Material Matcha is an exciting tea company in Uji who are doing some really interesting things. First things first, we’ve got to address the fight against robots. MMU have traveled all around, and met people who have shown them old, rare techniques for harvesting and processing their tea the old fashioned way, rather than relying on robots to replace the people in the tea industry. The idea is that robots, or machines as the case may be, simply can’t re-create the same techniques that have been passed down for generations among tea workers.
At the end of the day, it comes down to quality and authenticity, and Material Matcha Uji seems to put a strong emphasis on both. From their stunning ceramic editions, to their rare craft matcha with very limited amounts produced at once.
Their process to create this special matcha is very involved. Here’s a page with a lot more information, but we’ll also sum up quickly the process:
- Using only first harvest tea leaves
- Using straw-shading to protect the plants from overexposure to the sun
- Hand-picking only the very best looking leaves
- Drying the delicate leaves and once more separating the very best of the best
- Destemming the aracha, leaving you with tencha
- Next up is the blending process, using their secret ratios
- Finally, the tea is ground up and you’re left with an incredible matcha
It all started when two friends, Morgan & Etienne, embarked on what they call a “quest for purity.” They’ve been living in Japan, learning everything they can absorb about making perfect matcha, and then putting those lessons into practice. This is a very authentic feeling brand of tea.
While they may not have been born into the life of Japanese tea production, they found their way there, and show a true appreciation and respect for the craft. Simply put, these guys really know their stuff, and their website isn’t just a store – it’s also a wealth of information on what it takes to make great matcha. Of course, there are certain tips and tricks that you’re only going to learn by rolling your sleeves up and getting some dirt under your fingernails, when they’re passed down from somebody who has been there and done that, and trusts you to continue the tradition.