ORIGIN & PRODUCTION OF MATCHA
Matcha is a trend and can be considered the IT-drink du jour. However, we at KISSA know that Matcha is more than just clicking an item into your cart, ordering a product and then quickly infusing it at home. We believe in the best taste, superior tea quality and a personal relationship with our tea farmers. This is especially important as only a small elite of Japanese tea farmers knows the secret of the delicate production process of high-quality original Matcha.
THE ORIGIN OF MATCHA
KISSA authentic organic Matcha comes from Japan, more precisely from the Kagoshima Prefecture in the south of the country. Kagoshima is located on the Japanese island Kyûshû, where the national park Kirishima can be found. It is home to 23 volcanoes that provide for a fertile soil rich in important minerals. In combination with the warm, humid climate, these are the perfect conditions for the cultivation and production of finest Matcha and exquisite green tea for KISSA Tea.
MATCHA – THE TEA
Only the purest tea – tencha – is used for the production of Matcha. Japanese “ten” means “heaven”, “cha” stands for “tea”. Thus, “tea of heaven” is what amazingly creamy Matcha is made of. Tencha is the pure flesh of the topmost leaves of the tea plant. Up to 2 weeks before harvest, the tea leaves are covered with lightproof nets. They compensate for the lack of light by an intense production of chlorophyll and amino acids, which are responsible for the bright green colour and the valuable nutrients of Matcha.
THE MATCHA TEA FARMERS
The tea farmers we work with are no ordinary farmers. They are creative masters of tea.
We know all our tea farmers in person, are familiar with every tea field, every tea manufacturer. Twice a year, KISSA CEO Thomas travels to Japan to have a close view on the tea – and the people behind it. They are guided by the knowledge of more than 700 years of tea production in Kagoshima and are specialised in the production of organic Matcha. Each of our farmers owns 5–10 tea fields and passionately cares for the growth of the plants. This is the foundation for perfect KISSA tea.
Each spring we eagerly await the first harvest of the fresh, young tea leaves. From April onwards, they are picked by the tea farmers and brought to the small joint tea manufacturers nearby. Immediate processing of the leaves is crucial and the basis for our best KISSA quality since the fermentation of the tea leaves has to be stopped as soon as possible. This is the only way to preserve their brilliant green colour and the valuable nutrients. After being steamed, the leaves are left to dry at 180 °C.
Afterwards, the dried tea leaves, also called „aracha“ = „raw tea“, are selected according to grade. Professional “tea tasters” – one of them is KISSA Tea CEO Thomas – rate the leaves according to colour, texture and taste. By blending the different grades of tea leaves, our KISSA Tea Matcha variations are created.
Before grinding, all stems and veins of the tea leaves are removed. Only the purest tea – the flesh of the leaves – will be traditionally ground into finest Matcha in handcrafted granite stone mills. One stone mill only grinds about 30 g Matcha per hour – the amount of one tin. This complex and careful grinding method is the only way to completely preserve the valuable nutrients, the colour and the taste of Matcha. A literal slow food made to tempt you!