Our Japanese partners wait 5 years for plants to grow before harvesting and the industry standard is 3 years. Therefore, roots grow deeper and this maximises the nutritional benefits of the matcha tea powder. Our farm is quite special; it is family run throughout generations and it has some very unique production methods. The location has some environmental advantages too, you can learn more about our farm here.
The conditions for matcha along with production methods are similar to wine. Any good tea sommelier will tell you, it’s the detail at each step that makes a unique tea. There is a great video on YouTube which demonstrates the below production steps at a matcha tea farm in Japan.
5 steps to producing our great matcha tea powder:
- Shade Grown
- Hand Picked
- Steamed and Dried
- Vine Removal and Grading
- Grounded into Matcha
Firstly, shading the leaves from sunlight is an important part of the matcha production process. What this does is change the natural balance of caffeine and sugar, therefore increasing the chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll pushes the antioxidant qualities to the top part of the leaves. It is this process which gives matcha its nutritional properties including amino acids and the vibrant green colour.
Secondly, on the 20th day of shading in Spring, the top four leaves from the first eight that are grown are carefully selected. By selecting the most tender leaves we can achieve the greatest taste and strongest aroma. This results in a creamy and smooth matcha with a thick foamy finish. The ultimate finish in premium matcha tea powder.
Steamed and Dried
After tea leaves are harvested, they undergo the steaming process which lasts for seconds. This prevents oxidisation and helps to retain all of the nutritional elements and the bright green colour of the matcha. Finally, the leaves pass through a blower to remove any moisture. At this point, the dry tea leaves are crushed which allows the material to be de-stemmed and sorted easily.
Vine Removal and Grading
Before the tea leaves are ground into fine green matcha powder, they are removed from the vines and the stems. This ensures only pure leaves are grounded into matcha powder. Processors now sort and separate the green tea leaves; hot water is then added to the matcha to grade the quality of the tea.
Grounded Matcha Tea Powder
In the last step, tea processors are used to grind the leaves between two granite rocks and this creates the fine green tea powder. This careful process is paramount to achieving a fine, smooth powder texture and is consistent throughout. The stone grinding also further prevents the degradation of nutrients in the leaf tea due to heat. It can take up to one hour to grind 30g of matcha tea.
Finally, the products are vacuumed packed to ensure freshness and quality checks are carried out by the tea facility. The finished products are also sent to product safety testing centres.