Thank you very matcha Pure Matcha Q&A
Preparing the perfect cup of matcha can be a finicky process and it all starts with the matcha powder itself. We sit down with Stephen and Stephanie, the husband and wife duo behind Pure Matcha, to talk Japanese tradition, health benefits and how to make that just-right cup.

What makes you feel wild and alive?
Those moments when we wholeheartedly went with our instincts! Often there are times where critical decisions need to be made. Going with our gut has almost always returned the best outcomes. We can both recall occasions when overthinking a problem led to regret because we were too slow to act. Our biggest wins came when we believed in ourselves, trusted our natural wild instincts and took that leap of faith.

Please tell us about some of the products you feature in your range.
While in Japan we were in awe of how the act of tea drinking was elevated to a ceremonial ritual. As we dug deeper into this ritual, we realised how the Japanese have clearly understood the wellbeing, social and health benefits of tea. Something everyone could benefit from — especially in these times! We have two types of organic matcha: the Ceremonial-grade EISAI matcha, which is excellent to drink on its own in the morning for clarity and focus, and the Culinary-grade matcha, which is good to use when mixing matcha with other ingredients like for a smoothie or cooking.

Our newest addition is Hojicha powder tea, which is made from the same leaves as matcha but the leaves have been roasted, then milled to a fine powder. It’s a rising star tea thanks to its caramel-like, naturally sweet flavour, making it a great latte option. We also sell high-quality Japanese loose-leaf teas such as Sencha, Genmaicha, Gyokuro and Hojicha, which have many great health benefits.

Providing our customers with an authentic matcha tea drinking experience is paramount for us. In Japanese culture, tea is a moment of mindfulness and harmony. To achieve this, all of our senses need to be stimulated. Beautiful crafted teaware aids this. We sell inexpensive essential tools for matcha brewing such as scoops, whisks, whisk holders and bowls. We also sell a high-end range of these same delicate tools that are made by Japanese artisans who are masters of these crafts.

Japan has a rich history in ceramics; specific clay types, colours, textures, imagery and general stylistic qualities are specific to regions with lineage to great artist-potters. Some of our items are very rare outside of Japan, like our Tetsubin cast-iron kettle from Nambu. We really get a kick out of sourcing all these fabulous hard-to-find Japanese products!

Where do you source your green tea matcha powder and why?
Our matcha comes from Uji, which is a city south of Kyoto in Japan, and renowned as the birthplace of matcha. A Zen Buddhist monk by the name of Eisai brought the tea seeds back to Kyoto after a trip to China. He wrote the book Drinking Tea for Health that explained the various medicinal effects of tea and encouraged its consumption. It was this book (circa 1214) that popularised tea culture in Japan.

We specifically chose to source our matcha from Uji. The region’s hilly terrain, high-quality soil, mild temperatures and prevalent mist all contribute to what many people call the most excellent-tasting matcha tea in the world.

Our farmers still follow traditional cultivation methods to produce our authentically milled matcha teas. Their holistic production approach ensures our matcha maintains all its health benefits, as well as being organic and vegan — we’re super proud our matcha is steeped in tradition.

What are some of the health benefits of matcha?
Where do we start? The list of benefits is endless. Green tea in general has an abundance of science-backed research to support its long list of health claims. When you drink matcha, you consume the entire leaf and therefore you enrich yourself with maximum nutrients as opposed to green tea brewed from a tea bag that gets thrown away after steeping.

It’s down to the way matcha is cultivated that makes it so special. With matcha, the tea leaves are shade-grown and the decreased sunlight allows the tea leaves to naturally produce an abundance of chlorophyll and amino acids called L-Theanine. Recent studies indicate L-Theanine can help develop a feeling of relaxation, improve mental focus and increase cognitive function. Matcha is so highly concentrated that it provides you with 137 times the antioxidants and up to 10 times the nutritional content of regular green tea, making it immune-boosting. Other health claims are improved sleep, reduced blood pressure and weight loss. The Zen Japanese Buddhist monks were well aware of the medicinal benefits many thousands of years ago.

Please share your favourite matcha recipe.
We love matcha served the traditional way: sieve the matcha, add warm water (never boiling as it will burn the matcha) and then whisked vigorously with a chasen (bamboo whisk). A great quality matcha like our Ceremonial-grade EISAI matcha is never bitter. Served at the right temperature and whisked well, it is sweet and creamy. As winter creeps in we recommend a Flu-Busting Matcha Smoothie. In a blender, add baby spinach, a banana, pineapple, mint and lime to your taste. Add 2 grams of matcha powder to the mix. If you need a little sweetener, we recommend something natural like honey. Lastly, add ice and coconut water and blend.

What are you doing to minimise the environmental impact of your brand?
We are very conscious of doing our part for the environment. We use Australian-made biodegradable bubble wrap to protect our products during transit. Our postage satchels are 100 per cent compostable. The branded tissue paper is made by a company that is part of the eco-alliance. For every order placed, a tree is planted in an area of need. We are always looking for new ways to lessen our footprint on the environment.

What’s next for Pure Matcha?
To extend our range of high-quality, hard-to-find Japanese teas and teaware. We want to keep sharing our knowledge and experiences and at the same time we want to make our teas more accessible to Australians by reaching out to retailers and cafes who want to make the authentic taste of Japan available to their customers. Hopefully a few trips back to Japan for some long-overdue tea tasting and cultural experiences too!

For more info, visit purematcha.com.au or @purematcha on Instagram