If you get the opportunity, a Japanese tea ceremony, or sadō (“way of tea”), is one of the most captivating and beautiful activities to participate in!
Steeped in ancient tradition and beauty, tea ceremonies have kept the art of an everyday activity relevant to us in modern times. In the matter of moments, a tea ceremony can transport you into a mental state where you are authentically in the present and all your worries seem to float away.
In this article we’ll discuss:
- Tea ceremonies
- Why matcha is the best choice for tea ceremonies
- How to pick out the best matcha
- And how to perform a tea ceremony for yourself!
What Is The Purpose Of A Tea Ceremony?
In the western world, we think of ceremonies as a sacred tradition to be done only on special occasions. Ceremonies are tied to rituals, which are also thought to be sacred and special. However, in the east, tea ceremonies aren’t meant to be sacred or only for special occasions.
In Japan, tea ceremonies are formalised events that anyone can do at any time of the year. Tea ceremonies are usually held by hosts to welcome guests and to show them that their presence is appreciated by means of a very formal activity.
The ultimate goal of a tea ceremony is to enjoy a sensory experience with your guest and to enjoy a good cup of tea.
Benefits Of Having A Tea Ceremony with Ceremonial Grade Matcha
Some would classify a tea ceremony as performance art because of the sensory experience and the formalised visuals and gestures that occur during the ceremony.
Therefore, a beautiful aesthetic experience demands high quality ceremonial grade matcha- and nothing less!
Here are just a few of the benefits of having your own tea ceremony with ceremonial grade matcha:
- The visual appeal of ceremonial matcha
- The taste of ceremonial matcha
- The health benefits of ceremonial matcha
The Visual Appeal Of Ceremonial Matcha
High quality ceremonial grade matcha has a lively, brilliant green color that demands your full attention when you look at it. The micro bubbles, that can only be created with ceremonial matcha, entice your eyes as you watch them slowly pop and fade into a sea of bright fresh green.
The Taste of Ceremonial Matcha
Ceremonial Matcha has a distinct taste that everyone must try at least once in their lifetime. The taste of high quality matcha takes you on a full-bodied experience. Matcha is intense, rich, aromatic, vegetal and yet still leaves a delicious sweet taste in your mouth with every sip.
The Health Benefits Of Ceremonial Matcha
Ceremonial grade matcha is not only a delicious and aesthetically satisfying beverage, but it also has a good nutritional profile.
Some of the nutrients in ceremonial grade matcha include:
High chlorophyll content, which is anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic
|L-theanine, which promotes a state of relaxation and well-being|
EGCG, which has anti-inflammatory properties and fights free radicals in your bod
|Caffeine, which boosts cognition and gives you energy|
To read more about the history of matcha and its benefits, check out this article.
What Is Ceremonial Grade Matcha?
Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality matcha available in the market. You can easily recognize ceremonial grade matcha by its beautiful vibrant green color and extremely fine texture. Ceremonial matcha foams up fairly quickly into a delicious cloud of micro bubbles when you use a chasen.
Ceremonial grade matcha is made from young tea leaves that have been carefully tended to in the shade. After being picked, the stems and veins are carefully removed from the leaves to ensure a smooth texture when it comes time to be ground by stone.
To learn more about why you should invest in ceremonial grade matcha, we wrote a separate article about that here.
Grades of Matcha
If you’ve reached this section of the article, you’re probably wondering:
If matcha is used for special ceremonies, why is matcha so popular?
The popularity of matcha has been partly due to the creation of different grades of matcha. Matcha comes in two main grades, ceremonial grade and culinary grade. Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality matcha available in the market. Culinary grade matcha is commonly used within the food and beverage industry.
- Premium Grade- Used in everyday lattes, where it will be mixed with other flavours
- Café Grade- Used in cooking and baking
- Ingredient Grade- Used in recipes with heavier texture like ice cream and sauces
- Kitchen Grade-Used in recipe testing and large scale cooking
- Classic Grade- Used for flavouring recipes that don’t need the finer notes of matcha
We made a video showing you different matcha powders, so that you can see the differences in quality for yourself, you can view the video here.
How To Spot Bad Matcha
Before starting Koko Riko Tea, our founder Sofia, meticulously searched for high quality matcha producers.
Along her journey she very quickly learned how to spot bad matcha just by viewing the powder in person (again, you can see what bad matcha looks like in this video).
Non-organic matcha, even at ceremonial grade is already bad quality because it will not foam as easily as its organic version. You can also characterize bad matcha by its dull green colour and large granules. Remember, good quality matcha is bright green and will always be a fine powder.
During her sourcing journey, Sofia discovered that there was also Chinese matcha. Unfortunately, she soon came to realize that the Chinese matcha was not held to the same production standards as Japanese matcha production standards.
In the world of matcha, country of origin is important. You can read more about Chinese matcha here.
How To Make Ceremonial Matcha
We highly encourage our customers to create their own Koko Riko Tea matcha ceremony at home, and to personalize it as much as you’d like!
Matcha was used in Japanese tea ceremonies to help people connect to the present moment, so we highly encourage you to use matcha to help you do the same.
We’re often so busy and forget to take a moment to honor ourselves and give ourselves a daily treat, so why not do it with matcha?
For the treats portion of your personal matcha ceremony, we highly recommend making on our matcha dessert recipes:
When you create your daily Koko Riko Tea matcha ceremony, be sure to tag us on instagram so that we can see it!
This blog was made by the very talented Bianca Reyes