A History of Matcha, Everyone's Favorite Green Tea!

by Krystina Quintana

You've likely had this delicious bright green powder in some form or other. Perhaps you've had matcha lattes from your favorite café or a bowl of green tea ice cream after a sushi dinner. If not, maybe you’re wondering what all the hype is about this delicious green tea powder.

For starters, it's incredibly versatile with uses, including as a drink, baked goods, granola bars, and even salad dressings. It's also a great alternative to brewed green tea. This lightly sweet, slightly bitter green tea powder is highly addicting. You'll want to start putting it in everything!

Here is a complete guide on matcha and how you can incorporate it into your life.

What Is Matcha Green Tea Powder?

Matcha comes from Camellia Sinensis, which is a tea plant. It is generally grown in the Uji and Nishio prefectures in Japan. The Japanese green tea leaves are dried and ground into matcha powder. Matcha is revered for its high quality. There are two grades of Matcha – one for cooking and one intended for ceremonial tea.

The Kyoei Seicha Morihan Uji Matcha for Training (100g) is a great example of the culinary variety. It's perfect for a matcha latte or other sweets.

Kyoei Seicha Morihan Uji Matcha for Training (100g)

The Kyoei Seicha Ceremonial-Grade Matcha: Unryu (30g) can be brewed and drank plain. Ceremonial matcha has a more subtle flavor and is of higher quality than culinary matcha.

Kyoei Seicha Ceremonial-Grade Matcha: Unryu (30g)

How Was It First Cultivated?

While the history of matcha green tea is not confirmed, it is believed to go back to 1191 AD. It is said a zen monk from China traveled to a temple in Kyoto, Japan. Here, he planted green tea seeds and drank the powder made from them.

These tea leaves are believed to have been grown originally in Yunnan Province, China. They quickly became popular and growing areas spread around China before shifting to Japan.

How Is Matcha Used?

Besides being a delicious drink, matcha has many uses. You'll find matcha in cakes, muffins, mochi, pudding; you name it! The better question is, what can't matcha go in? This Japanese tea is incorporated in sweets and savory recipes like stir-fries and guacamole (you read that right!).

How Is Matcha Prepared?

Traditional matcha tea requires a scoop, whisk, sifter, matcha bowl, and of course, ceremonial matcha. You'll also need hot water that is heated to 175F.

Add one teaspoon of matcha powder to the sifter and then the bowl. Pour in a tablespoon or two of hot water and whisk until it's dissolved. Then, add about ¾ cup of hot water and whisk until it's light and frothy. You now have a delicious cup of matcha that's ready to drink!

What's a Good Snack Pairing With Matcha?

What's better with a delicious cup of matcha than matcha-flavored snacks? We've compiled a list of tasty treats that you can enjoy for a more concentrated matcha taste.

Glico Pocky: Sakura Matcha

Pocky is a popular sweet snack in Japan that features many flavors like chocolate, strawberry, and matcha. This Glico Pocky: Sakura Matcha combines Sakura (cherry blossom) biscuits with a chocolate matcha coating.

Glico Pocky: Sakura Matcha

Izumo Farm Toritama Baumkuchen: Matcha (1 Piece)

Baumkuchen is a German cake that many people in Japan love. It has a distinct appearance due to its many thin layers that appear almost like a tree log, hence the name "Baumkuchen," meaning log cake. The delicious Izumo Farm Toritama Baumkuchen: Matcha (1 Piece) is infused with a matcha flavor for a more earthy flavor than the traditional German variety.

Izumo Farm Toritama Baumkuchen: Matcha (1 Piece)

Maeda Seika Kyoto Matcha Waffle Sandwich (12 Pieces)

If you've ever had a stroopwafel before, you'll be familiar with cookies shaped like waffles. This Maeda Seika Kyoto Matcha Waffle Sandwich (12 Pieces) features two crunchy cookies surrounding matcha and white chocolate filling. They're crispy, sweet, rich, and creamy for the ultimate treat.

Maeda Seika Kyoto Matcha Waffle Sandwich (12 Pieces)

Kyoei Seicha Uji Matcha Au Lait (5 Sticks)

While this is not a snack, it is an excellent way to add more matcha into your life! The Kyoei Seicha Matcha Au Lait (5 Sticks) is a version of instant matcha powder with a café au lait twist. Once you try one packet, you’ll be hooked!

Kyoei Seicha Uji Matcha Au Lait (5 Sticks)

Looking for more green tea snacks and drinks? Bokksu Boutique has plenty of options (including green tea pudding!) that you can purchase. With options for kitchen tools, snacks, teas, and home goods, you’ll be able to find all your favorite Asian goods in one place.

By Krystina Quintana

You may love matcha, you may love ramen...but would you love them together?

Author Bio

Krystina Quintana is a 29-year-old copywriter living outside of Chicago, IL. Her passion for Asian culture began at a young age as she learned to create Asian-inspired recipes like homemade sushi with her family. This interest in Asian culture continues today with time spent in the kitchen and copywriting pursuits. Krystina has worked with customers ranging from small businesses to food Youtubers with 70,000+ subscribers. With a passion for food and travel, she seeks to help businesses bring traffic to their page by writing blog posts that are engaging, informative, and fun to read.