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  • Hey teaheads! This is Don from Mei Leaf. In this video, everything that you need to know

  • about Matcha. In this video I'm going to be talking about what Matcha is, what you should

  • be looking for when PURCHASING Matcha, and why you should be drinking Matcha. This video

  • is going to go into the "Basic Tea Education" playlist. If at any point in time you enjoy

  • this video please give [it] the thumbs-up. The more thumbs in the air the more tea videos

  • are going to come your way. If you haven't subscribed to our YouTube channel yet then

  • go click that button.

  • Okay. Matcha is all the rage at the moment. We've seen a MASSIVE rise in popularity in

  • Matcha over the last few years, and I thought it was a good idea to finally make a video

  • just to increase everybody's knowledge about Matcha, especially those people who are discovering

  • it for the first time. So Matcha is a stone ground green tea traditionally used in Japanese

  • tea ceremonies. What most people DON'T know is that this way of brewing tea is actually

  • an ANCIENT way of brewing tea. Two thousand years ago they were brewing tea in this way

  • in China, and this traditional way of brewing tea has persisted only in Japanese tea culture

  • in the form of Matcha.

  • But you can't just take any old green leaf, grind it into a powder and call it Matcha.

  • It needs to go through a specific process. You start with good green tea varietals. Most

  • Matcha out there is made with the Yabukita varietal, although you get very high quality

  • Matcha made from the Okumidori, Samudori and Asahi varietals - but most of them are made

  • with Yabukita. The area that it's grown is obviously of fundamental importance. Good

  • green tea growing prefectures in Japan will produce the best Matcha. So Kyoto, Aichi,

  • [and] Shizuoka will produce the best Matcha tea.

  • The tea to make Matcha is normally picked in early to mid-May. About 20 days BEFORE

  • they pick they start to shade the tea plants from the sun. They do this traditionally using

  • reeds, and then piling straw on top of the reeds, but nowadays they use fabrics or black

  • vinyl which they will cover over the leaves.

  • Gradually, over the 20 days they will increase the amount of covering to increase the amount

  • of shade so the plant is growing in increasingly low light conditions. What happens is the

  • plant starts to freak out. [It] starts to produce high levels of chlorophyll, and also

  • the theanine levels in the leaf remains high, because when you shade the leaf the theanine

  • does not break down as quickly into other compounds like tannins. So you get high levels

  • of theanine and chlorophyll, and that's really important when you talk about the health benefits

  • of Matcha, which we'll talk about later.

  • So they pick the leaf in mid-May - [a] really dark leaf full of theanine and chlorophyll

  • - [and] steam it to stop the oxidation process, just like any other green tea. They steam

  • it for15 to 20 seconds, and then they will dry the tea. At this point the tea is called

  • Aracha. Aracha is like the midpoint process to make Matcha tea.

  • They then take the Aracha and take away the central stem and veins. So they'll de-vein

  • the leaf so you're just left with this lovely, supple, meaty part of the leaf. They will

  • uniform the size of the leaf, and they will dry it again. At this point the tea leaf is

  • called Tencha. Then the teamaster will come and taste the Tencha from different plantations,

  • or different FIELDS in the same plantation, to get a flavor of the different qualities

  • of the Tencha. Then the teamaster will make blends. They will blend the Tencha to get

  • the right flavor profiles for the Matcha that they would like to produce.

  • Once the blending process is finished they will then grind the Tencha into Matcha. They

  • use round, stone mills with a central hole. The stone mills are grinding on each other,

  • and the Tencha is slowly sent down the hole in the mill, and out comes micro-fine Matcha

  • powder. It needs to be micro-fine - under 10 microns - and the process of the stone

  • grinding needs to be at low temperature to make sure that you don't denature the nutrients,

  • and don't effect the color and flavor of the Matcha. This grinding process is very slow.

  • It takes about an hour to make about 30 grams of Matcha. So it's a very slow process. So

  • that's the process to make Matcha.

  • Now there are three general grades of Matcha. You're got your ceremonial grade at the top.

  • Then you've got standard grade Matcha, and you've got cooking grade Matcha. So there

  • are many different stages in the processing of Matcha, and if you take any shortcuts,

  • or you don't have the right level of attention of detail in any of the different stages,

  • you will produce lower grade Matcha.

  • For example, the leaf is not shaded fully for 20 days, or the picking is the SECOND

  • flush - not the first flush. That will affect the grade. How much attention to detail was

  • put into the de-veining of the Aracha. If it has not been de-veined properly then the

  • resulting tea will be courser, [and] it will have more of the ground veins and stems, and

  • that will produce a lower grade Matcha. If they want to produce the tea at a faster rate

  • then maybe they'll speed up the grinding process, or they won't use stone mills [but] will use

  • other machines to grind the tea. Again, that will affect the grade.

  • So cooking grade is the Matcha you're using for your Matcha ice creams, to dust over truffles,

  • etcetera. Then you've got standard grade, which is just decent matcha made from Tencha.

  • Then finally you've got ceremonial grade. In order for it to be ceremonial grade it

  • needs to be shade grown for at least 15 days, be properly de-veined, stone ground at low

  • temperature and at a very small particle to make a very nice micro-fine powder which makes

  • a very smooth drink. You can also get things called green tea powder, and this is basically

  • not Matcha, [is] usually made in China - but also sometimes also made in Japan - and it's

  • just a very, very poor quality tea which is ground into powder. I would stay well away

  • from any of that.

  • When you are selecting your tea make sure you ask your tea supplier if the Matcha is

  • radiation tested - or if the tea leaves that MAKE the Matcha [are] radiation tested. They

  • should unequivocally, and very quickly say, "Yes. This is all radiation tested."

  • With the crisis that happened in Fukishima you want to make sure, because you are consuming

  • this leaf, that the Matcha - or the tea leaves - has been completely passed as radiation

  • free. I would ALSO advise purchasing organic Matcha for the same reason. You are consuming

  • the leaf, therefore you don't want to be consuming any potential fertilizers or pesticides that

  • were sprayed on the plant. So organic is the way that I would go. I know that 10 years

  • ago there weren't very high quality, organic Matchas out there, but nowadays there are.

  • So I would stick with organic Matcha if at all possible. So the best way to judge Matcha

  • - after you've asked all of those questions - is by eye.

  • Here is a ceremonial grade Matcha, but it's a ceremonial grade Matcha from a supplier

  • that we decided NOT to purchase from. I'm going to show you what that looks like. You

  • can see [that] it's quite yellow. It's not particularly [a] vibrant, grren color. Let

  • me show you a comparison with the ceremonial grade Matcha that we decided to purchase.

  • So if I show you them side-by-side you will, I'm sure, notice a big difference in the color.

  • So [a] nice, vibrant, dark green compared to a kind of khaki yellow color. These are

  • BOTH meant to be ceremonial grade Matchas, but you can see visually how much higher quality

  • this one is. So use your eye, [and] trust your eye on Matcha. You can certainly tell

  • a lot about the quality.

  • Also, make sure that once you've PURCHASED good Matcha that you store it properly. Thisis

  • exactly the same Matcha as this, but this has been stored in a glass jar, so light has

  • been able to affect this and there was a large amount of air in the jar. This Matcha was

  • is stored in a light and airtight tin. So again, if you look at the color difference

  • here between the same Matcha stored incorrectly you can see how it affects it. So Matcha is

  • very reactive, and therefore you want to make sure you store it correctly. Also try to drink

  • your Matcha the year that it was picked. So this was picked in May 2015. It's now January

  • 2016, so come June-July 2016 we switch over and we go to the new harvest, because again,

  • it's very reactive [and] will age quite quickly. So those are the markers for what you should

  • be looking for when purchasing your Matcha. Let's talk a little bit about WHY you should

  • be drinking Matcha.

  • Because [with] Matcha you are consuming the whole leaf, you're getting 100% of the power

  • of the leaf. You're getting 100% of the nutrients. When you brew any tea with water you get maybe

  • 35 to 40 percent of the nutrients extracted into the liquid that you drink, but with Matcha,

  • because you're consuming the leaf you're getting 100 percent. That means all the health benefits

  • of ANY tea - specifically a green tea - is ramped up and supercharged. So antioxidant

  • levels: if you compare Matcha antioxidant levels with a brewed green tea, a good quality

  • brewed green tea and a shot of Matcha is about 10 to 20 times difference. So that means one

  • shot of Matcha is the equivalent - in terms of antioxidants - as drinking 10 to 20 cups

  • of a good quality green tea. There are some sellers out there that report 137 times the

  • amount of antioxidants compared to green tea. What they're doing is using one study that

  • compared Matcha with a Starbucks green tea, so it is a bit of an unfair comparison. If

  • you compare it with a really good quality green tea and a Matcha it's about 10 to 20

  • times more antioxidants.

  • Not just antioxidants. You've also got high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin B, [and] all

  • of the minerals that are in green tea that are very good for you. So, supercharged green

  • tea. But then, remember, the amount of theanine in this powder is much, much higher than any

  • other tea. Theanine is a remarkable amino acid. It contributes to the flavor of the

  • tea, so it gives this, kind of, vegetal savoriness which turns to sweetness, which is so nice

  • in tea. But it has incredible health benefits. Theanine only exists in tea, and in one species

  • of mushroom - [and] I'm not even sure if that mushroom is edible. So if you want to be consuming

  • theanine from foods you need to be drinking tea.

  • Theanine is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. There aren't many compounds that

  • can cross the blood-brain barrier, but theanine can, and so it directly affects your brain

  • chemistry. What happens is it controls stress. It does this by increasing your GABA levels.

  • GABA is a neurotransmitter which acts like a brake on your nervous system [to] help you

  • relax and calm down. So it controls stress. The second thing it does is boosts - or improves

  • - your mood. It does this by affecting your dopamine levels, so you get that feeling of

  • well-being, calmness, and happiness. Thirdly, it improves your cognitive abilities. It makes

  • you more aware [and] creative. It does this by stimulating alpha brainwave activities,

  • radically. So if you look at people's brain scans after drinking theanine you get a HUGE,

  • sudden [increase] in alpha brain wave activity.

  • Lastly, it boosts your immune system. So [it] improves your ability to control stress, boosts

  • your mood, improves cognitive function, and boosts your immune system. That's what theanine

  • does, and theanine in Matcha is at its highest level. One thing you should be aware of - because

  • again you're consuming the leaf - the caffeine level of Matcha is the highest compared to

  • any other tea. So if you're caffeine sensitive then tread carefully, start with small amounts

  • and see how you react. A lot of people use Matcha now as a kind of espresso, or coffee,

  • replacement to give them that pick-me-up at the beginning of the day. Some people can

  • handle it, [but] some people find that they can't metabolize caffeine as quickly and therefore

  • are caffeine sensitive. So again, that's something for you to consider.

  • Some people - including myself - find that if you drink Matcha on an empty stomach in

  • the morning you feel slightly nauseous. A lot of people find that if you just keep drinking

  • it over a few days that reaction goes away. My opinion is [to] just drink Matcha after

  • you've eaten something. If you find that you are getting nauseous after drinking Matcha

  • on an empty stomache, don't worry, it's nothing to be concerned about. Just make sure that

  • you drink it after food. So that's something to be aware of.

  • Okay. I think you've gotten a lot of information about Matcha. I'm going to be doing another

  • video about how to make Matcha. So stay tuned for that. Other than that that's it teaheads.

  • If you made it to the end of this video then please give the video the thumbs-up. Check

  • out our playlists and let us know if there are any videos you'd like us to make. If you're

  • ever in London, come and visit us in Camden to say "Hi!" and taste our wares. If you have

  • any questions or comments then please fire them over. Other than that, I'm Don Mei from

  • Mei Leaf. Thank you for being a part of the revelation of true tea. Stay away from the

  • tea bags, keep drinking the good stuff, and spread the word, because nobody deserves bad

  • tea. Bye.

Hey teaheads! This is Don from Mei Leaf. In this video, everything that you need to know

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B1 INT UK matcha tea leaf green tea grade green

Everything you need to know about Matcha

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    陳暐茗   posted on 2017/10/31
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