I have had an obsession with green tea (specifically, 抹茶–matcha) since discovering it nearly seven years ago. While green tea is common within the United States, matcha refers to green tea leaves which have undergone a specific, two-part process: first, three weeks before harvest, the leaves are shaded, stimulating increased chlorophyll levels in the leaves. After harvest, the stems and veins are removed from the leaves, which are then ground into a fine powder, called matcha.¹ Matcha is frequently used in Japanese tea ceremonies, as well implemented in desserts such as mochi, cookies, or cakes. My favorite way to consume matcha is in the green tea frappuccino from Starbucks, but I also enjoy green tea ice cream, mints...you name it!
1. Tokunaga M. New Tastes in Green Tea: A Novel Flavor For Familiar Drinks, Dishes, and Desserts. Tokyo, Japan: Kodansha International; 2004.