Japanese matcha green tea.
Honoring the Seven Lucky Gods of Japanese myth - so named because they drank lots of Matcha.
For best flavor, bring spring or freshly drawn filtered water to 175 degrees. Add between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon matcha per cup. Whisk vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Drink while contemplating this floating world.
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Japanese Green Tea
To make Matcha, the tea plants are covered for up to three weeks before harvest, allowing only diffused light to reach the leaves. This promotes the development of chlorophyll and increases L-Theanine content, which brightens color, increases flavor and helps counterbalance the energizing effects of the caffeine. After plucking, the leaves are steamed, neutralizing the oxidizing enzyme and preserving their color. They are then put through a rolling and drying process, along with a special step through a machine that removes the viens and stems of each leaf. The tea that results from this process is called Tencha, which is then refrigerated until it is ready to be ground. In the final step, Tencha leaves are placed in small amounts on a granite grinder to make its signature fine powder. Granite is ideal for grinding, as it doesn’t produce much heat, which helps to maintain the rich color of the Matcha and its full flavor in the cup.
Gifu Prefecture is in the Chubu region, which is centrally located on the island of Honshu in Japan. It is just north of the most famous Matcha producing regions of Uji and Aichi. While not as famous, this area produces Matcha of equal quality, without all the hype. Harvest season is from April through June.