caffeine in Matcha is called theophylline. Theophylline is proved to provide a more sustained release of energy, helping you to avoid that caffeine crash 2 hours after a cup of coffee. Because it is shade-grown, Matcha has higher levels of theophylline than any other type of green tea. 
              • Blends of this tea are given poetic sounding names by their producers or sellers. These names are called chamei, which translates to "tea names." If a particular blend is found suitable by a grand master of the tea ceremony, usually with a family lineage of ceremony masters, he gives it its chamei. It is then known also as his konomi, or "butcher block of leaf."
              • Aracha is the state of the leaves after they have been steamed and dried. Tencha is the state after leaves have been de-stemmed and deveined.

              Tencha
               Tencha – Very Bright green color

                  • There are two main ways of preparing matcha, each for differing occasions. Usucha is a thin version of the tea, and koicha is a doubly thick version. Koicha is stirred very slowly. You don't want bubbles, like you would in a Usucha.
                  • The grinding process is very slow because grinding must be done at low temperature to preserve high nutrient levels; heat will alter the aroma and the quality of the powder. Each stone grinder produces only about 40 grams in an hour. 40g will yield 20 bowls of usucha (thin). 40g will yield 10 bowls of koicha (thick)
                  • A variety called Dark Matcha or Koicha is used in the Japanese tea ceremony. Dark Matcha was originally made from tea bushes that were over 100 years old; it is now made from certain cultivars.
                    • If you’ve ever ordered a green tea-infused latte at Starbucks, you’ve probably tasted matcha before. That’s because Starbucks only uses matcha green tea in their blends. Japan currently has the fourth largest number of Starbucks stores, with around 1,040 across the island nation.
                      • Matcha contains four times the catechins of regular brewed green tea. One cup of matcha contains the same amount of nutrition and antioxidants as ten cups of traditional green tea.
                        • Matcha tea has 33 times the antioxidant potential of blueberries.
                          • The drink is generally mixed with a bamboo brush, specially designed to froth the mix.
                            • When making a Usucha you can also use a milk frother to introduce air into the mixture and get the creamy texture normally seen.
                              • Koicha normally is made with more expensive varieties; the most expensive kind can be made from tea leaves over thirty years old.
                                • Matcha in ceremony are traditionally served with a wagashi, which are Japanese sweets or small baked goods.
                                • Matcha is Tencha tea that has been stoneground. Not to be confused with green tea powder, a usually much lower quality tea that has not undergone the extensive process.

                                Stone Grind for MatchaStone Grind for Matcha

                                  • When Matcha is made from older tea leaves, its sweeter.
                                    • The highest-quality varieties come from the southern regions of Japan which is mostly made from Yabukita varietal. Yabukita is popular because of its high yield and the umami flavor.  Yabukita is frost resistant but susceptible to fungal diseases.  Other varietals include Okumidori, Samudori, and Asahi.
                                      • The quality is most easily determined by its color. Anything yellowish or coarse is not likely to taste very good.  Higher grades of tea are generally sweeter in taste.
                                        • When well stored, will retain its color, flavor and aroma for weeks and even months.
                                          • Most farmers pick leaves entirely by hand after shading.
                                            • The traditional Japanese tea ceremony uses matcha and a bamboo whisk. However, matcha is easy to dissolve in either hot or cold water. Matcha has a strong robust flavor, but you can dilute it according to your tastes. The normal amount is about 1/2 teaspoon per 8-10 oz water.
                                            • Matcha makes a wonderful addition to other foods as well. You can find recipes for using Matcha in smoothies, cakes, ice cream, soups, scones and more. There are no limits to the ways you can enjoy matcha. 
                                            • If you are interested in purchasing quality matcha,  you can purchase from our online store by clicking here.

                                            Above is part of a chapter from my recent book: Green Tea Mania : 250+ Green Tea Facts, Tips & Trivia You (Probably) Didn't Know  

                                            Please Click Below Image to Get My Book Green Tea Mania : 250+ Green Tea Facts, Tips & Trivia You (Probably) Didn't Know  from Amazon  (Both Printable Format and Kindle Version Available)

                                            Green Tea Mania : 250+ Green Tea Facts, Cooking and Brewing Tips & Trivia You (Probably) Didn't Know

                                            Green Tea Mania : 250+ Green Tea Facts, Cooking and Brewing Tips & Trivia You (Probably) Didn't Know
                                            Paperback: 120 pages
                                            Language: English
                                            ISBN-10: 1544093322
                                            ISBN-13: 978-1544093321
                                            Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.3 x 6 inches
                                            Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
                                            Book Description: 

                                            Green Tea Mania is a must have book for trivia lovers and fans of green tea. This is author Kei Nishida’s second book on green tea, following up his earlier work, I Will Teach You to Be Healthy Using Japanese Green Tea. Green Tea Mania delivers 200+ facts and an array of delightful pictures in its 120 pages. This full color trivia tome helps paint a picture of not only the health properties of this magical leaf, but also its history and cultivation. 

                                            Did you know that Black Tea, Oolong Tea, and Green Tea come from the same plant or that their labels really just describe where the leaf was left off in the fermentation process? Learn about the unusual uses for Green tea such as “Green Tea Beer” or cake. Find out how to get more of the antioxidant Catechin out of tea by adding one simple ingredient. These facts and hundreds more are all contained inside this beautiful guide to Green Tea.

                                            This book is a must-have for the health conscious or Green Tea enthusiast.

                                            Click Here to Get This Book On Amazon Now


                                            If you have ever thought that Green Tea is an “acquired taste” or that it is “too bitter” to enjoy, we’re here to change your mind! We want everyone to experience the health benefits of Green Tea and show you that this can be an amazing, refreshing, and delicious drink when made correctly. With just a few tips on how to brew this powerful leaf we can change your mind about the taste and enjoyment of drinking Green Tea.

                                            Download our Green Tea Science Brewing Technique Book to learn about 12 Scientific Tips for Brewing Green Tea to Taste Better.

                                            Don’t miss out on the health benefits of tea!

                                            • Improve health
                                            • Increase brain function
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                                            Kei Nishida
                                            Kei Nishida

                                            Author

                                            Kei Nishida, PMP is a writer, a Japanese Green Tea enthusiast, and the founder and CEO of JapaneseGreenTeaIn.com. With two books behind him and more on the way, this entertaining author brings his passion for Green Tea wherever he goes.

                                            His two books "I Will Teach YOU How to be healthy by Using Japanese Green Tea!: Surprising Facts and Tips for How You can Take Best Advantage of This Amazing Plant" and "Green Tea Mania : 250+ Green Tea Facts, Cooking and Brewing Tips & Trivia You (Probably) Didn't Know" are available in print and Kindle Book on Amazon.
                                            These books and his blog Japanese Green Tea and Health provides health related tips and research findings focusing on green tea and its health benefit in variety of ways.

                                            Kei’s love of Green Tea and passion for writing has helped make him a feature author on sites and Magazines such as Yoga Digest Magazine, T-Ching, Sexy Fit Vegan, and Woman’s Daily Magazine.

                                            His enthusiasm for health and tea pushed him to developing his company, JapaneseGreenTeaIn.com, where he brings the very best in Japanese Green Tea to customers all over the world.

                                            Kei grew up in Japan and moved to USA at the age of 14, now living in Portland, Oregon. In his earlier carrier, he was Software Engineer at Hewlett Packard Inc. Kei takes advantage of being bi-lingual in Japanese and English, as well as his science background for his research and writing. Information you find in his books and blogs are a combination of the best content and research from Japan and all around the world.

                                            Books By Kei Nishida

                                            I will Teach You How to Be Healthy By Using Japanese Green Tea

                                            Paperback: 112 pages
                                            Language: English
                                            ISBN-10: 1541252454
                                            ISBN-13: 978-1541252455
                                            Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
                                            Click Here to View Table of Contents and First 2 Chapters



                                            Green Tea Mania : 250+ Green Tea Facts, Cooking and Brewing Tips & Trivia You (Probably) Didn't Know

                                            Green Tea Mania : 250+ Green Tea Facts, Cooking and Brewing Tips & Trivia You (Probably) Didn't Know
                                            Paperback: 120 pages
                                            Language: English
                                            ISBN-10: 1544093322
                                            ISBN-13: 978-1544093321
                                            Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.3 x 6 inches
                                            Click Here to View Table of Contents and First 2 Chapters



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                                            Steeping Guide

                                            Steeping Guide - Hot

                                            1. Dissolve 2 teaspoon of powder into 8 Oz of hot water. We recommend about 175°F for most common green tea.

                                              Please note that our product page has different recommended temperature based on type of tea between 175°F- 185°F; however, 175°F can be the most common and standard temperature that would work for any type of our green tea.

                                              Steeping Guide on JapaneseGreenTeaIn.com

                                            2. Wait for 60-120 seconds  (Please follow steeping guide on the product for specific time based on type of tea.)

                                            3. Use mesh strainer to filter out the green tea leave and serve hot

                                            Steeping Guide - Cold

                                            1. Dissolve 3-4 teaspoon of powder into 30 Oz of cold water.  For best result, use filtered water, bottled water. Alternatively, you can boil water and let it cool down until room temperature. 

                                            2. Keep in refrigerator for 3 hours or more. Key point is to use longer time to dissolve. This way, sweetness increases, and it does not break down theanine and vitamin C.  For best result, let it sit for overnight. 

                                            3. Stair the water first, then use mesh strainer to filter out the green tea leave and serve cold.