In the stage before grinding, Matcha is referred to as “Tencha” which means fresh or sweet leaf. Grinding matcha to a fine texture makes it easy for us to suspend the bits of tea leaf in the water through whisking so that they become consumable for us.
If matcha were not ground, it wouldn’t be so distinct and not nearly as nutritious. It would be just like every other tea in the world. You’d have to pour boiling water over whole tea leaves, wait for the tea leaves to steep, then throw them away and drink the leaf-soaked water. With Matcha, you ingest the whole leaves and therefore, absorb all the goodness that the tea has to offer. Brewing lets a lot of nutritional benefit of the leaves go to waste. So the best way to absorb all the nutritional benefit is to ground Tencha leaves into Matcha green tea powder. That way, it’s easier to drink as well.
Dried Tencha leaves are kept refrigerated and stone-ground into fine powder using a granite mill. Then the Matcha is sealed into airtight packets and shipped to the warehouse, where they are stored in refrigerators.
Sealed Matcha expires about 2 years after the grinding. Once opened, it is best to consume within 3 months. Once you’ve opened your pack of Matcha, make sure to carefully re-seal it to keep it fresh. And always, always refrigerate it in a dark corner of your fridge.
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