Disclaimer: In exchange for a few samples of matcha from the Mizuba Tea Company, I am writing this review.
In essence, Matcha (抹茶・まっちゃ) refers to finely ground (powdered), high-quality Camellia sinensis, the species best known for producing all types of tea. Though there are certainly differences as to how green, black, and other types of teas are processed, matcha is the only one that uses the whole leaf. Thus, all of those nutritious words – such as the anti-inflammatory chlorophyll, and the anti-cancer catechin – that you may not be able to pronounce, are always present in a serving of matcha.
To be entirely candid, I wasn’t always a matcha fan. I used to think I could have gotten the same (and more cost-effective results) if I had just scooped up some grassy earth. It’s bitter, though not quite as bitter as US airport immigration, and furthermore, as in the more than 800 year-old tea ceremony, is best paired with something sweet. Try it with wagashi, traditional Japanese desserts that aren’t too sweet, or with a Kit-Kat.
As noted above, Mizuba Tea Company sent me a few of their house blends. I followed the instructions, though preferred to have my matcha in a slightly diluted fashion. Still, I found each mix palatable, refreshing, and to have warped me to a damp, secluded forest somewhere in the Japanese Alps.
This time, it was a good thing.
If a trip to Uji, Japan, the epicenter of matcha, isn’t on your to-do list, but you’re eager to try matcha with the appropriate utensils, Mizuba Tea Company can help you out. Although I find the Mizuba Tea Company website to be quite comprehensive, regarding the company’s backstory, a backgrounder on matcha, and locations in which to buy their products, it was a bit unusual to see pop-up in the lower left corner, the name and location of someone who recently made a purchase on the site.