Imagine yourself standing on a hillside with a vista of rows and rows of green tea shrubs. Little bugs fly in the air, crickets crawl in the straw underneath the tea plants, nightingales sing in the trees nearby and you breathe in the smell of matcha. It is the distinct aroma of camellia saneness, green tea. The top leaves from the stems of the tea plants in the field will be harvested and processed as matcha, a powdered whole leaf green tea. The tea is grown and nurtured with nutrient composts, mulching and fresh well waters. After at least five years of growing, the tea will finally be ready to harvest. Tea growers will pick, wash, process, and stone grind these precious green leaves. then safely package and ship it to your favorite local natural foods, tea stores and coffee bars.
Popping open the vacuum sealed can, it is the very same smell from the green tea field, a sort of fresh, vegetal, natural smell coming from the vibrant green powder that is matcha. Scooping a half teaspoon of this precious green gold and mixing it with hot water, the fragrance is released from the matcha as it rises from the bowl. The tea is vigorously mixed with a bamboo whisk called a chasen until a frothy foam appears on top. It can be drunk hot and plain or with any variation of milks such as regular milk, soymilk or almond milk. Or pour it straight over ice ‘on the rocks’ style and enjoy it as a cool healthful drink.
Walking through the rows and rows of chest high tea bushes, it is a wonderful unique experience being surrounded by nothing but healthful green. Would not it be nice if Eisai, the Japanese Buddhist monk known for bringing seeds back from China 800 years ago to Japan, could see the vastness of these tea fields today Perhaps he reincarnated continuing his spiritual growth and sharing the benefits of healthful tea Row after row, acre after acre, tea is grown on the hillsides and in the valleys throughout Japan and try out roasted hojicha powder. It is not uncommon to see a tea field grown in the middle of cities and small towns. It is a happy sight to see fields of green with the bright green shrubby plants trimmed beautifully in rows, leaves reaching upwards towards the sun. Most all types of tea come from the same plant, the camellia saneness. This includes oolong, white, black, and green or matcha teas.