DoMatcha 2nd Harvest Matcha Ancient Japanese Green Tea - 2.82 oz.
DoMatcha `2nd Harvest` Matcha Ancient Japanese Green Tea is harvested in August instead of spring. DoMatcha 2nd Harvest Matcha Ancient Japanese Green Tea renders an earthier, slightly more bitter (astringent) flavor. This makes DoMatcha 2nd Harvest Matcha Ancient Japanese Green Tea ideal for blended Matcha beverages, such as delicious Matcha lattes or refreshing Matcha smoothies. DoMatcha 2nd Harvest Matcha Ancient Japanese Green Tea makes approximately 75 servings.
The Way of Matcha
Do (pronounced ‘doh’) is the Japanese symbol for ‘way’ or ‘journey’. DoMatcha means ‘The Way of Matcha’. Discovering the way of Matcha is a journey well worth taking; a journey that brings people together in celebration of health and the simple beauty of life. DoMatcha invites you to share in their journey and discover DoMatcha!
Tea is the second most popular beverage in the world (the most popular is water). But despite the fact that all teas come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis), the world of tea is deliciously complex and rich with history.
Legend has it that the ancient Chinese emperor and inventor of Chinese medicine, Shennong, was the first to discover the pleasant flavor and medicinal properties of green tea. One day, as he was boiling water over a fire, a breeze swept a few leaves of a nearby tea bush into his kettle. Shennong not only enjoyed the newly ‘invented’ beverage, but would also go on to study the health promoting properties of his accidental discovery. This legend reflects what has been part of the Chinese culture for almost 5000 years: Tea is so precious that it could only be of royal origins and it promotes health in mind and body.
A new powdered form of tea emerged during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Freshly picked tea-leaves were steamed to preserve color and freshness, then dried and ground into a fine powder called ‘tea mud’. The tea mud was placed in moulds, then pressed and left to harden. Later it was dried in the sun and then baked to prevent rotting. These ‘tea cakes’ were easy to store and transport. To make a cup of tea one would break off a little piece of the tea-cake and then whisk the tea powder up in a drinking bowl.
This way of processing and preparing tea was eventually abandoned in China. But in the early 8th century traveling Zen monks from Japan had begun to bring tea and tea seeds back with them and started growing tea plants in Japan. Soon the Japanese Zen priests began their own tradition of cultivating, processing and preparing powdered green tea – and thus Matcha was born.
It was in the 11th century that the Zen priest Esai initiated the cultivation of tea in Japan. His famous book about tea opens with the sentence: “Tea is the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete.” In saying that, Esai was referring to Matcha, later to become Japan’s most treasured kind of green tea and the only tea to be used in the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony (Sado).
Sado (‘The Way of Tea’) in its modern form was developed by Zen monks over the course of the 15th century and became popular with the Samurai society, royalty and Japan’s upper class. The teachings of the monk Sen-no Rikyu were the most influential, basing Sado on the four principles of harmony, purity, tranquility and respect. In fact, DoMatcha was created to honor this sacred tradition.
Today Japan only exports about 4% of its precious matcha. It is not only a highly treasured specialty green tea, but also used frequently in Japanese cooking and baking, in health foods and western style beverage creations, like Matcha lattes and smoothies.
DoMatcha is 100% authentic Japanese matcha green tea now grown in the southwestern corner of Japan in Kagoshima. DoMatcha works very closely with their partners who have collectively been in the tea industry for over 700 years, Shohokuen one of DoMatcha's producers, and also the famous Japanese tea master Mr. Kazu Handa, whose family’s knowledge and expertise has been handed down generation after generation for over 300 years.
DoMatcha is cultivated, harvested and processed very carefully every step of the way to keep it fresh and rich in flavor, the Japanese way! Very little machinery is used in the process to assure top quality and to stay true to the ancient roots of Matcha.
DoMatcha green tea is shade-grown and only the finest and youngest top leaves are chosen. Immediately after harvesting, the leaves are carefully steamed to prevent the enzymes from oxidizing, they are then placed in specially designed facilities at zero degrees to keep them fresh all year round. Before grinding the leaves into Matcha, all the rough fibers, such as stems and veins, are removed to reduce any bitter flavor. Some producers use not only lower grade leaves but also include stems and other rough fiber to get more volume and reduce the costs. Needless to say that these practices result in a matcha that is a much lower quality product, less vibrant green, and leaves a bitter flavor.
Once the leaves have been de-stemmed and de-veined, they are then slowly ground between traditional granite stones, guaranteeing maximum protection by breaking the fiber naturally without overheating and ‘burning’ the powder. Powdered green tea that is produced outside of Japan is turned into powder by using hot air pressure which destroys the natural structure and overheats the green tea leaves.
Since Matcha loses color, flavor, and nutrients easily by being exposed to light and air (oxidation), proper packaging is key. DoMatcha is extremely well protected in a sealed foil bag and a sealed tin. DoMatcha also includes oxy-packets to protect the Matcha even longer, keeping it fresh and green!
DoMatcha is pure, clean and additive free - and they can prove it! All their Matcha (organic and non-organic) is tested by an independent lab, there is never any detectable residual chemicals from pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, or radiation. In fact, once the tins arrive in their warehouse DoMatcha tests them again to ensure they are safe for all of us to drink.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Matcha?
Matcha means ‘Rubbed or Ground Tea’ and is the Japanese term for the precious powdered green tea, traditionally reserved for the Japanese Tea Ceremony (Sado).
The process of manufacturing premium Matcha begins with choosing the right place for the cultivation of the tea plants (Camellia sinensis). The soil and climatic conditions play a key role in the final flavor and quality of the tea. Mountainous and hilly regions provide the perfect climate and morning mists needed for the cultivation of tea.
The Matcha tea plants are shaded from direct sunlight for about 2-4 weeks before harvest. This increases the chlorophyll and L-Theanine content making for a smooth taste and a rich vibrant green color. L-Theanine is an amino acid specific to green tea that provides a sweetness in flavor. It is the main reason why high quality green teas tastes less astringent and is more pleasant to the palate.
The different types of Japanese tea are commonly graded depending on the quality and the parts of the plant used. High quality Matcha is always hand-picked to assure that only the unopened tea bud and the accompanying finest, top two leaves are chosen. The tea-leaves selected to become Matcha are called Tencha. The leaves are then carefully steamed to prevent the nutrients from oxidation and keep the tea fresh and green. After that, all the rough fiber, such as stems and veins, are removed to assure the fine powdery consistency and the sweet flavor typical for a great Matcha. The Tencha leaves are then slowly ground up in traditional granite stone-grinders to a very fine, talc-like powder – Matcha!
Since Matcha is extremely prone to losing nutrients, color and freshness by being exposed to light or air, proper storage and packaging is crucial to assure highest quality.
How can I determine Matcha quality?
You can tell the quality and freshness of Matcha by the color, the flavor and by how well it mixes.
The higher the quality...
- the greener and more vibrant is the color (for both the powder and the prepared cup)
- the sweeter it will taste
- the fuller the flavor
- the ‘greener’ the flavor
What is the difference between organic and non-organic matcha? Is it just different leaves?
Different leaves yes, but actually different tea fields entirely. Tea leaves destined for DoMatcha’s Certified Organic matcha have to satisfy a number of organic regulations, such as containing no herbicides or pesticides, using only natural fertilizers such as Chitin and Chitosan, protecting the fields from environmental contaminants, using only natural pest control methods, keeping strict log books and more. DoMatcha’s organic matcha adheres to the regulations of JAS/JONA/OCIA and IFOAM.
Non organic matcha doesn’t have to go through all these regulations although it is still very ‘clean’. DoMatcha tests every batch for chemical residue and there is never any detection of herbicide or pesticide residue.
The history of organic matcha began in 1972 with DoMatcha's producer Hottaen, who was instrumental in overturning the conventional wisdom of the Japanese green tea industry about the need for organic green tea certification. This all started in the Uji Region of Japan – where matcha originated. It took 20 years of determination, but finally in 1992 Hottaen was rewarded by receiving the first ever JONA Organic Certification for tea leaves. JONA (Japan Organic and Natural Foods Association) is recognized around the world for its high organic standards.
What is the difference between the 1 oz ceremonial matcha and the 2nd Harvest matcha?
The DoMatcha Ceremonial grade of matcha is handpicked in the spring at the first flush, only the brand new top leaves are chosen. These leaves render a very smooth but strong flavor, considered to be one of the top grades of matcha. As a result it commands a higher value in the marketplace. The 2nd Harvest DoMatcha is handpicked in August, the leaves for 2nd Harvest have been on the tea plant longer and render a more astringent flavor. As a result it has a lower value. You can see this by the pricing. The 2nd Harvest gives you more than twice as many servings for only $6-8 more than the Ceremonial matcha. If you are a purist or traditionalist and enjoy your matcha with just hot water, then the Ceremonial will give you the better tasting matcha. If you are going to use your matcha in a latte or a blender drink, then you may as well go for value and use the 2nd Harvest. The Ceremonial grades (organic and non) seem to give more energy and mental clarity.
Once I open a tin of DoMatcha's matcha, should I refrigerate it?
DoMatcha keeps their matcha in the fridge. They also keep it inside the little foil pouch in the tin. Prior to being stone ground into matcha powder, their tencha leaves are stored slightly above freezing. DoMatcha is like a raw, living food. Keeping it refrigerated will help it stay fresh longer.
I just purchased a DoMatcha product and was shocked at the bright green color. Is coloring added?
No, that bright green color is the beauty of a good quality matcha. It is the product of the way DoMatcha is grown, harvested and processed. Young leaves are picked at first flush, and only the top leaves are used (for DoMatcha). These small leaves are cleaned, stored slightly above freezing, then stone ground into a naturally vibrant green powder.
Will removing DoMatcha from its silver pouch compromise the tea in any way?
The tin is made from aluminum to make it recyclable. DoMatcha suggests keeping their matcha inside the foil bag which is foodsafe and then inside the tin, rather than having it stored directly next to aluminum. This helps keep it fresher longer as well. Some matcha brands out there do not have the foodsafe bag and the matcha powder is in direct contact with aluminum. DoMatcha does not know for certain if this is could be a health issue, but they are on the side of precaution (and they are on your side of precaution).
Sado - “The Way of Tea” - is the ancient name for the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. DoMatcha symbolizes the union of Matcha green tea and Sado, the centuries old tradition of the Japanese “Way of Tea”, of which Matcha has long been the centerpiece. Do (pronounced ‘Doh’) means “way” or “journey of Matcha”. This is the journey of DoMatcha.
The journey of DoMatcha began when John Harrison, owner of Andrews & George Co. and EcoTrend Ecologics Ltd., went back to Japan in search of a partner in his quest to bring part of the Japanese soul to North America.
In traveling back to Japan, John was following in the footsteps of his forbears. Andrews & George Co., the DoMatcha parent company, had belonged to John’s great-grand father. Its long and prosperous history in Japan spanned four generations. In 1891, it became the first foreign trading company to establish a business in Tokyo, and it imported the first automobile to Japan in 1902.
John’s quest would further build on these strong and long-standing relations. He found the perfect partner in Shohokuen, one of Japan’s oldest and most established Matcha suppliers. Located in Kyoto, the magical place where Matcha originated, Shohokuen has been cultivating the very finest grade Matcha green tea for over 300 years. In perfecting this product, John also partnered and received valuable expertise from the famous tea master Mr. Kazunori Handa, whose family has been in the tea business for 300 years. So began the journey of DoMatcha.
DoMatcha is a synergy of East and West. It was created to introduce the most authentic and highest quality Matcha green tea to the North American market. In the spirit of the traditional tea ceremony, DoMatcha™ strives to bring together people from different walks of life and cultures. The ancient tea ceremony follows the principles of purity, harmony, respect and tranquility. DoMatcha was created to honor this way of life.