It’s green tea, but not like what comes from tea bags. Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea. It is special in two aspects of farming and processing: the matcha is farmed and harvested after undergoing a shade period, and it is processed with great care to preserve the tea leaf. As the tea is shaded, the plant develops rich chlorophyll stores in the sweetest upper leaves. Those leaves are harvested and used to produce matcha. Once the leaves are harvested, either by hand or by machine, they undergo a quick steaming process. The steamed leaves are dried and ground to a fine powder. That powder is then sold to the consumer to enjoy.
Many choose to drink matcha by whisking it with hot water in the traditional manner. The meditative, calming tea preparation process was originally developed by monks and adapted over the years. Matcha is also enjoyed in foods, drinks, and smoothies. The powdered matcha is blended in to give the characteristic tea flavor and green color. Matcha is a whole food, since it is prepared from the whole leaf. Instead of steeping the leaves and then removing them, the tea drinker ingests the whole leaf, allowing the tea drinkers to gain even more antioxidants and nutrients than what is offered by regular green tea.