This tea from Hoshino Seichaen, is produced by a family-run company founded in 1946 and today is run by the brothers Yamaguchi, who over the last 10 years have trained the next generation to take over in the near future. Hoshino Seichaen is a well-known and widely recognized tea producer in Japan. Hoshino Seicha is home to Yame in Fukuoka.
Matcha consists of the finest leaves from this year’s first harvest, 1st flush also called ichi ban cha. The shrubs have been covered with “roof” of bamboo mats so that the leaves are not exposed to direct sunlight. This process makes the leaves produce more chlorophyll in an attempt to grow under the diminished light. The concentrated level of chlorophyll is the reason for the vibrant green colour of the matcha tea. After the fine fresh leaves have been picked, they are steamed and dried, after which they are ground in a stone mill to a very fine powder. Matcha has an invigorating effect and a high content of vitamins as well as antioxidants, including catechins.
For koicha (“thick” matcha)
When preparing matcha, the following equipment is used, of which the whisk is the most important.
chasen – a bamboo whisk
chasaku – a spoon made of bamboo
chawan – a matcha bowl
small sieve – (for making the matcha power as fine as possible)
1.The bowl is preheated with a little warm water, after which it is wiped.
- Scoop (6g), 3-4 spoons of matcha using a bamboo spoon (chasaku) in the matcha bowl.
- Add 80ml of 80ºC water in the bowl, then whip for 30 seconds. The tea does not become foamy as in a “thin” tea but remain thick (like drinking yogurt).
Finally, slowly move the whisk back and forth to close the small air holes in the foam.
Serving suggestion. A small sweet cake or a little dried fruit goes very well with matcha. In Japan you will find an impressive range of sweets for matcha. These are often made from sweetened bean paste or sweetened rice.