What most people don’t know, is that all tea is made from the same plant!
Yes, you read right, all tea, whether it’s black, oolong, green, white, or pu-erh, comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, in the same way that all wine comes from the grape.
Matcha is a type of green tea, but the way it’s been cultivated (growth, harvest, and production) it’s markedly different from other green teas, and especially of oolong and black teas. Matcha is in essence a high-quality variety of green tea, in powder.
WHY IS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER TEA?
The very best Matcha, it’s been collected always by hand at the tea fields, which are surrounded by scaffolding of sorts, which are covered from the top. The process is to gradually decrease the light from the sun, and hence photosynthesis, by shading up more and more of the light to shine on the plants.
As a result of this process, the tea leaves begin to crank out great amounts of chlorophyll and amino acids. This increased amino acid content serves to concentrate specific molecules, which give its intense umami flavour.