It's been a lot of work behind the scenes but we are proud to finally be unveiling our latest offering - our high quality, Ceremonial Grade Japanese Matcha!
While we at Debonair Tea Co. enjoy all that the Japanese matcha tea ceremony has to offer, matcha has become quite the superfood darling in recent years and for good reason; it has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea! However, as we explain in detail below, it's not just the antioxidants that give matcha its feel-good properties.
As the whole leaf is ingested when matcha tea is drunk, we have been very careful in the sourcing of our signature Matcha.
What is Matcha?
Matcha green tea is made by grinding down Tencha, a finely chopped Japanese green tea, whose bushes are shaded (like our Gyokuro green tea) and then its slightly larger leaves are harvested, steamed, dried but not rolled.
Why is Matcha so special?
All teas contain high levels of varying antioxidants and an amino acid called L-Theanine which is thought to have the potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress, improve cognition and boost mood in harmony with caffeine. However, green tea, particularly when grown in shaded conditions like that which is used to make matcha has particularly high levels of this amino acid.
Shading does not only intensify the levels of L-theanine and provide a unique umami flavour but also increases the levels of caffeine and antioxidants. Indeed, it is the presence of both high levels of theanine and caffeine which are said to create matcha's signature state of “stimulated calm” enjoyed since the Japanese tea ceremony was created by Japanese Buddhist monks to help them with their meditation around 900 years ago.
How should Matcha be prepared?
2. Add a small amount of water (around 50ml) at 80 degrees to your matcha – any hotter and you will burn the green tea powder.
3. To maximise flavour and produce a foamy, velvety finish, it is important to get rid of all lumps and excess matcha from around the bowl. Whisk the mixture well using an electric frother whisk or a traditional bamboo whisk in a W motion.
4. Once you have formed a liquid paste top up with 200ml water at 80 degrees.
Alternatively, use almond milk and honey to make up a delicious dairy-free matcha latte or add to smoothies to super charge them with green tea goodness!
It's an exciting week here at Debonair Tea Company HQ – our very first directly sourced tea is finally available to buy!
Darjeeling teas, and particularly the range produced at Glenburn, are absolute favourites of our co-founder and in-house sommelier, Louisa.
The name ‘Darjeeling’ literally means the ‘land of the thunderbolt’. The British acquired the land here in 1835, the first tea seeds were sown in 1839 and following bumper harvests, private growers had more than 2,000 plants growing in the area by 1853. It was not until 1856 that the first commercial tea garden was established.
Given that some of the very finest tea producing regions are seasonal so that the tea plant only grows in warmer temperatures, Spring is a very exciting time in tea production. Indeed, the plucking season in India, China, Japan and even Europe – including England’s Tregothnan tea gardens (pictured) – run from March through to November.
Following harvesting and processing, the very first of the new season’s tea leaves begin to make their way across the world from Asia in time for early summer.
The British penchant for tea is a national institution, but in a world now dominated by big coffee chains and increasingly complex coffee concoctions our devotion to the humble cuppa is seemingly in decline.
Or is it? There has been unprecedented growth in ‘speciality’ tea over the last decade, but what does ‘speciality’ actually mean? A hundred years ago there was nothing particularly special about loose, whole leaf tea. In many ways we are in fact going back to basics!
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