The tea company Shohokuen from Uji has been producing top quality matcha for more than 300 years.
Matcha is the stone-ground green tea powder made of the best quality, shadow-grown tea.
The tea leaves are covered with straw mats four weeks prior to harvesting. This induces the plant to produce more chlorophyll and amino acids. The more amino acids the leaves contain, the sweeter the tea. The leaves are picked by hand, only once per year. The tea leaves are then steamed and dried, after which the stems and veins are removed. The result of this is called tencha. Finally, this tencha is stone-ground into matcha. Nowadays this is done by electrical stone-grinders, in a clean-room.
Matcha is used for the tea ceremony, but can also be used to prepare a traditional cup of green tea at home or at a restaurant. It is also a wonderful ingredient for ice-cream, cakes and confectionery.