Matcha Tea and the tea garden are the most important parts of the history of tea in Japan. The history of tea in Japan is totally different than what occurred in other parts of the world.
The Chinese perfected many different ways of preparing tea. One method involved roasting and pulverizing the leaves to a fine powder that easily dissolved in hot water. The tea powder became very popular between the years 960 and 1279; it was whipped in a bowl to get the best tasting beverage. This drink was called Matcha Tea.
Zen Buddhists loved Matcha so much that they incorporated it into their religious rituals. They had complete manuals for how a tea ceremony had to be performed and the tea essentially became sacred. One monk brought Matcha to Japan in 1191 and the elegant rituals became part of high society up through the 16th century.
Matcha starts out from the plant Camellia sinensis, the same plant that other countries use. Several weeks before harvesting, the plant is covered. matcha oem A plant without direct sunlight slows down its growth and its leaves become dark green. Inside the leaf, certain amino acids are produced when the leaves turn dark green that make the tea taste sweet.
Matcha is similar to white tea, where only the most delicate leaves and bud are picked. The Japanese attempt to only get the best buds. The leaves dry and crumble and are ground into fine bright green powder. The best matcha is very sweet and has a deep flavor.
For this reason, matcha tea can be expensive. However, there are further price distinctions in Matcha tea. The newest leaves from older tea plants commands a higher price than young leaves from younger tea plants.
The best way to serve Matcha is with a Japanese tea ceremony in a Japanese tea garden. Matcha tea is commercially added to tempura, chocolates, candy, cakes, desserts, cookies, mousse, pudding and green tea ice cream as well as iced drinks, lattes, milkshakes and smoothies. Some companies even add it to liqueurs, energy bars and cereals. And the best news is that Matcha tea has 137 times more EGCG content than other commercially available green teas.
Japanese Tea Gardens
There are different types of Japanese Tea Gardens. The one associated with traditional tea ceremonies is called a Chaniwa Tea Garden. This type of garden contains a tea house where people drink Matcha after purifying themselves and walking across stepping stones to the tea house that are lit by outdoor stone lanterns.
Japanese gardens became popular in Japan between 1517 and 1868. The focus of these gardens changed from a religious influence to a shogun ruler influence to a business/political influence. Tea garden ceremonies were designed as an educational tool, teaching people how to control their body and mind along with virtues such as wisdom, trust, loyalty, righteousness and politeness.