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Matcha tea

From leaf to bag: the journey of Matcha tea

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1. From leaf to bag: How is Matcha made?

What makes Matcha unique isn’t its roots but its route from leaf to bag.

Though the bright green Matcha powder may look out of this world, Matcha is actually a type of green tea. Like most tea, Matcha comes from the camellia sinensis plant but unlike its sun-seeking sisters, Matcha loves shade.

Most Matcha is grown in Uji, a small Japanese city just southeast of Kyoto. A few weeks before the harvest, Matcha plants are given covers to shield them from the sun for at least three weeks. But make no mistake, these aren’t just chic sunshades: the shade is added in pursuit of boosting Matcha’s chlorophyll levels, turning leaves a lush dark green and making the resulting tea irresistibly umami.

green valley

Matcha pickers are, well, picky: only the youngest and greenest leaves make the cut. But even these lucky leaves are put through their paces before they can call themselves tencha. Dried, de-veined and de-stemmed, they’re graded by look, feel and smell. The things graders are looking for in a great Matcha are:

  • Bright color
  • Umami flavor
  • Smooth, long finish
  • Sweet aftertaste

Though all Matcha is equally delicious—of course we’d say that—grades help you decide how to use your Matcha. The 3 main Matcha grades are:

  1. Ceremonial: best quality, delicate flavor, used in tea ceremonies. This high-grade Matcha usually comes from the first harvest, when the leaves are most tender.
  2. Premium: high quality, strong flavor, best for everyday brewing or cold drinks like Matcha ice tea or Matcha smoothies.
  3. Culinary: good quality, bitter flavor, best for cooking and baking.    

Next, it’s time to grind. Grinding is how Matcha—“ground tea” in Japanese - gets its name. It’s also what turns its leaves into the vibrant green powder we know and love. Making Matcha the old-fashioned way takes patience: 30g of Matcha powder can take an hour to grind in a stone mill. But in a modern machine grinder, it’s ready before you can say “Matcha”!

Tradtionally, Matcha is made with this loose powder but at Lipton, we bag it up. The Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha bags give you the best of both worlds: smooth, earthy Matcha and fresh, light green tea. 

2. How can I make Matcha my way?

Traditional Japanese Matcha-making is an art. Whether you’re looking for the perfect way to jumpstart your day, or an afternoon pick-me-up, Matcha can have a role to play. Have yourself a Matcha smoothie, a Matcha cookie, the list goes on! Our go-to option for Matcha intake is in the form of an energizing hot drink - the real question is: Matcha tea or Matcha latte?

Lipton Matcha Green Tea

Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha has convenience in mind. Matcha fans who want to avoid the whisk and keep things super speedy have three Matcha tea flavors to choose from: Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha ClassicLipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha and Ginger, or Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha and Mint. If you’re all about the ease factor, this really is the best way to enjoy the taste of Matcha in tea form. Our pyramid tea bags create maximum flavor with zero fuss. Just brew!

Our Green Tea with Pure Matcha likes its water hot, not boiling. Allow freshly boiled water to cool before steeping your tea bag for 1.5-2 minutes. Drink hot or—if you can wait that long—cold. Either way, the perfect cup of tea awaits you.

If you're armed with a whisk and a taste for milky drinks however, a Matcha latte could revolutionize your morning routine. Start with green powder, a whisk, milk and hot water; end with a warming umami beverage with a little kick.  

3. Go green: What are Matcha’s health benefits?

Our Matcha tea blend is big on flavor but small on calories, making Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha an ideal addition to a healthy diet. Swap your sugary staple for a zero-calorie cup of guilt-free tea.

It isn’t just taste that makes Matcha the perfect cup of tea. Always forgetting to drink enough water? Us too. Good news: tea is 99.5% water, and a tastier way to meet your fluid quota for the day – hydration that tastes good, too. Win-win! 

The Matcha tea benefits don’t end here – your new drink of choice can also help you find your moment of focus. Legend has it that Buddhist monks drank it to meditate better. Whether you’re practicing mindfulness, preparing to battle a bulging inbox, or just looking for a little Zen, Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha helps you find it, morning or afternoon.

Meditating woman

4. Matcha Tea vs. Coffee

There's no disputing coffee is one popular drink - we collectively get through over 400 billion cups a year. But as we wake up to the marvels of Matcha, many people are going green. In fact, both drinks have a long history. Coffee was first drunk in 15th century Yemen, Matcha during the Tang Dynasty that ruled China from the 7th to the 10th century.

So what does Matcha have on its better-known caffeinated cousin? For a start, it’s the Matcha caffeine content. The green brew contains less of the natural stimulant, perfect for those looking to cut back - but rest assured it still packs a slow-releasing energy buzz!

Coffee vs Matcha

Ever had a coffee, felt sky high, only to come crashing down a couple of hours later? It takes longer for the body to absorb the whole caffeine content of Matcha tea, meaning you’re less likely to experience that caffeine spike. Don’t forget Matcha caffeine is still caffeine though– we wouldn’t want it keeping you up at night!

And unlike coffee, Matcha won’t leave your teeth stained or your breath less than fresh. Your dentist will thank you.

5. How Can I Mix and Matcha?

Like coffee, though, Matcha improves everything from smoothies to cakes, puddings and porridge—it’s even been used in facemasks! Matcha recipes are on the rise - what can’t this superfood do? Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha comes in Ginger or Mint flavors, or you can keep it Classic. Mix up your routine and find the best Matcha tea for you.

Here are our top Matcha remixes:

Sweet

 

  • Juicy Mango Matcha smoothie: Make morning magic by mixing frozen mango, apple juice, mint leaves, lime, ice cubes, water, and Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha. A reason to jump out of bed in the morning! Find the recipe here.
Sweet Drinks with Matcha
  • Green velvet Matcha cupcakes: The richness of Matcha meets the sharpness of cream cheese: a Matcha made in baking heaven! Just swap out red food coloring for green, and add a dash of freshly brewed Lipton Green Tea with Matcha Ginger to your cake mix. As light as they are moist, these green velvet cupcakes will make any birthday.
  • Matchamisu: Leave your Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha to infuse a little longer, and you’ve got one fine espresso substitute. A Japanese take on an Italian classic that’ll give the same caffeine kick, but with a smoother, umami flavor.
  • Matcha tea ice cubes: Stick your freshly-brewed Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha in the freezer for trayful of sunshine that will light up your favorite cold drink. Your future self will thank you.
  • Three-Green Matcha Super-Smoothie: Brew your Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha and blend with water, coconut milk, frozen spinach, avocado, salt, and ice cubes. Voila – an invigorating way to start your day. Find the recipe here.
More Drinks with matcha
  • Matcha yoghurt pops: Mix some cooled Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha Mint with your favorite dairy or non-dairy yoghurt, then freeze overnight. A cold treat for a hot day (or any day!). Serve with crushed hazelnuts for added indulgence.

 

Beauty

 

  • Matcha moisturizer: Empty two Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha bags into a cup of melted coconut oil. Simmer, strain and set. Use twice daily after cleansing and before sunscreen. It turns out Matcha and moisturizer go hand in hand!
  • Matcha tea facial steam: Feeling run down? Have a home spa day, starting with a delicious facial steam. Take a Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha-infused bowl of boiling water, and feel your pores breathe.
  • Matcha hair mask: With avocado for strength, coconut oil for moisture, honey for repair and of course mighty Matcha, this mask will give your mane some serious love. Use weekly for glossy locks that will make your friends green with envy (see what we did there?).

Savory

 

  • Matcha and mushroom soup: Their shared earthiness makes Matcha and mushroom the perfect partners. Blend with cream, white wine and chicken stock and top with a dollop of crème fraiche for a hearty soup that’ll brighten a dull day.
  • Matcha tofu scramble: use the contents of a Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha bag as you would oregano or thyme to give a herby twist to your scrambled tofu. Your new breakfast staple.
  • Matcha oil: infuse olive oil with a bag of Lipton Green Tea with Pure Matcha for an instant upgrade to your cooking. Use to cook a rib-eye steak or dress an autumnal pear and walnut salad.