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Award Winning Matcha – Know What You’re Drinking

Award Winning Matcha – Know What You’re Drinking

Matcha is one of the more intricately manufactured green teas. Tea producers usually pack matcha in a foil pouch or a small tin. Generally, we can distinguish matcha between the “ceremonial” grade used in Chanoyu, and “culinary” grade, for cooking and baking. Ceremonial-grade matcha is exquisite in style and distinct umami flavour. In comparison, culinary-grade matcha is light in body and mild in flavour. It is a delightful product, but not as singular as ceremonial-grade matcha.

The source of the leaf, the expertise of the tea farm and the consistency of the grade will affect the intensity of flavour and the vividness of the color.

Read more: Matcha 101

matcha - know what you are drinking

Matcha Production

Tea farmers will harvest more mature bushes for matcha, often more than thirty years old. This is to avoid the occasional harshness and underlying bitterness of most Japanese green teas. Three weeks before harvest, farmers enclose plants destined to produce tencha in a shade covering, which slows down growth. This stimulates an increase in chlorophyll levels and causes the production of amino acids, in particular theanine (known for its stress-reducing effect). Then, they steam the pluck to prevent oxidation, and individually destem and devein the tea leaf. Instead of rolling the tea leaf, they simply dry it which become known as tencha. It is then reserved for grinding into this highest-quality matcha.  

Traditional tea farmers use stone mills for grinding matcha. They are designed to remain cool during the grinding process of the particles of tencha into matcha powder.

Origin

Japan is the country that continues the historic tradition of producing finely milled, emerald-green matcha powdered tea. Tea plantations in China and Korea produce it as well. However, neither of these countries can match the remarkable sophistication of flavour and aroma of Japanese matcha.

Currently, high grade matcha is produced exclusively in Japan. The highest grades of matcha comes from Yame in Fukuoka Prefecture, Uji, south of Kyoto, and Nishio in Aichi prefecture.

The region of Yame is famous for its outstanding gyokuro (jade dew). It is proud of its top production amount of gyokuro green tea (Highest Quality). As much as 45% of all gyokuro available on Japanese market comes from Yame Region. Hence, tea connoisseurs recognize Yame as one of the few production places of highest quality green tea in Japan.

Only gyokuro from Uji matches the superior quality of that from Yame. The gyokuros from both regions however bring out completely different taste notes and thus complement each other perfectly.

Yame is renowned across Japan for producing some of the finest high quality green tea in the whole country. Farmers work on small, remote plots of land high up in the mountains surrounding Yame. Kyushu’s largest plain receives 1,600 to 2,400 mm of rainfall per year. Temperatures are high during the day and drop drastically at night. These factors are important to grow rich and sweet tea in large amounts. The temperature, shade and mist creates the perfect environment to nurture delicate teas. The ethereal mist and fog often found blanketing the fields in the morning don’t just add an air of mystery and beauty; they protect the leaves from the sunshine’s harshest rays.

 

Award Winning Tea from Yame, Japan

Roleaf matcha is from Yame, Japan. Skilled tea artisans hand-pick the finest tea buds from shade-grown tea leaves. It is the same leaves that also are used to make their renowned gyokuro. After harvesting, they lay out the leaves to dry before grinding it. If they roll up the leaves before drying, the result will be gyokuro tea.

 

Yame Green Tea won Best Prize in the All Japan Green Tea Competition for 12 consecutive years from 2001 to 2012, as well as in 2014 and 2015. As of 2007, all of the top 26 ranked brands of Gyukoro Green Teas are from Yame. This shows its overwhelming excellence over green teas produced in other regions in Japan. In 2017, Yame Green Tea won the first place in the World Green Tea competition.

 

p.s. Shop for our Matcha.

 

Yame - Japan
matcha green tea in cup

Chanoyu – Matcha Tea Ceremony

From ancient times, Chan or Zen Buddhists have included the preparation and consumption of powdered tea in their ritual. In 1191, a monk Eisai brought the Japanese methods of preparing powdered tea to Japan. Since then, it became an important item at the Zen monasteries. From the 15th onwards, the elite members of society do seek and greatly appreciate these fine powdered tea.

In Chanoyu, tea masters prepare matcha in two ways. In the preparation, they use two specific types of matcha: koicha (“thick tea”) or usucha (“thin tea”). The Japanese serve Koicha in full-length Chanoyu gatherings. Koicha is an opaque, jade-green, slightly viscous and deeply flavored drink. It it traditionally offered in a communal matcha bowl, called a chawan. Each guest sips from the chawan and then wipes the rim of the bowl before passing it to the next guest.

Usucha is a light, refreshing and astringent drink. Although not as a popular for everyday tea drinking as sencha, many Japanese drink it regularly.

 

japan chanoyu tea ceremony

Health Benefits

Although matcha and gyokuro share the same cultivation process, Matcha definitely has greater nutritional value. By drinking the whole ground leaf, you take in all the nutrients of the tea including the maximum Theanine. It is the richest amino acid in green tea. Together with succinic acid, gallic acid and theogallin, it gives matchaits umami flavor. 

Matcha also allows you to take in the nutrients usually missed. This includes beta-carotene (which converts into Vitamin A upon ingestion), Vitamin E and dietary fiber.

Japan’s University of Shizuoka, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, conducted studies on theanine’s stress-reducing effects. Laboratory mice that consumed more than 33 mg/kg of matcha had significantly suppressed adrenal hypertrophy, a symptom that shows sensitivity to stress. The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences also tested the stress-reducing effects on university students. It is found that students who ingested 3 grams of matcha in 500 ml of water had reduced anxiety, than students who consumed placebo. Green tea leaves also contain the catechin, an antioxidant found to be able to mildly prevent cancer, diseases, and aid in weight loss.

Read more: Antioxidants – Why Do You Need Them?

Brewing Instructions

 

  1. Scoop 1 ½ teaspoons of matcha powder (about 2 grams) for every 250ml cup of milk. For  475ml, that would be about 2 teaspoons of matcha powder.
  2. Sift your matcha powder into a tea bowl, swirling the powder with your ladle. This will ensure there are no clumps so that your tea will be smooth.
  3. Heat milk and carefully pour some hot milk into tea bowl with matcha powder.
  4. Using your chasen, whisk the tea in a gentle circular motion for thin and smooth tea for about 10-15 seconds.
  5. Use a frothing pitcher and pour remaining milk into the bowl. Add honey if preferred. 

 

Read more: Dalgona Earl Grey Matcha Latte Recipe

Read more: Burnt Matcha Oreo Cheesecake Recipe

Related Guides

Related

Award Winning Matcha – Know What You’re Drinking

Roleaf Matcha is from Yame, Japan which is is famous for its outstanding gyokuro (jade dew). It is proud of its top production amount of gyokuro green tea (Highest Quality). As much as 45% of all gyokuro available on Japanese market comes from Yame Region. Hence, tea connoisseurs recognize Yame as one of the few production places of highest quality green tea in Japan.

read more

Burnt Matcha Oreo Cheesecake Recipe

Unlike a traditional cheesecake, every bite has a slight bitterness to it, balancing out the sweetness and tang of the cheesecake. The addition of the matcha makes the cake less sweet and more savoury.

read more
Burnt Matcha Oreo Cheesecake Recipe

Burnt Matcha Oreo Cheesecake Recipe

roleaf burnt matcha oreo cheesecake recipe

Rich and creamy burnt matcha Oreo cheesecake with a mousse-like texture and heavenly taste. This delicious cake is simple to make and perfect for parties and Netflix!

Servings

6

Ready In:

5 hours

Good For:

Parties and Netflix!

Burnt Matcha Oreo Cheesecake Recipe

We are almost certain that you have eaten or the very least seen pictures of a very burnt cheesecake before. For those who may not have eaten it, you may be thinking that the cake is way over done and “chao ta” to eat. But for those who have had an opportunity to eat it knows exactly why it is so popular.

Unlike a traditional cheesecake, every bite has a slight bitterness to it, balancing out the sweetness and tang of the cheesecake. The addition of the matcha makes the cake less sweet and more savoury.

We always felt like something was missing in this cheesecake. It is creamy, decadent, moist, but after having one too many bites, it can become jelak. In fact, it like it needed a textual contrast, like how we get a graham cracker crust in a slice of New York cheesecake. Furthermore, to make it more interesting, we have decided add an oreo crust to the recipe. Who doesn’t like oreos?!

With all the time to practice during MCO, many of you are probably already seasoned bakers and chefs by now. As life starts to become busier again, don’t forget the joy and happiness you get from baking and eating a slice of your favourite dessert!

Read more: Matcha Granola Yoghurt Recipe

Read more: Dalgona Earl Grey Matcha Latte Recipe

 

Roleaf burnt matcha oreo cheesecake on plate with logo tag

Burnt Cheesecake Fun Facts

Now you may be wondering where the idea of burning your cheesecake comes from. Some would think that The Tokyo Restaurant came up with this recipe given that they do it so well. But it actually originates from one of the world’s food capital, San Sebastian back in the 90s. In fact, with the highest concentration of Michelin restaurants in the world, it is no doubt that creations like this will be birthed. Situated in the Basque region of Northern Spain, the cheesecake is often referred as Basque cheese cake.

Ingredients

Matcha Cheesecake Filling

  • 175 gm of sugar
  • 32 gm  of Matcha
  • 350 gm of room temperature cream cheese
  • 144 gm of eggs (3 medium eggs)

Oreo Crust

  • 200 gm of fine Oreo crumbs
  • 35 gm of butter

Step by Step Instructions

Oreo Crust

Step 1

Blend or crust the whole Oreo pieces into whole crumbs.

Step 2

In a bowl, mix the melted butter and Oreo crumbs together.

Step 3

Pour mixture into the bottom of the cake pan and then press down firmly with a flat object.

    TIP: The finer the crumb the better the crust will hold!

    Matcha Cheesecake

    Step 4

    Firstly, mix the sugar and matcha together in a bowl, then set aside.

    Step 5

    Mix the cream cheese until smooth in texture. Try to reduce chunks as much as possible.

    Step 6

    Mix the egg and matcha mixture with the cream cheese until smooth. Make sure there are no lumps in the mixture.

      Step 7

      Pour cake mixture into the cake pan with the Oreo crust.

      Step 8

      Bake the mixture at 230°C for 15 minutes or until the desired darkness is achieved. If you would like a firmer cake, lower the oven to 175°C and bake for another 5 minutes.

      Step 9

      Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes and then transfer to fridge for the remaining 4 and a half hours.

      Matcha Granola Yoghurt Recipe

      Matcha Granola Yoghurt Recipe

      Matcha granola yoghurt is a scrumptious mixture of golden clusters of oats with rich and delicious yoghurt with fine matcha.

      roleaf matcha granola yoghurt recipe in transparent glass

      Servings

      1 – 2

      Ready In:

      5min

      Good For:

      Breakfast and as a mid-day snack

      Matcha Granola Yoghurt Recipe

      When we were writing our previous Matcha Granola Recipe (go check out if you haven’t), we asked if there was another great way to eat granola? The versatility of granola gave us so many options. For instance, some likes it with yoghurt, some with milk and some just eat by the spoonful! After much thoughts, we came out with one of our favourite combinations here at Roleaf: Matcha Granola with Yoghurt. We hope you like this recipe as much as we do.

      In brief, a simple and healthy snack to power you through the day!

       

      roleaf matcha granola with yoghurt top view

      Ingredients

      • 1-2 tsp of Matcha
      • 1/2 cup of yoghurt/Greek yoghurt
      • 1 tbsp of honey/maple syrup
      • 1/2 cup of granola

      TIP: Use Greek yoghurt if you like a thicker consistency!

      Step by Step Instructions

      Step 1

      Firstly, you should already have granola on hand! Otherwise, you can bake some using our Matcha Granola Recipe.

      Step 2

      Scoop half a cup of your favourite yoghurt into a bowl.

       Step 3

      Mix 1-2 teaspoon of matcha and a tablespoon of honey with the yoghurt until well incorporated – producing a smooth consistency.

      Step 4

      Grab a cup or a bowl and start layering the granola with the matcha yoghurt.

      Step 5
        Top it off with your favourite condiments. We used toasted coconut flakes but you could also use fresh blueberries, strawberries, bananas, chocolate chips or anything that tickles your fancy.

      So have you figured out your favourite granola combination? Share it with us!

      Black Tea Goodness

      Black Tea Goodness

      It is no question that tea lovers tout green tea as THE miracle tea of choice. But what about its counterpart, the black tea? Don’t brush it off just yet. Scientists have discovered a whole host of health benefits linked to it. 

      black tea goodness health benefits

      What is Black Tea?

      It is produced from the same kind of plant the green tea is – Camellia Sinensis. The only difference is how tea farmers process it. Leaves are withered, rolled, heated and then fermented and heated in order to produce delicious tea leaves.

      Read more: Black Tea 101

      Here are some of its health benefits.

      Read more: Antioxidants – Why Do You Need Them?

      black tea with muffin and journal
      black tea in transparent tea pot

      Health Benefits of Black Tea

      1. Stress Relief

      Black tea is ample in L-theanine, which helps you relax and concentrate. Regular consumption has also been found to lower cortisol levels.

      2. Immune System Boost

      It has alkylamine antigens and tannins which support the immune system, helping to ward off common everyday illnesses such as the flu and the tummy bug.

      3. Lowers High Cholesterol

      Research conducted by the American Heart Association concluded that black tea was associated with slower age-related decreases in HDL-C concentrations which is beneficial in reducing bad cholesterol, thus lowering the risk of heart strokes. People who drink 3-4 cups a day seems to be at a lower risk than people who consumed none at all. [1]

      4. Oral Health

      The Tea Trade Health Research Association discovered that it helps eliminate plaque formation. It seems to inhibit the growth of bacteria that promotes cavity formation and tooth decay. This is due to the polyphenol content that kill bacteria and the enzymes they create which bind plaque to the tooth enamel.

      5. Energy Boost

      It contains caffeine, albeit not in the skyrocket amounts that coffee does. It is sufficient however to provide a long lasting and steady boost of energy and mental clarity throughout the day.

      What are you waiting for? Brew yourself some black tea goodness and drink up!

      p.s. Shop for our Black Tea Collection.

      References

      [1] From Journal of the American Heart Association, (2018, June). Tea Consumption and Longitudinal Change in High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Concentration in Chinese Adultshttps://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.118.008814

      Related Guides

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      Award Winning Matcha – Know What You’re Drinking

      Roleaf Matcha is from Yame, Japan which is is famous for its outstanding gyokuro (jade dew). It is proud of its top production amount of gyokuro green tea (Highest Quality). As much as 45% of all gyokuro available on Japanese market comes from Yame Region. Hence, tea connoisseurs recognize Yame as one of the few production places of highest quality green tea in Japan.

      read more

      Burnt Matcha Oreo Cheesecake Recipe

      Unlike a traditional cheesecake, every bite has a slight bitterness to it, balancing out the sweetness and tang of the cheesecake. The addition of the matcha makes the cake less sweet and more savoury.

      read more

      Black Tea 101

      Black Tea 101

      By the end of the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644), the culture of tea drinking was growing in the West. But black tea did not find appreciative drinkers until the Dutch embraced Chinese tea after 1640, when Dutch traders introduced tea to society patrons in Hague and it became a fashionable lifestyle.

      Eventually, tea became the most sought-after trade commodity of the English East India Company. Generally, fully oxidized black tea became the favorite tea among European tea drinkers.

      Even though China produces heavenly black teas, it is the least consumed class of tea in China. However, it is most widely consumed in India and Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon during the British colonial days) and the West. In brief, India and Sri Lanka have provided tea drinkers with four types of flavorsome and brisk teas – self-drinking tea, single-estate tea, seasonal tea and blended tea.

      Single-estate teas are “single-malt Scotches” of the tea world – tea masters source these unblended, pure teas from specific tea gardens

      Generally, the plucking standard for black tea in the most tea-producing countries is a hand-plucked bud and two leaves. This is preferable than motor-driven leaf cutters which removes more than just the leaf. As a result, the flavour of these teas is inferior to tea made from carefully plucked tea leaf of the same size that is carefully and intentionally plucked by hand.

      english black tea and chinese black tea cup

      Health Benefits

      During the rolling process in manufacturing black teas, the cells release the natural internal leaf juices (or cell sap) contained within the tea leaves. The next step, roll-breaking, allows the internal leaf enzymes and polyphenols to mix and spread evenly throughout the leaf and sets the stage for polyphenols to absorb oxygen during the early stages of the oxidation process.

      These polyphenols are also a type of antioxidant that can help remove free radicals and decrease cell damage in the body. Additionally, it may help decrease the risk of chronic disease.

      There is evidence that black tea enhances mental alertness, as would be expected because of its caffeine content.

      Read more: Antioxidants – Why Do You Need Them?

      Grades of Black Tea

      There are no universal standard for grading black tea. For instance, grades of Indian black tea can be categorized into whole leaf, broken leaf and CTC (crush, tear and curl) teas. However, in China, depending on the tea garden, a tea might have a great deal of information presented about it. The information may include the country of origin, specific region, years of harvest, season of pluck and method of manufacture.

      All in all, it is necessary to cultivate a relationship with a trustworthy tea brand. As you become familiar with our teas, you will in essence become familiar with our criteria for selection. This will prove to be more valuable to your enjoyment of tea than any complex, universal system of standards could ever be.

      p.s. Shop for our Black Tea Collection.

       

      Classic leaf styles

      • Twist or curly
      • Spiral or crimped
      • Needle or wiry
      • Ball or rolled
      • Broken leaf
      • CTC
      • Granular
      • Fannings
      black tea being poured into chinese tea pot

      Taste components

      • Aromatic
      • Astringent
      • Biscuity
      • Bold
      • Brisk
      • Colory
      • Coppery
      • Crisp
      • Full
      • Lingering finish
      • Malty
      • Nutty
      • Point
      • Short-finished
      • Smoky
      • Spicy
      • Strength
      • Sweet
      vast tea plantation
      pouring black tea from tea pot into tea cup

      Steeping Black Tea

      Black tea is best drunk however you like it – plain or with the addition of milk and sugar or with a squeeze of lemon to accentuate astringency. The following measurements will work whether you are using a ‘gaiwan’ or teapot.

      • 2 tablespoons of leafy tea (per 175ml of water)
      • 1 teaspoon for orange pekoe grades of CTC
      • Temperature: 85 – 95°C
      • Steeping time: 3 ½ minutes for small leaf or CTC tea; 3 ½ – 5 minutes for orthodox leaf

        Read more: Tea Brewing Instructions

        Read more: 3 Black Tea Pairing Tips for Beginner

        The Role of Black Tea

        tea farmer plucking tea in plantation

        CHINA

        Interestingly, black tea is the least-consumed class of tea in China. China produces only a small quantity of black teas – less than 15% of their yearly production. But there are many exquisite and very high quality black teas (e.g. Lapsang Souchong, Keemun Black tea) from provinces such as Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong and others.

        The sweet, soft nature of leaf plucked from China bush varietals provides an underlying delicious, non-astringent flavour that is enhanced by the distinct Chinese style of withering and oxidation.

        Chinese teas rely on the sweet-tasting buds to plump up the flavour of the tea because buds are richest in amino acids and polyphenols. That is why the Chinese black teas are smoother, sweeter, juicier and more buttery than black teas from other sources.

        SRI LANKA

        Tea was first cultivated in Ceylon by the English in 1875. In the mid-nineteenth century, the British began to plant tea bushes on the island to replace the coffee plantations which were wiped out by succession of devastating coffee blights. Sri Lanka benefits from an excellent location and geography, and it has an enviable climate with a unique mix of temperature, moisture and wind that greatly benefits the profile of these teas.

        Generally, the teas are brisk and full-bodied, not flowery or robust. Tea connoisseurs prize the thirst quenching highland teas for their fragrant aromas and bright colors which range from golden to coppery. Roleaf sources most of our black teas from Sri Lanka (e.g. Elegant Earl Grey, Everyday English Breakfast).

        INDIA

        India produces black tea in a diverse group of fifteen states. Generally, 60-75% of total tea production is Assam tea, 1% is Darjeeling and 25% is Nilgiri and the balance is comprised of lesser-known teas.

        The majority of Assam’s black tea is manufactured into CTC tea, contributing overall strength and body to black tea blends (primarily sold in tea bag form). Darjeeling tea gardens thrive at elevations from 1,800 to 6,300 feet in a mountainous area in the northern state of West Bengal. Because the cool thin air at higher elevations slows leaf maturation, this concentrates the flavor in the leaves, giving these teas a well-defined and precise flavor profile.

        AFRICA

        It was only in 1903 that tea farmers planted the first tea bushes on a two-acre tract in Kenya. Now, Kenya ranked third in world production of black tea in 2008. Kenya teas are vigorous, flavorful and full-bodied in style.

        Related Guides

        Related

        Award Winning Matcha – Know What You’re Drinking

        Roleaf Matcha is from Yame, Japan which is is famous for its outstanding gyokuro (jade dew). It is proud of its top production amount of gyokuro green tea (Highest Quality). As much as 45% of all gyokuro available on Japanese market comes from Yame Region. Hence, tea connoisseurs recognize Yame as one of the few production places of highest quality green tea in Japan.

        read more

        Burnt Matcha Oreo Cheesecake Recipe

        Unlike a traditional cheesecake, every bite has a slight bitterness to it, balancing out the sweetness and tang of the cheesecake. The addition of the matcha makes the cake less sweet and more savoury.

        read more