The Second Spirit of Tea Tour with Spirit Tea and Marco

Tea Geeks, the time has come again! For those of you who knew about it last time, our Chicago-based friends Spirit Tea and beverage systems company Marco partnered up for a roving tea tour across these United States. Well, they've decided it was fun enough to do again, only this time through Texas, North Carolina, and New York City! What does this tour entail? Each location is divided into two segments: A hands-on seminar diving into how to accurately dial-in your tea brewing skills, led by Spirit Tea co-founders Taylor Cowan and Jordan Scherer, and then a Matcha Latte Art Throwdown. Last time, Scherer told me [...]

The Second Spirit of Tea Tour with Spirit Tea and Marco 2018-05-15T08:40:31+00:00

A Day on the Road with the Spirit of Tea Tour

The Spirit of Tea Tour officially began this last Thursday, September 28. Unceremoniously, but with excitement and vigor, Spirit Tea conducted their Tea Dialing-In Workshop and later hosted a Matcha Latte Art Throwdown. I attended both and can gladly report that at least someone is talking about tea properly. Workshop I arrived at Steelhead Coffee in Long Beach, California that Thursday afternoon and was greeted by Taylor Cowan and Jordan Scherer, co-founders of Spirit Tea. These guys are huggers, so after a warm few affectionate squeezes, we jumped into talking about the teas they were going to test out that day. [...]

A Day on the Road with the Spirit of Tea Tour 2018-05-15T08:40:31+00:00

Matcha – Quality

This is the final part of a 6 post series on matcha contributed to World of Tea by Tyas Sōsen. As a final part of this series, I would like to compress everything we have learned into a clear definition of ‘matcha’. What does matcha mean in its purest form? And how do derivations of this result in different quality ranks? First the definition: Matcha is a stone-milled powdered tea, made from tencha, produced from the Camellia Sinensis tea bush. Tencha is that leaf which is used for the production of matcha, and is manufactured from leaf obtained during the spring [...]

Matcha – Quality 2018-05-15T08:40:31+00:00

Matcha – The Right Blend

This is part 5 of a 6 post series on matcha contributed to World of Tea by Tyas Sōsen. Most tea farmers that produce tencha, only manufacture the tea until the ara-tencha, or the stage before the final processing where the rough dried tea leaf is further processed, cut and filtered. At this stage, the leaf is still too large to be successfully ground into fine powder, and the twigs may catch in the veins of the stone mortar, disturbing the smooth pulverizing of the tea. Therefore, before tencha can be processed into matcha, the leaf that is obtained from a [...]

Matcha – The Right Blend 2018-05-15T08:40:31+00:00

Matcha – The Production of Tencha

This is part 4 of a 6 post series on matcha contributed to World of Tea by Tyas Sōsen. After the leaf has been harvested, it is immediately transported to the factory where it is almost instantly transferred onto a conveyor belt that takes the harvested leaves through a steamer. The steaming is usually very short; approximately 20 seconds. Its main purpose is to deactivate the oxygen in the leaf to prevent further oxidation, and in doing so the leaf will maintain its green color and freshness. Other effects of scalding the leaf include the removal of grassy-like and similar bad [...]

Matcha – The Production of Tencha 2018-05-15T08:40:31+00:00

Matcha – Harvest

This is part 3 of a 6 post series on matcha contributed to World of Tea by Tyas Sōsen. Traditionally, May 2nd is considered the 88th fortnight calculated from the beginning of Spring. In terms of matcha production, this is the most favorable date for harvest. Around this time, about two fresh leaves and a bud have developed and matured sufficiently to be ready for harvest. The larger the leaf becomes, the more sunlight it has savored, and in effect has had more time to generate antioxidants which will render the leaf more bitter. It are only the top two leaves [...]

Matcha – Harvest 2018-05-15T08:40:31+00:00

Matcha – Cultivation

This is part 2 of a 6 post series on matcha contributed to World of Tea by Tyas Sōsen. While the episode in the previous article allows us an insight in the advent of tea in Japan, it also introduces some of the most important factors that play a decisive role in the cultivation of tea bushes for the manufacturing of matcha. In this article, I will look to define the traditional aspects of cultivating tea bushes for matcha, as well as to introduce how these methods have been altered to meet contemporary standards. But first, I feel that it is [...]

Matcha – Cultivation 2018-05-15T08:40:31+00:00

Matcha – An Initial Encounter

This is part 1 of a 6 post series on matcha contributed to World of Tea by Tyas Sōsen. While in Japan the consumption of matcha is gradually declining, the tea’s popularity is rapidly growing in the West. Major health benefits have been attributed to the product, which have rendered it a highly desired item for the more health conscious among us. But in contradiction to the more traditional ways of imbibing matcha, its use in the West has seen a major shift to alternative applications such as the use in smoothies, sweets, etc. Although it is widely known that matcha [...]

Matcha – An Initial Encounter 2018-05-15T08:40:32+00:00

Nitro Matcha in a Can, Another First

Newly arrived is another first in the ready-to-drink tea beverage market: Canned Nitro Matcha. In keeping with tea experts' predictions for 2017, kegged tea, and specifically, nitrogenated tea, is already becoming big business. You can now find nitrogenated teas at cafes in every major city in America, a concept that would have been unthinkable just three years ago. Yet here we are, and the process of kegging and tapping drinks with a nitrogen tank has led innovators to experiment with canned versions. After all, how does one enjoy the silky smooth mouthfeel of a nitrogenated tea or coffee outside of a third-wave coffee [...]

Nitro Matcha in a Can, Another First 2018-05-15T08:40:32+00:00