20g Matcha: Unkaku Thick Tea Grade

Matcha ("powdered tea") is a special type of green tea: a precious, jewel-green powder made from hand-picked, high-grade Japanese tea. It is whisked with hot water in a bowl to make a frothy, healthful beverage.

Our producer, Marukyu-Koyamaen, first began production of tea in the Genroku period (1688-1704) in Ogura, Uji. Through subsequent generations, the quality of the tea increased, thus establishing the venerable tradition of Ujicha; by the eighth generation, the market had been extended to all of Japan. A standard of high quality, consistent from cultivation to the final product, was achieved, and the company- still family-owned- remains highly esteemed. Marukyu-Koyamaen now ranks among the foremost producers of fine teas in Japan, and has won many national prizes.

This superior grade can be used for thin or thick style matcha; use ~2g per serving, and experiment with the amount of water to find your favorite formula.

20g yields approximately 12-14 servings

Country: Japan
Region: Uji
Tasting Notes: vegetal, bittersweet, creamy
Year of Production: Spring 2015

Stock Status:In Stock

Availability:: Usually Ships in 24 to 48 Hours
Product Code: GJM31


Thick Tea - What's the difference?

The differences in thin and thick grade matcha teas are subtle. If you are new to whisking matcha with a bamboo whisk, thin grade (usucha) is the perfect place to begin and stay a while. Thick grade (koicha) is the ideal for the Japanese Tea Ceremony practitioner or the tea connoisseur already familiar with whisking matcha. How this relates to the grades of matcha is simple. Thick grade is used to make thin or thick tea. It may go against logic, but thick grade is more delicate, it can be used in various matcha to water ratios and still maintain its flavor balance. If your interest is adding a green tea flavor and/or health benefits to a recipe, ingredient grade is perfect. It is the most pungent of the grades and will hold up to other ingredients.

Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Japanese refined drinking the powdered tea so that it became a elaborate manifestation of Zen buddhism. The more superficial aspects are the physical acts of the tea ceremony and exchanges of hospitality and appreciation whereas the spiritual side (cha-no-yu) concerns Zen practice and quest for a pure state of mind.

A full tea ceremony can take four hours and includes a meal, sweets, and tea served two times. Thick tea is made with three bamboo spoonfuls (chashaku), or about 3.5 grams of tea which then has the hot water added to it. The bamboo whisk (chasen) is moved back and forth slowly, only enough to blend the tea into a smooth, thick liquid. The exact temperature of the water varies according to the season and and can range from nearly boiling down to about 190 degrees. The exact amount of water to make the perfect tea comes from experience.

Why Matcha Is Stone Ground
Grinding tea by stone was the method used in China when a Japanese Zen priest, Myoan Eisai, brought the tradition back to Japan in 1191. Eisai carried with him tea seeds and the knowledge of how to grow, process, and drink the tea. By the thirteenth century tea was being cultivated in Uji, Japan, where our matcha grows today. It is still ground using stone wheels that have been specially chiseled for this express purpose, made by craftsmen whose families have been making these grinders for generations.

Health Benefits of Matcha Tea - as Described by Dr. Andrew Weil M.D.
In addition to providing trace minerals and vitamins (A, B-complex, C, E, and K), matcha is rich in catechin polyphenols - compounds with high antioxidant activity. These compounds offer protection against many kinds of cancer, help prevent cardiovascular disease and slow the aging process. They also reduce harmful cholesterol in the blood, stabilize blood sugar levels, help reduce high blood pressure and enhance the resistance of the body to many toxins. The most important polyphenol in matcha is EGCG (epigallo-catechin gallate), which is the subject of many medical studies. Matcha has a significant amount of dietary fiber and practically no calories. - Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. (Read more about health benefits of tea by Dr. Andrew Weil M.D.



1. To reduce the possibility of the Matcha powder forming lumps with the addition of hot water, it is best to pass it through a fine sieve (tea strainer). Sift the whole can at once onto waxed paper and then return the sifted powder to the can.

2. Bring a small quantity of purified water to boil and remove from heat. Pour a small quantity of this water (about 1/2 cup) into tea bowl or a cup to warm it. Empty the bowl and dry it with a paper towel.

3. Place about one level teaspoon of matcha powder in the bottom of the bowl (more or less to taste).

4. Add approx. 1/3 cup of slightly less than boiling water to the bowl.

5. Agitate the mixture vigorously with a back and forth motion of the wrist with the whisk for approximately 15 seconds. The surface of the matcha should become completely frothy.

6. Drink the matcha immediately. In the Japanese Tea Ceremony, the Japanese quaff the bowl in three audible slurps, you enjoy it at your own pace.

How to Prepare Matcha Without Traditional Tools
If you do not have the traditional Japanese bamboo spoon (chashaku) or whisk (chasen), you can still enjoy this flavorful tea. First strain the entire can of tea through a tea strainer and then return to tea can. (This will remove any lumps and make the tea easier to blend.) Then add 1/2 teaspoon matcha to 8 ounces of hot (but not boiling) water, stir vigorously, and enjoy!

We offer a Matcha Starter Kit with tea, whisk and ceramic mixing bowl.

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