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The Japanese tea ceremony is not just about the drinking of tea, it is a traditional art which includes philosophy, spirituality, behaviour and materialistic elements which has had a huge influence on Japanese culture. All the procedures and movements are standardised, each with its own meaning and unique place in the ceremony. You may not have half a day to spare for the formal tea ceremony but with this authentic and elegant tea set you can experience the essence of the art of the tea ceremony at home.
The Kit contains:
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Tea Bowl - Chawan (茶碗) is a bowl used for making and drinking matcha tea and is the main item for a tea ceremony. They can be classified by country of origin, by potter or kiln, by shape, or by the type of tea they are designed to hold. Shallow bowls which allow the tea to cool rapidly are used in summer deep bowls in winter. This bowl is wide in diameter, providing enough room to use the whisk effectively therefore preventing the occurrence of lumps. It is hand crafted in Japan.
Tea Scoop - Chashaku (茶杓), a tea scoop or tea spoon, is used to transfer the powdered tea from the tea container (chaki) to the tea bowl (chawan). Usually made of a narrow, thin piece of bamboo, although historically there were also made of wood or ivory and intricately carved. The soul of simplicity.
Tea Whisk - Chasen (茶筅) are bamboo whisks used to mix the matcha powdered tea with hot water. They are carved from a single piece of bamboo. There are differences in their style according to the type of bamboo they are made from, the shape of the tines, the number of tines, the thickness of the bamboo, the length of the bamboo and the colour of the thread that is woven around the bottom of the tines. This high quality whisk with 100 tines will create a deliciously smooth and frothy matcha.
Matcha is a finely milled vibrant green tea powder made from the highest quality Japanese tea leaves. Clearspring Organic Ceremonial Matcha comes from Uji, a region high in the hills around Kyoto, renowned for producing the best Japanese teas. Only accessibly by foot, this remote area is unpolluted and rich in friendly bugs such as spiders, ladybirds, praying mantis and dragonflies to keep the pests under control (best to use organic matcha as non-organic matcha is grown using excessive amounts of agricultural fertilisers and pesticides). Shade grown for the final few months to allow the leaves to fill with chlorophyll, the finest young tea buds are picked, dried and ground in a granite mortar.
Ingredients: Matcha green tea powder* (100%). *Organically grown
Product weight - 30g
Matcha is finely ground green tea leaf powder and is the most prized amongst Japanese teas. It has been drunk as part of the tea ceremony for 900 years as well as by Buddhist monks during long days of meditation.
Growing conditions, time of harvest and processing techniques have a direct effect on the grade and final flavour of the Matcha:
Ceremonial grade Matcha uses the finest, smallest shade grown leaves from the very tip of the tea bush - giving it a very vibrant green colour and a slightly sweet, smooth flavour.
Premium grade Matcha is ideal for both drinking and home baking, can add unique flavour and incredible colour to food and drink recipes.
Basic grade Matcha is slightly bitter, less expensive and is generally only used for cooking.
High-grade Organic Uji Matcha products are cultivated under the diligent management of Clearspring's tea master Juro Okuda. The tea bushes are covered with cheese cloths for as long as possible to produce leaves of a deep green colour. It is very difficult to grow organic matcha; one must fight against both bugs and diseases. Harmful insects can appear because of small climate changes threatening the tea crop. For this reason, it is essential to manage the cultivation in a way that places primary importance on the natural ecosystem.
Ceremonial and Premium grades of Matcha are ground in stone mortars for many hours. This creates a unique light smoothness that is perfect for drinking.
|of which sugars:||10|
|of which saturates:||0.13|
|of which monounsaturates:||< 0.1|
|of which polyunsaturates:||0.58|
|Cereals containing gluten*||Absent|
|Sulfur dioxide and sulphites*+||Absent|
|Note dietary intolerance||Gluten and nut absent in ingredient but not certified.|
* and products thereof. +(>10mg/kg or 10mg/l)
|Free of Added Alcohol||Yes|
Traditionally Matcha is drunk whisked in hot water as a smooth green tea. Take ¼ teaspoon (1g) of Matcha powder and add hot water from a kettle which has not quite boiled to maximise the health benefits. Thoroughly whisk using a traditional wooden whisk or a hand held electric milk frother to avoid lumps of powder in the bottom of your cup.
The traditional Japanese tea ceremony dates back 900 years to feudal times. It can take up to 3 hours and is steeped in history, is full of theatre and is incredibly calming. If you would like to make Matcha emulating the essence and spirit of the traditional tea ceremony you can do so in less than 3 minutes but you will need a bowl, a bamboo tea scoop and a bamboo matcha whisk.
As well as being delicious and good for you, it is also very versatile. Matcha powder can be added to almost anything!
Mix 1g of Matcha powder with a little bit of cold water in a cup then add to hot vanilla soya milk while whisking thoroughly. Alternatively use vanilla rice or almond milk.
One of the most popular ways of preparing matcha is as an iced smoothie. Just combine the following ingredients in a blender and enjoy:
> 200ml of soya / rice or almond milk
> 1 tbs. of Clearspring malt syrup
> 1 tsp. of Clearspring Matcha powder
> 1 banana (can substitute with other fresh or frozen fruit)
> Ice cubes
In the hills around Kyoto a third generation family use special organic methods, known as Nature Farming, to produce a range of exquisite green teas for Clearspring.
The ancient farming approach used by the family builds up soil vitality by maintaining a semi-wild environment where the plants are not overly protected and gain nourishment from repeated applications of compost made from tea clippings and dried leaves which together with regular mulching helps control weed growth and maintain soil moisture.
Whilst most tea farmers spray their plants with pesticides and herbicides 15-20 times a year, our producer's tea bushes have a vigour that enables them to thrive without chemical inputs.
The family's yields may be lower than average but their plants have far less mould and blight. They remain productive for up to 40 years, twice as long as the typical tea bush treated with chemicals.
As well as growing tea, the producers undertake the skilful blanching, drying and roasting processes and then pack their teas right on their estate to ensure maximum freshness and fullness of flavour.
Compare this to the common practice of shipping in bulk, and then blending and packing the tea many months later in Europe, and it is easy to see why Clearspring tea tastes so fresh.