Matcha tea is made from extremely finely ground green tea leaves. However, matcha is no “ordinary” green tea powder. For four weeks before being harvested the tea plants are shaded, so that the leaves grow more slowly. This procedure hugely influences the flavour of the tea. Tea farmers discovered it by accident as they wanted to protect their plantations from the ashes of a volcano eruption. Because of the shading, the concentration of precious nutrients such as chlorophyll and tea polyphenols increases, and the leaf takes on a darker colour. Even the processing is anything but ordinary. Matcha is ground in stone or granite mills particularly slowly and carefully to preserve as many of its precious ingredients as possible. The result is a delicious drink that is becoming increasingly popular with tea fans – and rightly so.