Thanks to everyone who supported Independent Businesses everywhere during Independent’s Week! It’s monsoon season in Arizona which means lower temps, higher humidity, and more dust than rain! It’s like winter in the North, but with fewer clothes and better driving conditions.
Coming up in August:
There is still time to enter our drawing for a Summer Fun Basket – get a chance for every $25 you spend in July
Our featured herb this Oat Straw and nourishing herb – so stop in to find out more
Watch for our new “Kid’s Cup” a special size for our smaller customers
Matcha: Emerald Green Drink from Japan
There really is quite a bit more to this drink than meets the eye: Matcha, the finely milled, emerald green tea powder, has been used in the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony for centuries. In modern times, matcha has also been used to flavor and color foods such as soba noodles, green tea ice cream and a variety of Japanese sweets. In the west, matcha found its way into smoothies and lattes and is popular because of its rich taste and multitude of healthy nutrients.
How is it made?
While tea is produced in different countries throughout the world, matcha is unique to Japan. It is grown by local farmers using traditional methods from growing to milling.
The tea leaves used for matcha are shade grown and the preparation of this tea starts several weeks before the actual harvest, when the tea plants are covered with bamboo mats or tarp in order to reduce the exposure to sunlight and thereby increasing the chlorophyll content in the plant. It is the high chlorophyll content that gives matcha its distinctly green color. After plucking, the leaves are laid out flat to dry – the crumbled dried leaves make up the base product for matcha and are called tencha. Tencha is then de-veined, de-stemmed and stone milled into a fine, bright green powder, known as matcha. Only ground tencha can be called matcha, powered green teas made from other varietals, like sencha, are known as konacha –literally meaning “powder tea”.The most famous matcha producing tea regions in Japan are Uji in Kyoto, Nishio in Aichi, Shizuoka and northern Kyushu.
What is so good about matcha?
Matcha is renowned for many health benefits. It is rich in nutrients, anti-oxidants, fiber, amino acids and chlorophyll. Drinking matcha exceeds the nutritional value of a regular cup of green tea since the whole leaf is consumed, and not just the tea-infused water. In 2003, researchers from the University of Colorado found that the concentration of the antioxidant ECGC is up to 137 times greater than the amount of ECGC in other commercially available green teas.
On the other hand, it is not only the nutritional value that is increased, the caffeine content is also higher than in a regular cup of green tea, making matcha a stimulating beverage that will get you going in the morning.
Matcha, like all shade grown teas contains the amino acid “L-theanine”. Besides giving the tea a sweeter taste, L-theanine also has a relaxing effect on the nervous system which seems to complement the stimulating effects of the caffeine, offering a sustained alertness over time without the jitters.
Thanks for reading this month. Everyone who posts a picture of our teas on Facebook or Twitter (@souviatea) while on vacationgets 50g of any of or fruit flavored tea. The best picture will get a $25 Souvia Gift card! Runs through August 1st.
We hope you’ll visit us in the store, at one of our partners or online soon. If you can’t get in, remember… we ship orders over $50 for free the same day and your tea will arrive quickly!
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