Frequently Asked Questions
All your matcha questions answered in one, handy place!
What is matcha 抹茶?
Matcha is a type of green tea that comes from Camellia Sinensis, a plant that originated in China and is grown in very specific conditions to get the flavour and quality. It was brought to Japan in 1191, by the famous Buddhist Monk Eisai. In fact, there is an important connection between matcha tea and zen because of its calming properties, yet drinking it enables you to feel pleasantly alert as well. It was a favoured drink for Samurai warriors who needed to concentrate but stay calm. Our matcha comes from Uji in the Kyoto region of Japan. It is the very best matcha you can find.
Matcha is finely ground into powder from the very best quality tea leaves and the specialist conditions that matcha is grown in includes a shading period (different to other types of green tea). This is a very important part of the process as it changes photosynthesis, enriching the plant with L-theanine and sweet notes.
Usually, tea is steeped in hot water to draw out its flavour but matcha is different, the powder must be whisked into warm water to enjoy the benefits and its rich, potent taste. Matcha boasts many powerful nutritional benefits and is an antioxidant plus it contains catechins and L-theanine which combined with its caffeine content delivers slow-release energy without the jitters. Matcha is excellent for nurturing positive health and wellbeing.
How much matcha should I drink daily?
One to two cups is enough to enjoy all the benefits of matcha green tea but do avoid drinking more than 5 cups daily because one of its ingredients is caffeine.
How can I enjoy matcha aside from drinking it as tea?
The beauty of matcha is that it can be used in a number of drinks and food products! Enjoy matcha blended into flavoursome lattes to powerful smoothies, mixed into pancakes, baked goods, cakes, sweet desserts, breakfast bowls and of course, all the Matcha Café healthy food recipes.
What is the best way to store matcha?
Matcha is delicate and should be treated with care. Once opened, we recommend that you consume your pack of Matcha relatively quickly so it does not deteriorate. A pack of matcha should last for approximately 6 months (once opened) but do keep it in a cool, dry place and avoid contact with strong smelling goods, sunlight and moisture. If you want to keep your unopened pack for up to 6 months to retain its freshness, it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator. You can also store unopened packs of matcha for up to 18 months in the freezer.
How long is matcha’s shelf life?
Stored properly, the shelf life is 18 months but once your pack of matcha is opened, we suggest using it up within 6 months to enjoy it at its best.
How do you prepare matcha tea?
If you visit our shop page, you can buy all the accessories you need to prepare your own matcha. You’ll need your matcha, a tea bowl (otherwise known as a Chawan), a bamboo matcha whisk (called a Chasen) and a matcha measuring spoon (Chashaku). Start by sifting approximately 1 or 2 teaspoons of finely ground matcha powder into the bowl, then blend 60ml (2 oz) of hot water under boiling point, 70 to 80 Deg C (160 F). Whisk quickly for about 10-15 seconds, until your tea begins to froth and then it’s ready for you to really enjoy it! For more guidance, read our blog here which has a variety of delicious recipes for you to try.
Does water temperature affect matcha’s flavour?
To enjoy the best possible flavour, we’d suggest drinking it hot, blending the powder as soon as the water has been boiled so it is just slightly under boiling point. If the water is too hot, your matcha could taste bitter which means it hasn’t been blended correctly. For the best flavour, the optimum temperature of the water in winter should be approximately 70 to 80 degrees C (167 to 185 Deg F) and slightly lower when it’s summer, approximately 70 deg C (158-176 Deg F).
If I don’t have a bamboo whisk, what can I use instead?
Yes, although you won’t get the added beauty of the frothiness at the top! Mix the powder into the bottom of your bowl with a teaspoon of hot water and blend into a smooth paste. Then add the hot water at the optimum temperature (see above), we would suggest purchasing a bamboo whisk to really enjoy matcha at its best!
Is your matcha vegan?
Yes it is.
Is your matcha organic?
Rest assured that our highest quality ceremonial matcha is free from any chemical pesticides but it is not organic because of the 100% safe fertilisers that we use in the soil. Our premium grade cooking matcha is organic. See the Our Matcha page for further information.
Why is your best ceremonial matcha not organic?
Interestingly, the need for “organic” products seems to be related to different cultures. The Europeans and North Americans like to enjoy organic products whereas the rest of the world doesn’t place as much emphasis on organic food and drink items. Almost all Japanese people drink traditional matcha, preferring it over the more modern, organic type.
The difference between organic matcha and non-organic matcha is down to the way it’s farmed. Japanese Uji matcha is the best quality in the world and is produced in certain areas where the soil is the perfect condition for growing the tea trees. This is not seen as organic agriculture because there are farming restrictions in the area and the way that the Uji matcha is grown uses the very same method of framing since it was introduced 800 years ago. The soil is fertile and has the right nutrients to allow the matcha to taste as good today as it did 800 years ago and farmers are not allowed to change anything to obtain organic certification. However, rest assured all fertilisers involved are 100% safe and gentle. The newer matcha that is classed as organic has only been grown for 10 years – so you see, there’s the difference! Organic matcha isn’t quite as flavoursome as traditional matcha and we believe that really, our matcha from Uji is grown using age-old techniques without dangerous chemicals so we view it as organic. It’s worth mentioning that Japanese tea safety standards are rigorous and better than organic safety standards (and that’s why the tea from Japan has such great flavour!).
What is L-theanine?
This is a compound that is naturally occurring in Uji matcha green tea. It is a very rare compound and is an amino acid that encourages alpha brainwaves. These are the brainwaves necessary to relax and calm a busy mind but don’t make you feel sleepy. They’re excellent for reducing those anxious moments!
What are EGCGs?
The chemical term Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCGs) refers to catechins that are found naturally in matcha green tea. Known for their ability to alleviate the effects of sunburn, they’re also superb for helping to reduce the signs of aging; fine lines and wrinkles because they slow metabolic changes in the skin.
What is the sugar content in matcha and how many calories are there per serving?
There is no sugar at all in matcha and the calorie count is very small, just 3 calories per gram of matcha!
How much caffeine is there in matcha?
There is a small amount of caffeine in matcha; one serving (1 gram) contains approximately 34mg of caffeine which is less than a third of a cup of coffee. The caffeine in matcha is released very slowly into the body and works with the L-theanine content to deliver an alert state of relaxation. It’s great for good focus!
Where do you ship to and how long does delivery take?
Currently, our main focus is shipping to Europe (it takes two to three days). For further information, visit our shipping page.
Can I buy your matcha offline?
Yes, but it’s only available at our café in Bali, so book your flight – we look forward to seeing you!