Origin & Production

Mana Matcha is made of the youngest, finest leaves picked from carefully cultivated tea plants in the central part of Japan. Our matcha farm is in Shizuoka, the oldest tea growing region. There are fertile soil, good sunlight and frequent mists. That provides best conditions for the growth of tea plants.
1.Shade Grown
Matcha is powdered green tea, but it is distinctly different from leaf green teas. Before grinding, the leaves must be cultivated in a special way. Around April, shortly after the first new shoots of the season appear at the tips of tea plants, the tea plantations are completely shaded for about 20 days in order to shut out the direct sunlight. Farmers use dark sheets to cover tea shrubs. Such a practice helps to accumulate nutrients. Shadowed tea plants increase chlorophyll production, by reducing natural photosynthesis. The lack of photosynthesis rises the level of L-theanine, an amino acid responsible for intense umami flavour profile. L-theanine is produced by the roots of the green tea plant and is then sent to the leaves. When light hits the leaves, L-theanine goes through a process which breaks it down to catechins, which increase bitterness. Shading the plants from direct sunlight stops this process and imparts a sweet flavour to the tea.
2. Hnad Picked
Green tea leaf harvest begins at the end of April. The first one lasts till the end of May. About 2 weeks after the first harvest, the new buds start to grow, and in approximately 45 days are ready for another harvest, which lasts till the turn of June and July. The third harvest takes place in August. Tea from each subsequent harvest is less powerful, and lower in colour and in flavour. Therefore, the first-picked-tea is considered the best one among all teas picked within a year. The leaves gathered during each harvest time also different in quality – the two leaves at the tip of each new shoot are harvested for the top-class tea, the third leaf is used in producing tea that is of high quality and the fourth and fifth are used for producing a plain one.
3. Steamed & Air Dried
Immediately after picking, and in order to avoid oxidation and fermentation, the fresh tea leaves are brought to the tea processing facility and steamed. In the process of steaming, the green colour, fresh aroma and nutritions are retained throughout the whole leaves. After steaming, the tea leaves are placed in a large multi-chambered air machine where they are gently blown around and cooled with a mild flow of air. After dring the leaves decrease in size around six times, compared to their fresh form. 
4.Granite Stone Grind
The final step in the processing of matcha is grinding of the dried leaves. Two specially shaped stones rotate slowly grinding the tea into a fine powder. This process takes time and precision – each stone mill only grinds up to 30-40g tea per hour. Matcha powder blends with water perfectly, making it seem like it is soluble (just like cocoa). A cup of matcha is perfectly even and creamy.