Matcha is Not Just Any Cup of Tea



Spending time on self-reflection can be done through yoga, exercise and even during the tea making process. Added to various dishes and pastries in the modern time, matcha, a type of Japanese green tea, goes beyond just being a cup of tea. Brewing matcha can break down the class difference of people and can take one away into an abyss of relaxation.

The tea ceremony, or ‘chanoyu’ in Japanese, is an act of silent contemplation and ritual. Tea is an art form that requires years of training for tea masters. Around the skillful brewing, presentation, and consumption of matcha green tea, a traditional chanoyu congregates. Additionally, it's a time to stay in the moment and enjoy the company of one's host or guests.

Deep-rooted into the Zen Philosophy

The Japanese tea ritual has evolved over the years, but it has always had a strong connection to Zen philosophy. In Japan, tea was first mentioned in the eighth century when Emperor Shomu included it into Buddhist rituals. When a cool infusion of Camellia sinensis leaves became popular among Buddhist monks (as an aid in spiritual practice during long hours of meditation) and the warrior class in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Since tea is a luxury product, the ceremony was viewed as a chance to display one's social standing and wealth in shoin style, in grand reception halls embellished with priceless karamono. Later, the procedure was streamlined in accordance with the wabi principle. The concept of wabi, which is frequently depicted in paintings, is nearly impossible to express in words; it symbolizes a profoundly introspective experience, alone in nature, loneliness by choice, and quietness. It is essential to grasp the meaning of the Japanese tea ceremony.

An Etiquette to be Followed

The length of a tea ceremony, in its most traditional form, can reach four or five hours. A strong sense of intimacy and reflection runs through each phase, with a small number of visitors gathering in the host's home where the ritual is symbolically started by lighting the hearth that would later be used to boil water. Everyone partakes in a traditional 13-course kaiseki feast. After the last dish has been consumed, visitors are allowed to leave the room and use the restroom while the host arranges and decorates the space in preparation for the matcha ceremony.

The ritual begins with a bow and a symbolic cleansing of the hands and brewing equipment. One is supposed to remove their shoes, cover their feet, and sit in a kneeling position since every little thing counts. Visitors are given matcha and are allowed to examine the powdered tea after the host prepares the bowls and boils the water in the chagama. Wagashi desserts are provided during the ceremony to temper the astringency of the tea.

The highlight is in the brewing of the matcha. Here, the host starts by adding a few spoonfuls of powder and hot water to the bowls and vigorously whisking it with chasen. As a result, the liquid will have a thick, foamy texture. When the tea is prepared, it is given to the first visitor, who then spins the bowl 180 degrees, takes a sip, and passes it to the next. Tea-drinking takes about 20 minutes from start to finish, and nowadays it's frequently done without a meal in between. Kaiseki does, however, play a significant part in the ritual by bringing peace, introspection, and an introspective mindset.


Must Visit Traditional Japanese Tea Houses

Kyoto in Japan is the place where the presentation and preparation of Matcha began during the 16th century. There are plenty of tea houses to experience the ceremony, but here are three places which even have english menus and are foreigner friendly as well.


Camellia is a place where you can indulge in a formal, real tea ceremony in a welcoming environment. It is close to the well-known Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Both of the tea ceremonies offered in this teahouse—shared tea and private tea—teach guests about the tradition and history of tea while they savor a bowl of Uji matcha and some traditional pastries (wagashi). Additionally, they are welcoming to foreigners and conduct their tea ceremonies in English. They also provide a kimono dressing service that you may reserve on their website.

Saka Maruyama

It has a calm, traditional, and welcoming ambience. Sakamaruyama's interior design is reminiscent of a traditional Japanese tea house, complete with paper windows and bamboo or wooden furnishings. They are well known for their deep steamed sencha blend, Fukamushicha, which is solely sold at this tea shop. To truly experience the Japanese tea ceremony, you can select your own teapot in addition to the tea you'd want to drink.

Teahouse Motoan

Teahouse Motoan welcomes visitors and offers an accessible English menu. There are numerous tea and treat options on their menu. Since the late 1600s, this tea shop has been a well-known supplier of high-quality teas. You may sit and take in the scenery from their seating area in the back, which views out over a Japanese garden.

From Traditional Drink, to Global Delight

Over the course of the forecast period, consumers' increasing health consciousness and understanding of the matchas health benefits are anticipated to drive the market. The size of the world's matcha market is projected to increase at a CAGR of 7.6 percent by 2025.

Why? As it is rich in health benefits, the matcha set sail from Japan all the way up to North America, Western Europe, and the Asia Pacific. Along with its traditional use as normal tea, matcha landed on the cups and saucers of cafes, restaurants, and tea shops creatively becoming beverages and dishes of its own kind.

Quiet majorly, the US, Canada, Germany, the UK, France, and Australia are among its highest purchasers, thanks to its distinctive flavor and taste. But distinctive taste is not the only aspect it’s famous for.

Richly Packed with Nutrients

Matcha contains abundant antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Its estimated oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) level is 1,384 units per gram, which is higher than the 94 units per gram average for other healthy fruits and vegetables such as pomegranates, goji berries, walnuts, broccoli, spinach, and blueberries.

Matcha’s anti-oxidant makeup enables it to guard against the damaging effects of UV radiation and prevent a number of chronic ailments. Brain, bladder, prostate, and cervix cancers can all be avoided thanks to the antioxidants in the substance known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). By limiting the growth of cancerous cells, it controls angiogenesis and metastasis.

Most Expensive Matcha

Even in Japan, the most people have not yet tasted gyokuro green tea, despite the fact that most are aware of its existence. While most green tea is produced using conventional farming methods, gyokuro shade-grown green tea requires a more precise method of harvesting. The end product is a superb green tea that produces a jade-green liquid that is bursting with umami flavor and has a fresh, frequently sea fragrance. Gyokuro costs as much as they do due to a lengthy period of shadow and a constrained harvesting window, including its unique flavor which is much sweeter with umami tones compared to Sencha.

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