Updated: Jun 3
Welcome to June's Tea of the Month Box!
Full of all things Matcha!
We are so excited to share this collection of matcha tea with you! Each box includes traditional matcha, a fruity mix Eliah created–perfect for lattes and a locally crafted herbal matcha!
Many hundreds of years ago, tea farmers realized that tea plants naturally shaded by trees produced mellow sweet rich flavors. Unfortunately, the tea plants growing in shade were stunted in growth and not as healthy as sun-grown tea plants.
So, a method of growing the plants in full sunlight for most of the year with 30-40 days of intense shading was developed to produce that same sweet, mellow, yet rich flavor from healthy plants!
That period of shade blocks photosynthesis which prevents the tea plants from producing catechins which have a bitter taste. Instead, the tea plant produces an excess of the amino acid L-theanine which produces a sweet taste!
Shaded tea leaves are called Tencha and it must be processed within 24 hours of being picked. That processing involves steaming the leaves, de-stemming, deveining, and drying the leaves before grinding the Tencha into the powder which makes matcha, matcha.
Instead of steeping matcha, the green tea powder is whisked into hot water. The act of preparing, presenting, and sipping matcha is the basis of the Japanese tea ceremony. While that ceremony is a beautiful custom, matcha has spread around the world and become a part of many other cultures. In the United States, matcha is often served as a latte and is added to smoothies, ice cream, sweets, and even salad dressings!
When preparing your matcha keep in mind that a cup of matcha has 2-3 times the amount of caffeine as a cup of green tea that has been steeped.
A matcha collection wouldn’t be complete without our favorite matcha from the Sugimoto Tea Company. The quality of this matcha is the best we’ve experienced. This premium grade matcha has a rich vegetal flavor with a long finish. We invite you to try this matcha straight without any sweeteners or milk in order to really experience the true tea flavors.
To make matcha: Place 1 teaspoon of tea in a shallow bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of 175°F water to the matcha powder. Using your matcha whisk, whisk in a “W” pattern the water and powder together until combined. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of 175°F water.
Sip and enjoy.
Fruity Matcha drinks have become the new Instagram darling–with good reason–they are delicious! The slightly sweet, slightly sour flavors of strawberries balance matcha’s natural earthiness. When looking for a strawberry matcha blend, we couldn’t find a quality blend that didn’t have sugar as the first ingredient!
So, Eliah does what Eliah does and he created our own blend– without any sugar! Using our favorite Sugimoto matcha you’ll find above, he powdered our favorite freeze-dried strawberries, added a few hibiscus flowers, and then got to tasting! After experimenting a bit, he found a good ration that keeps the matcha as the main star of the drink while still being able to taste the strawberry and hibiscus.
This blend is especially nice as a latte.
To create a latte, follow the directions above for making matcha, but instead of adding the final cup of water, add the same amount of hot milk. Feel free to add the kind and the amount of sweetener you like to this matcha blend. We especially enjoy it with our orange blossom honey
When one thinks of matcha tea, pure green tea comes to mind. In recent years, tea makers have been experimenting with powdering different types of teas as well as creating matcha blends. This matcha is the result of that kind of experimentation.
Wise Goat Organics, a small family business in Hollister, California, strives to create really healthy food that tastes really good! They source as much as possible from neighborhood farms which is where the mint and jasmine flowers in this matcha are grown.
And let’s not forgot to mention, the mint in this tea is a chocolate mint! We enjoy this matcha for the refreshing mint flavor with subtle chocolate notes as well as the out-of-this-world aroma!
Drink it mixed up as a straight matcha, as a latte, or add it to your favorite smoothie. May we suggest adding it to your next almond banana smoothie!
This month, you’ll find a few extras in your box!
A matcha box isn’t a matcha box without a matcha whisk. After using your whisk, rinse in warm water and place on a whisk stand to dry. If you don’t have a whisk stand, stand it up with the whisk part in the air.
We’ve also included a package of rice crackers. In Asia, rice crackers come in all different shapes and sizes much like potato chips in the United States. This particular Japanese mix is one of our favorites. It’s just a tad salty and not spicy–a nice complement to the rich earthiness of matcha tea.
If this is your first box, you'll find a Tea Journal and Infuser tucked inside your box. Take notes and keep track of the teas you enjoy in your Tea Journal and over time, you will become a tea enjoyer and a tea connoisseur! If you'd like to share on social media a picture of the journal page with your favorite tea from this box, we'd love for you to hashtag that picture #SpiceTopiaTEA, so we can follow along on your tea journey!
Keep an eye out for your Tea Practice Card! This month’s card has directions for brewing matcha as well as creating a matcha latte. We thought it would be handy to keep close by when a matcha craving hits!
If you'd like to learn more about our Tea of the Month Subscription, you can find that information right here