Matcha use dates back to 8th century China. Chinese monks discovered the joys of powdered green tea leaves (matcha) and used them to promote a zen state during meditation. To the Chinese, matcha tea was more than a drink, it was an art, akin to poetry.
It was the Japanese Buddhist monk Elsai Myoan who traveled to China in 1180 and brought the plant back to his country, forever altering matcha’s course. Japanese buddhists treasured matcha for its ability to unlock a transcendent state – one that was both calm and alert. To Elsai and his fellow buddhists, matcha was the elixir of the immortals.
The Japanese Buddhists went on to perfect matcha production and turn it into the superfood we know today.
They learned to grow the plant under shade, which maximized nutrients and produced leaves with a brilliant green hue. They hand-picked only the highest quality leaves and stone ground them to perfection with a slow and methodical technique. Go to fast, they learned, and the overheated stone mill would compromise matcha’s rich aromas.
The slow, careful production of matcha was matched by how the Japanese learned to consume it. Through the Chado tea ceremony, invented in the 1500’s, matcha became an experience – a time for people to gather and connect with one another. The ceremonies lasted hours and sought to instill the virtues of Japanese life to all: harmony (wa), respect (kei), purity (sei) and tranquility (jaku).
Only ceremonial matcha – matcha of the absolute highest quality – is served in Japanese tea ceremonies. Our Keto Matcha features no less – 100% organic ceremonial matcha from Kagoshima, Japan.