May is harvest-time at the farms in Nishio where PANATEA's matcha is grown in Japan. In 2014 PANATEA founders Dave and Jess traveled across Japan with our expert tea master Souheki searching for the best matcha and found it in Nishio.
We filmed the harvest and production process there, and it's a surprisingly intricate one. Take a look at our video here!
More details below about how this incredible superfood is made:
1) The tea plants are shaded to increase chlorophyll and amino acid levels, which makes the tea healthier.
2) Only the finest tea buds are hand-picked for PANATEA matcha. Our Ceremonial Grade matcha (also used in our Instant Matcha) consists of exclusively young, first harvest leaves, which taste sweeter than old leaves.
3) The leaves are steamed, laid out to dry, de-veined, and de-stemmed. Leaving the veins and stems would make the matcha taste bitter.
4) Finally the leaves are stone-ground. Grinding the leaves is a slow process, because the aroma of the leaves will change if the grinding stones heat up from friction. It may take up to one hour to grind 30 grams of matcha.
PANATEA is so grateful to everyone who participates in this production of the best matcha available. During the harvest season, we're especially aware of how important the farmers' work is!