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Usucha vs Koicha

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In traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, there are two styles in which matcha is prepared – Usucha and Koicha. Usucha, literally translated as ‘thin tea’, refers to a thin, or light, preparation of matcha — the version we see most commonly prepared. Koicha, literally translated as ‘thick tea’, refers to a style of matcha preparation that is much more concentrated than usucha, and is traditionally prepared as a communal drink during a tea ceremony to be shared among the guests. In general, koicha is usually reserved for special occasions whereas usucha is more of a day-to-day preparation.

18 November, 2021

How to Prepare Matcha Matchaeologist Style

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Matcha-making has long been considered an art form. In fact, it dates back to the olden days of the Japanese tea ceremonies where each step of matcha preparation was strictly choreographed into a series of intricate meditative movements. Despite matcha’s fascinating history, its context and preparation method can come across as intimidating to many. Thus, it is our goal to make matcha more accessible and relevant to today’s modern lifestyle.

11 October, 2019

How is Matcha Grown and Produced?

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Matcha is derived from the same tea plant as all other types of teas — camellia sinensis, whose leaves can be made into green, white, yellow, oolong, black and pu-erh tea. Matcha belongs to the Japanese green tea category, meaning that it’s steamed after being harvested to stop the oxidation process — hence the reason why it retains its brilliant green colour. What makes matcha truly special is its growing style, harvest and production process. It is the conditions under which matcha is grown and produced that contribute to its unique colour, aroma and taste profile.

06 September, 2019

The Terroirs of Matcha

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‘Terroir’ is a French term that refers to the natural environment that influences the characteristics of a crop – an expression most commonly associated with wine. It encompasses all the natural factors of the surroundings – including geography, altitude, climate and soil. The notion of terroir, however, is extremely important when it comes to growing exceptional matcha, as it defines all the environmental factors that influence the characteristics of the tea. 

16 August, 2019

Ceremonial vs Culinary Matcha

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Matcha can be classified into two broad grades: Ceremonial Matcha, which generally describes matcha grades appropriate for use in traditional tea ceremonies, and Culinary Matcha, which describes matcha grades suitable for use as an ingredient in drink or dessert recipes. Parallel to the world of wine, ceremonial matcha can be compared to fine, drinking wine while culinary matcha can be compared to cooking wine.

24 July, 2019

How to Assess the Quality of Matcha

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Like fine wine, matcha comes in a broad quality spectrum. While it’s not typically easy to determine the matcha quality simply by looking at the label alone, there are four main “sensory cues” one can use to assess the quality of matcha: colour, texture, aromas, and taste.

09 July, 2019

First Class Matcha & First Class Wine

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Drinking the finest grades of matcha provides an epicurean experience not unlike that of the finest wine. These two highly-prized drinks with a long history of its own bear a great deal of similarity not only in terms of the high level of expertise and the tremendous efforts required in the production process, but also the breadth and depth of their flavour profiles. The paralleled nature of these two beverages makes it a compelling case why the finest grades of matcha should demand the same level of respect and appreciation as that of a truly great wine.

14 June, 2019

History of Matcha

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As the most consumed beverage in the world after water, tea has a long and complex history that spans multiple cultures over thousands of years. Matcha has evolved through a fascinating journey that first began in China, and continued via the spread of Zen Buddhism to Japan before it was later assimilated as the centrepiece of the Japanese tea ceremony. Now it has attained global popularity to become one of most unique and highly-prized delicacies of the 21st century.

03 April, 2017

Health Benefits of Matcha

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In the 12th century, a Japanese monk, Eisai (栄西), later to become famous for introducing Buddhism to the island nation, wrote Japan’s first book about tea. In it he described matcha as a ‘healing medicine for a healthy life’ (Kissa Youjyouki, 1211). As the purest and most potent form of tea, matcha has long been touted as a precious medicine for health and long life, but how exactly did it gain this reputation, and does it stand up to scrutiny? What are the health benefits of matcha?
28 June, 2016

What is Matcha?

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Matcha (抹茶) is a type of green tea originated in China and brought over to Japan in 1191. The evolution of matcha and its making has been intertwined with the history of Japanese tea ceremony and Zen Buddhism over the past 400 years. Unlike any other types of tea, matcha is a finely ground powder made from stone-grinding green tea leaves grown under unique conditions. Brewing matcha involves whisking it into warm water, as opposed to simply steeping. Thus, the entire leaf is consumed, carrying with it a more sophisticated flavour profile as well as greater nutritional properties than any other types of tea. It is for this reason that matcha has been considered both as a gourmet delicacy as well as a natural panacea of modern times.
30 January, 2016