How is Matcha Powder Made?

You may know matcha as the powdery green tea that is blended with hot water in order to make a refreshing & healthy cup of tea.  Have you ever wondered how matcha powder is made?  Well I did so I set out to do some research in order to find out.

Tea leaves that are going to become matcha powder must be specially prepared while they are still growing on the tea bush.  A few weeks before they are harvested they are covered so that they do not receive any sunlight.  This prevents the sun from reaching the leaves, which slows down the growth and makes the leaves darker and sweeter.

After the tea leaves are picked they are laid out flat to dry.  This causes the leaves to crumble. The stems and veins are removed and then the leaves are stone ground to create matcha powder.  This powder is then whisked into hot water to make matcha tea. I also enjoy matcha lattes where you add milk and sweetener.

Here is a great video on how to make Matcha:


A great source of Matcha is American Tea Room. They have everything that you will need to start preparing Matcha tea at home. Order some today.

Blending Your Own Herbal Teas

Find bulk echinacea at Frontier.Blending your own herbal tea is so amazingly simple; you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it sooner! For supplies, all you need is a couple of measuring spoons, funnel (completely optional), and a mason jar or two (quart size for large amounts, pint size for less). In order to start blending, it helps to understand the qualities, benefits, and indications of herbs. Start small by choosing something that you need a bit of help with, like insomnia or immune support and study the herbs that are indicated for those conditions. The art of blending enables you to “cover all the bases,” as well as enhance the taste of the tea.  Here are two recipes that are tried and true in my own household…

Women’s Tea

2 parts nettle

2 parts raspberry leaf

1 part rose hips

1 part lemon balm

1 part milky oats

Combine the herbs together in the jar and use 1 to 3 tbsp per cup of water for your tea. This tea makes a light, satisfying tonic. Enjoy 2 to 3 cups per day.

Healthy Lungs

2 parts licorice root

1 part each of elecampane root, cinnamon root, and marshmallow root

½ part Echinacea root

¼ part ginger root

Combine all the herbs in the jar. For use, use 2 tablespoons of herb to 1 cup of water. Place in a saucepan, cover, and simmer over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes. Use this tea to prevent lung congestion and/or when a cold is just beginning. It’s best sipped throughout the day, every 30 minutes to 1 hour.

For recipes and research, I definitely recommend books like Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health or The Yoga of Herbs by David Frawley. Enjoy your tea!

You can find many of the items needed for these herbal teas by clicking the banner below.

All-natural and organic echinacea from frontiercoop.com

American Tea Room’s Earl Grey Shanghai

This morning is tea for two and I brewed a whole pot of American Tea Room's Earl Grey Shanghai.  It has certainly been the week of Earl Grey tea and I still have one more to try.  They have all been lovely with their own flavor and twist, from black to green to rooibos.  Who knew there were so many varieties of Earl Grey tea?  Here is my daily cup of tea picture for the day.

Want to add some Earl Grey Shanghai to your tea cabinet?  It is easy with free shipping from American Tea Room on a $60 order.

American Tea Room’s Lady Grey

I know that I am on a kick of American Tea Room teas the last few days, but I just returned from a conference and got all of these new yummy samples to try.  I can honestly say that I have yet to try one of their teas that I don't like.  They are all so good and the quality of the ingredients is top notch.  So this morning I brewed their Lady Grey tea.  It is a black tea blended with cornflowers and has a citrusy & creamy aroma.  Here is my daily cup of tea picture:

lady grey tea, american tea room

You can try it yourself by clicking here.

American Tea Room’s Midori Sencha

Today I am sipping on American Tea Room's Midori Sencha, appropriately enough in my steep tea cup. Well perhaps not completely so because the cup shows a teabag, but I love it.  This blended tea is a lovely green loose tea flavored with melon and a number of flowers.  It is my first time trying it and I love it. The package mentions it is perfect hot or cold, which I've gotten to experience both this morning as it has taken me a while to finish my first cup 🙂

You can order some today by clicking here.

Daily Cup of Tea – January 21, 2010

In what I hope is a new feature I want to start sharing my daily cup of tea with you in photos.  Today I am drinking an Earl Grey Rooibos from American Tea Room.  It is a delightful red rooibos flavored with bergamot.  It is one of the best Earl Grey teas that I have tried and a wonderful decaf option.  Plus it is organic to boot.

What kind of tea are you drinking today? Click on this link to buy some today.

Perfect Water Temperatures for Brewing Tea

One of the most important components of brewing tea is water.  It is important to use a good source of water, preferably filtered. Equally important is the temperature of the water.  Different types of teas require different temperatures to get the best cup of tea.  Here is a guide to the perfect water temperatures for brewing tea.

  • Black Tea - You want to bring the water to a full rolling boil for black tea.  You want to steep black tea for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Green Tea - This is the most delicate tea to brew.  You will get the best cup of tea if you bring the water to 160 degrees and steep for 2 to 4 minutes.
  • White Tea - A prized tea, it is a bit more robust than green tea.  You will get a great cup of tea if you bring the water to 180 degrees and steep for 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Oolong Tea - Bring the water to a 190 degrees and steep this tea for 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Rooibos Tea - This tea is very similar to black tea in that you want to bring the water to a full rolling boil and steep for 3 to 5 minutes.

Keep this guide handy by bookmarking this page.  That way it will always be available when you are brewing tea.  It is also a good idea to invest in a good tea thermometer to help out.

Teabag Cabinet

If you are a fan of teabags, it can be difficult to keep them organized at times.  Especially when they come in paper boxes that tend to rip and tear.  A good alternative to that is keeping everything in a teabag cabinet.  Tazo offers this beautiful wood tea box to keep your tea in.  And it comes with five different types of tea to help you get your collection started.

This is sure to help tidy up your tea cabinet and get things in order.  It is almost to pretty to hide away though and make a great addition to your kitchen counter.  What do you keep your teabags in?  Share with us in the comments below.

Introduction to Herbal Tea

David Frawley wrote in The Yoga of Herbs, “Within each thing is contained all things. In the seed is the tree; in the tree is the forest. Therefore, intelligence is contained implicitly in the many worlds of nature.” When we use herbs, we are transmuting light into life, becoming receptors to the power that plants bring us. Herbs are used in many capacities, from the culinary kitchen to the bath products for our hair, but there is nothing quite as soothing, relaxing, or healing as a warm cup of herbal tea, especially when we relish in the communion with it.

Herbal tea is most often viewed and employed as a refreshing beverage, taken with scones, fruit, or breads. While you can enjoy some of the properties of the herbs in this fashion, the effects are rather mild.  However, tea for medicinal purposes is quite beneficial and inexpensive. The mere act of making the tea, as you utilize your intuitive sense for choosing the herb to smelling the aroma wafting from the cup, involves you in the self-healing process. While not as potent as tinctures, herbal teas are highly effective in dealing with chronic, long-term imbalances. They are also easy to prepare, simple to dose, and deliciously tasty.

For the delicate parts of the plant, like the leaves and flowers, infuse your herbs by pouring boiling water over them and letting them steep at least 30 minutes. The more tenacious parts of the plant (root, bark, and seeds) are often placed in a pan, covered with the water, covered, and simmered for 45 minutes to an hour. The ratio, for medicinal use, is 1 to 3 tablespoons per cup of water and is best sipped throughout the day (up to 3 or 4 cups). For a pleasing beverage, I recommend 1 to 3 teaspoons of herb per cup of water.

Herbs do require research before use, understanding, and a sense of intuition, but I hope you appreciate the Plant Kingdom’s gift when you sit down with your next cup of tea.