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What is Matcha?

Matcha grown in japan

What is matcha powder? At its most basic level, matcha is the powdered form of green tea leaves. Matcha green tea powder has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries (exclusively by the nobility at first, but then gradually by the whole population). In recent years matcha has exploded in popularity all around the world, thanks to the myriad of health benefits it boasts.

Matcha tea powder is made with top quality leaves that have been carefully and specially grown in the shade, which enhances chlorophyll production and makes for a particularly green matcha powder. These tea leaves are picked, steamed, and dried before being ground into a fine powder. The best matcha green tea powders will be ground on a traditional grinding stone, which, while thorough, is considerably slow (often taking 1 hour to grind just 30g of matcha). More standard quality matcha is produced using modern grinding equipment, which is much faster. Once the matcha powder has been made, it can be whisked into hot water to make tea, or used as an ingredient in an enormous range of sweet and savoury dishes.

Matcha powder

Green tea matcha was originally enjoyed by the Japanese elite and intelligencia as part of the tea ceremony. Buddhist monks would also drink it in order to increase their concentration while medidating. Matcha tea benefits have been studied considerably since then, and it is now believed that matcha green tea can aid weight loss, reduce the signs of ageing, lower cholesterol, boost the metabolism, and help to relax and focus the mind.

If you are wondering where to buy matcha green tea powder, look no further than Japan Centre. As Europe's largest online distributor of Japanese goods, we offer some of the finest and most popular varieties of Japanese matcha green tea powder UK-wide. You will find a fantastic selection in our Matcha section, ranging from standard matcha powders to premium and organic matcha green tea powders. We also have matcha powder recipes for those looking to create original green tea flavoured cuisine.

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How to Use Matcha

Matcha Tea Ceremony

Premium matcha set

There are now many ways to enjoy matcha green tea powder, but it cannot be forgotten that matcha was originally a special kind of tea, drunk during the world-renowned Japanese tea ceremony.

This ceremony, known as ‘Chanoyu’ in Japanese, dates back centuries and is steeped in Zen Buddhist mythology, encompassing four key concepts – harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity.

Most tea ceremonies consist of one figure brewing tea whilst seated in the seiza position, following an incredibly detailed and complex ritual which honours their guests.

The highest grade matcha is usually reserved for this beautiful ceremony, as well as a host of traditional tea preparation tools, such as the bamboo chasen whisk and chashaku tea scoop. That is not to say that the tea ceremony can only be performed by a select few, however; with the right tools, ingredients and know-how, anybody can recreate the tea ceremony at home.

Start or continue your matcha experience here at Japan Centre, where we hold one of the best ranges of Japanese matcha powder UK-wide.

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Matcha Moments

Matcha green tea

Find out how to make matcha tea by following the instructions below. For the best results, we recommend using a traditional matcha bowl and bamboo whisk.

 - Use a small sieve to sift 1-2 tsp of green tea matcha powder into a matcha bowl or mug.
 - Add enough water to fill the bowl three quarters. Water should be hot, but not boiling, for best results.
 - Whisk the combination vigorously, moving the whisk in a zig zag motion until the tea becomes frothy.

Now, indulge in a moment of calm peaceful reflection as you drink your matcha.

As well as matcha green tea powder, Japan Centre also has a wide range of matcha tea sets, matcha bowls, matcha whisks, and other matcha equipment from Japan.

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Matcha Latte

Matcha latte

If you are after something a little sweeter or creamier than a traditional matcha green tea, why not try a luxurious matcha latte? Make matcha latte using this simple method.

 - Spoon 1 tsp of matcha and 2 tsp of sugar into a mug.
 - Add 3 tbsp of warm water, mix well.
 - Top up with 300ml of hot milk, stir until mixed and enjoy.

Alternatively, you could also check out Japan Centre's range of instant matcha latte. With just a kettle and a sachet, it is easy to make a frothy matcha latte that both tastes great and stimulates the mind.

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Matcha Noodles

Matcha noodle

Matcha powder has a distinct, leafy flavour that is neither sweet nor sour. This gives matcha a versatility that makes it ideal for using in both sweet and savoury dishes. Matcha-infused cold soba noodles are a savoury summertime favourite.

Try this simple recipe for Matcha Zaru Soba Chilled Noodles.

 - Cook one serving of matcha flavoured soba noodles in boiling water for 4-5 minutes.
 - Drain the noodles and wash thoroughly in cold water.
 - Serve on a traditional zaru bamboo tray and garnish with nori seaweed.
 - Accompany with tsuyu dipping sauce, wasabi and spring onions.

Take a look at our great range of matcha noodles and get cooking.

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Matcha Desserts

Matcha dessert

Recent years have seen matcha green tea powder being used more and more frequently as a flavouring in sweet desserts and breakfast foods.Get more matcha goodness into your life with some of these serving suggestions.

 - Add a tablespoon of matcha to a sponge or butter cake mix before baking for a sweet green tea flavour.
 - Sift a little matcha powder over your morning yoghurt to give your breakfast an added superfood hit.
 - Stir matcha into cream fillings or white chocolate ganaches. The refreshing qualities of the matcha will nicely offset any richness.

If you are after more matcha cooking inspiration, Japan Centre features an array of recipes using matcha, including Matcha And Azuki Roll Cake and Healthy Matcha Smoothies. Be sure to take a look around.

You can also enjoy matcha sweet treats without having to get your baking apron on. We stock a selection of Japan’s favourite matcha chocolates, biscuits and desserts, including the famous - and delicious - Matcha KitKat.

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Recipe Ideas

Why Try Matcha?

Stone

It has long been known that all black and green tea comes from the leaves of the tea plant, and as such, it all boasts similar health benefits. Matcha green tea powder is distinctive, however, as the powder is comprised of the actual green tea leaves, which are then consumed when the tea is drunk. With other green teas and black teas, only an infusion of the leaves is consumed.

What difference does this make?

A person who consumes matcha powder benefits from ingesting all the nutrients of the tea leaf. These include vitamin c, fibre, catechines, caffeine and potassium. Matcha green tea powder benefits are believed to include the following:

 - Anti-aging effect
 - Reduction of high blood pressure
 - Cold prevention
 - Lowers cholesterol
 - Packed with antioxidants
 - Boosts metabolism, aiding weight loss
 - Contains L-theanine, which helps relax and focus the mind