My first matcha

Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

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Aug 5th, '07, 23:23
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My first matcha

by Matt » Aug 5th, '07, 23:23

I just returned from a trip to New Mexico, where I came across a nice little herbal shop with a huge selection of loose leaf teas. I came back with some sencha, hojicha, lung ching, gunpowder, pu erh (5 year), and 'matcha izu gyokuro'.

The pu erh was my first as well, but that is for another post. In short, it is very different :)

I did not know much about matcha yet, so I decided to try it out. It was just over $10 an ounce (I am not sure if that is necessarily an indication of anything though). The prices of all the other teas were around $2.50 an ounce, but I have been very happy with them so far.

One thing that confused me after I got the matcha home, was this (from the Wikipedia entry on matcha, as well as other places):
After harvesting, if the leaves are rolled out before drying as usual, the result will be gyokuro (jewel dew) tea. However, if the leaves are laid out flat to dry, they will crumble somewhat and become known as tencha (展茶). Tencha can then be de-veined, de-stemmed, and stone ground to the fine, bright green, talc-like powder known as matcha.
From my understanding, this is not technically matcha, but rather powdered green tea. Is this correct?

Either way, I like the tea very much. Once I experiment a bit more with the amount to use, I will be able to judge it a bit better, or at least as well as I can from not trying any others yet.

As a side note, I also went ahead and ordered some 'uji midori matcha' from so I will see how that goes once it comes in :)

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Aug 5th, '07, 23:38
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by Chip » Aug 5th, '07, 23:38

Yes, matcha is made from tencha, which is gyokuro leaf that has been processed differently as your quote states. The stems and veins are then used for karigani.

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