GIVEAWAY DAY 4: Japan (Part II)

GIVEAWAY DAY 4: Japan (Part II)

Tea is grown throughout most of Japan, from volcanic and oceanic scenes in Kagoshima to fertile river basins in the Fukuoka prefecture. Kyoto was where tea cultivation first began in the country over 800 years ago. The original Matcha comes from the Uji region in Kyoto, a place as unique as this tea itself. Matcha has been a staple in Japan for centuries.

Although Matcha is essentially synonymous with green tea in Japan, drinking Matcha involves consuming shade grown tea leaves in their entirety. When you drink this finely powdered tea you receive benefits of the whole leaf: the rich flavour experience and concentrated minerals and nutrients. Careful tending, precise harvesting, and perfected processing techniques are behind every high-quality Matcha. High quality Matcha is at once sweet and astringent, silky and frothy.

Although the practice of grinding tea was first practiced in China, it became more widely used in Japan as Matcha became the centerpiece of traditional Japanese tea ceremony, or chanoyu. First, matcha is measured with a small wooden ladle called a chashaku. Then a paste in created in a tea bowl called a chawan. Water is slowly added and whisked using a chasen, a handmade bamboo whisk. The host of the ceremony keeps the guest's experience in mind with every choreographed movement. Tea ceremony is the embodiment of many concepts: Finding beauty in imperfection and appreciating the profound impermanence in all things.

Tea ceremonies are still practiced today as a form of art, spiritual practice, and cultural expression. An well loved aspect of the tea ceremony that has expanded into society and the world is the enjoyment of a meal.

Today, whether served formally or informally, hot or iced, Matcha is often paired with Japanese cuisine. Matcha pairs well with sweet treats, like wagashi. Increasingly Matcha is incorporated into confectionary baking as well.

Westholme has selected a variety of different Matcha to highlight unique Japanese tradition- From the ceremonial grade Kotobuki, to the daily drinking Keiki (wonderful for culinary explorations as well) to a Chinese influenced Jasmine Matcha.

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