Aiya - Matcha Cooking Grade - 100 Gram(s)(3.5 oz.)
What is Matcha Green Tea?
Aiya's Matcha Cooking Grade is blended for food and beverages, providing color, aroma, and nutritional benefits to your favorite drinks and treats. People often mistakenly believe that higher – or more expensive – grades of Matcha are the best to use when it comes to making recipes. However, while a higher quality tea is better on its own, this doesn’t hold true for cooking. A truly high-quality cooking grade Matcha should have a stronger tea flavor than a drinking grade, allowing the Matcha flavor to shine through when mixed with other ingredients. Although most would consider it slightly too astringent when consumed solely with water, this grade is perfect for making Matcha flavored desserts and beverages. All of Aiya’s Matcha is produced in the Nisho region of Aichi prefecture, Japan, where the finest Matcha has been grown for over 800 years.
Matcha is a shade-grown all natural, powdered Japanese green tea made from the finest tea leaves. Extremely high in antioxidants, amino acids, and other nutrients, it has been the focal point of Zen- Buddhist Monks for over 800 years as a revered form of art, instrument for meditation, and ingredient to health. Matcha is one of the most unique teas on the planet, obtaining its tremendous health properties through careful growing, cultivating and processing. Unlike other teas, Matcha undergoes a number of additional steps in the production cycle before it makes its way to your cup, including: shade growing, hand picking, stem and vein removal, and granite milling into a fine powder.
100% Benefit From the Leaf
Matcha is ground into a fine powder, which means you are consuming the entire leaf when drinking Matcha or enjoying a food or beverage made with Matcha. Matcha drinkers receive 100% of the benefits of the whole tea leaf, enjoying its antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Drink to Good Health
Matcha contains higher antioxidant levels on a per gram basis than any other known natural fruits or vegetables. ORAC test results show that one gram of Ceremonial Matcha green tea contains 1,384 ORAC units – about 15x the antioxidants available in wild blueberries.
One of the key components in Matcha is the amino acid L-theanine, which is found almost exclusively in shade-grown green teas like Matcha. When L-theanine is combined with the natural caffeine in tea, it metabolizes more slowly, releasing the caffeine over a longer period of time and providing a stable three to six hour long energy boost (versus coffee caffeine at an hour to an hour and a half).
Discerning Quality of Matcha
A lot of different things can affect the quality of Matcha - region, geographical conditions, skill of the tea farmers, and the variety of the tea bush - all add up to the unique qualities of Matcha. Check for these elements when evaluating your Matcha:
- Flavor - A good quality Matcha should be smooth and sweet with just a hint of astringency. The sweetness comes from the L-theanine amino acids in the tea.
- Color - Matcha is a vibrant jade green (while green tea powders are often yellow-brown), due to the increased chlorophyll content that occurs during the shading process. Quality Matcha is ground using slow-turning granite grinders, which minimizes friction, allowing the tea to be ground without "burning," retaining the chlorophyll
- Feel - High quality Matcha powders are very fine (5-10 microns; finer than baby powder), and should feel similar to eye shadow. A lower quality Matcha will have larger particle sizes, resulting in a coarser feel when rubbed between your fingers.
The bulk of Aiya's Matcha is grown in Nishio in the heart of Aichi prefecture, Japan. A historic tea cultivating region dating back to the 1200s, Nishio’s stable climate, fresh pristine river waters, fertile soil, and remoteness from urban development foster tea leaves that are more resiliently green and full of nutrients. Currently, Aiya holds over 80% of the exclusive harvesting rights to the Nishio tea plantations. The two most important tea growing areas for Aiya’s organic matcha are Toyota and Kagoshima. Located in the mountains at 600m sea level, Toyota’s cooler climate acts as a natural barrier and protects the organic fields, as only a few insects survive in the colder temperature. Kagoshima, in the southern edge of Japan, is an optimal location for organic teas because of its vast fields, mineral-rich volcanic soil, and remoteness from the city.
Family owned since 1888, Aiya is the world’s leading Matcha green tea producer, headquartered deep within the Aichi prefecture in Nishio city, Japan, where the finest Matcha green tea has been grown for over 800 years. Aiya was established in 1888 as a local shop providing dyes and teas. “Aiya,” the nickname for the shop which later became the official company title, was given because the shop carried “Aidama,” an indigo colored dye used on kimonos. When first established, Aiya’s primary focus was on dyes and Gyokuro tea production. Soon thereafter, Aijirou sought to move the business toward producing more premium tea – Matcha. He teamed with local tea producers to cultivate new fields and worked tremendously hard in improving the technology of stone granite grinder mills to create a stable environment for the teas. His innovations to this centuries-old technology are still implemented in today’s modern production facilities.
Dedicated to giving back to the world, Aiya and a select group of Nisho farmers have been travelling to Southeast Asia biennially to help with the reforestation of mangrove and mahogany forests since 2001. Why mangroves? Mangroves are unique trees that grow along the coasts, occupying both land and sea at the same time. This delicate ecosystem provides homes for fish and other species that find shelter in its roots. However, threats from global warming are putting these trees in great danger of deforestation. To counter global warming and prevent the destruction of homes for many species, they feel it is critical to preserve these forests. So far, Aiya has been responsible for planting more than 72,000 trees in South East Asian countries.
- 2001: Phillippines, 40 people, 6300 Mangroves
- 2003: Thailand, 40 people, 12,300 Mangroves
- 2005: Indonesia, 60 people, 4,200 Mahoganies
- 2007: Thailand, 60 people, 13,000 Mangroves
- 2009: Malaysia, 50 people, 5,000 Mangroves
- 2011: Indonesia, 36 people, 6,000 Mangroves
- 2013: Philippines, 35 people, 7,800 Mangroves
- 2015: Vietnam, 38 people, 17,700 Mangroves
Aiya continually strives to improve product quality. Each step of production is thoroughly monitored and documented, while internal laboratory inspections are conducted to ensure that the final product conforms to stringent standards prior to shipment. Aiya holds a number of internal certifications that are unmatched in the industry: FSSC22000, AIB (superior), Organic Certification by OMIC & JAS, Kosher, Halal, QAI, Gluten-Free and Non-GMO Certification.