My Introduction to Matcha Green Tea by N. Christensen Posted on 8 Jul 23:40 , 0 comments
I first tried high quality organic matcha when I was living in Sapporo, Japan. Thanks to a friend, I had the opportunity to experience a Japanese tea ceremony with 3 other friends!
We went to the home of a friendly and welcoming woman who was dressed in elegant kimono. I wasn't sure what to expect as she ushered us into a lovely little tatami-floored room.
We were concerned about making foolish mistakes during the ceremony, but our host put us at ease with encouragement and jokes. We settled onto the floor in the traditional Japanese sitting pose, but of course we were not able to maintain the pose for the entire ceremony. Our host was very understanding and invited us to adjust our seats as needed. I could tell that the most important thing for her was to share the beauty and peace of the ceremony. Her enthusiasm and love for the tea ceremony was expressed in each graceful movement she made.
When she opened the small wooden jar containing the matcha powder, I was surprised by the vibrancy and depth of the green of it, since I had only ever been exposed to cheap and low quality sencha tea-bag style green teas back home in Canada. High quality matcha tea powder is green like the forest on a spring day, and is just as pleasant and refreshing.
We enjoyed watching the meticulous process of the tea ceremony, and we were impressed by the care and attention shown by our host. She made the ceremony look both simple and incredibly complex at the same time! Eventually she passed me a beautiful little bowl of gently steaming matcha. After twisting the bowl this way and that(I'm sorry I can't recall the meaning behind this), I had my first sip of high quality matcha green tea.
There was a wonderful, creamy frothiness to start, followed by an earthy yet smooth green tea flavor. The flavor matched the color of the powder I had seen - vibrant and unique, but not glaring or garish.
Of course, there was also the warmth of the caffeine, and I realized as I finished my matcha, that the feeling was entirely different from that of caffeine from coffee. Matcha left me with an invigorated yet mellow feeling, with none of the jittery jangles that can result from coffee.
Now that I'm back home in Canada, organic matcha green tea is a special treat for me, and I'm thankful I had the chance to try it for the first time in Japan! I'm also thrilled to find that people in Canada are becoming more aware of the advantages of high quality organic matcha, and what a lovely drink it is!
- N. Christensen