Nestled in the outskirts of Kyoto Prefecture is a mountainous region surrounding a small town of less than 5,000 people known as Wazuka. Wazuka is home to a few hundred tea farming families and the region has been growing tea for more than 800 years. Our Cold Brew Blend is produced using tea grown in this area.
In search of Cold Brew Matcha
We are frequent visitors to Wazuka, but had only met T on our recent trips. T’s family owns a few tea estates in the surrounding area and welcomed us to sample her products and tour the estate. The fields dot the hillsides, often requiring a drive up long windy mountain roads to reach. Because of the steep terrain, many of the tea fields here are quite small. They are also costly to grow and maintain because of the time and expense required to traverse up the mountains to tend the plants.
T’s family used to produce sencha, as did most of the Wazuka region. However, after matcha grew hugely popular a few years ago, many switched to matcha because the steep hills and rolling fog also makes for good tencha and matcha . T brought us to one of the hillside plots, and shared that this plot produces about 2 tonnes of extraordinarily sweet tencha each year.
We sampled the tencha produced from that plot and were impressed. It had a faintly sweet taste but was also very mild. It was a far cry from the stronger matcha we were used to seeing in Kyoto. We were informed that the mildness made it less popular amongst the local tea buyers. We arranged to have a batch of it made into matcha.
When we tasted it we immediately knew that it would make an excellent cold brew matcha. The matcha produced from that plot has no trace if bitterness at all. It also had a very bright, refreshing sweetness. The umami flavors were much less pronounced, but the pleasant natural sweetness made up for it. Pouring it over ice and sipping it on a hot day felt indescribably good.
Why drink matcha as cold brew?
Matcha is full of antioxidants, and cold brew matcha does not change this. However, many people who start with matcha tell us that cold brew matcha was what got them really interested.
Most of them told us they were intrigued by the better caffeine boost that matcha claimed to provide. Being extremely easy to make was simply a bonus. Many of them were busy professionals – plugging away in the nation’s corporations, schools, hospitals and industries. What they had in common was a dependence on coffee for energy and for keeping awake.
Cold brew matcha solved many of the side effects of high levels of coffee consumption. Firstly, the caffeine boost was longer lasting and more gradual. Unlike coffee, there was no crash one hour after drinking it. This is due to an amino acid, L-Theanine, that slows the absorption of caffeine into the bloodstream.
Second, we heard that many of you felt calmer and more focused after having matcha. This is due to the L-Theanine, which is a known calming agent. For us personally, matcha cold brew is one hack we rely on to attain levels of deep concentration. An ice cold matcha shot is (in our opinion) the best elixir for hot summer days.
How to make cold brew matcha
The best part about cold brew matcha is that it’s so easy to make! You do not need to worry about water temperature, or even whisking technique. Yet it still tastes sublime! We recommend two main methods. If you don’t have a sealable bottle, then use an electric whisk to stir everything up.
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- 8 oz/235 ml cold water
Now, remember that matcha is a suspension. This means that if we leave it lying around in a bottle too long, the powder will eventually settle at the bottom. To solve the problem, just give the bottle a good shake before you want to drink it!
If cold brew is your first ever experience with matcha, consider increasing the amount of water used in preparing cold brew matcha. Using only 8oz of water may take some getting used to, so try it with 12oz or even 18oz of cold water. You can always change the amount according to your preference. Because all of these versions will still use 1 tsp of matcha, the caffeine content remains constant at about 70mg, and this is easily enough to keep you focused for 3-4 hours.
Many customers started out with 1 tsp of matcha to 16 oz of water, but most now prefer thicker cold brew matcha and use about 8 to 10 oz (235 to 400 ml) of water. Matcha consumed this way is very forgiving. With that, we hope you enjoy our Cold Brew Jade Ceremonial Matcha, and we would be very happy to hear what you think about it!
Next in this series
Kagoshima was historically the source of cheap “filler” teas that big, traditional tea houses in Uji would use to blend and balance out teas. This slowly changed in the late