FAQ

Further Questions

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about matcha and AIYA – THE TEA. If you cannot find the information you are looking for at this stage, please contact us. We look forward to assisting you further.

Taste

Why is it only after the third cup that you know whether a matcha is really good or not?

The taste of matcha can remind you of many things. On the one hand this is down to the personal, subjective perception of taste we all have as individuals, and on the other to the magnificently rich, dark-green colour. After all, the look of a food or drink is famously part of the taste. So for some people, matcha is reminiscent of green meadows, whilst others are reminded of healthy green foods like spinach or nori/algae. What links all the associations, however, is the pleasing perception of freshness, purity and naturalness.

Sampling and experiencing matcha tea means letting yourself enter a new world of taste; a taste we haven’t experienced before. That’s why our brain subconsciously searches for associations, because these enable it to categorise the product more clearly and quickly. Over the course of time and with every additional matcha bowl our perception of taste changes: this means, for example, that it’s only from the third cup that we can assess, categorise and recall the taste. So when it comes to matcha tea, let yourself enjoy three cups. You will then see for yourself how the pleasant, mild yet intense and aromatic taste so typical of matcha develops, and you too will be captivated by the magic of matcha tea.

Unfortunately I am very keen on green tea. Will I like matcha anyway?

Matcha comes in various qualities. The more high-quality the matcha, the sweeter and milder it tastes. The taste of matcha is different to that of green tea; perhaps it even tastes better to you. The best thing to do is just try it for yourself.

As an alternative to matcha, there is also matcha latte. This mixed drink can be made using milk, soya milk, etc. The taste is basically sweeter, but the drink also contains less matcha. There is also matcha for cooking (for example Premium Matcha for Cooking Fuku), which is particularly suitable for cooking and baking.

Preparation

Why does no froth form when I prepare matcha?

The formation of froth with matcha depends on many different factors. The greater the quality of the matcha, the better the froth formation associated with it. However, water temperature, method of storage and preparation, and the quantity of matcha also play a role in the formation of froth.

So that you can enjoy your matcha in classic form, we recommend boiling fresh water that is as soft as possible. Sieve 1g of cooled matcha (2 bamboo scoops or ½ teaspoon) through a fine sieve into your matcha bowl and pour in approx. 80 ml water at a temperature of 80°C. Now beat the matcha so that it froths using a bamboo whisk, whisking quickly but loosely from the wrist in an M or W shape back and forth. This way air is forced into the mix and bubbles start to form. Greater and greater cohesion develops between the bubbles and after approx. 15 seconds a lovely full froth emerges.

Tip: First froth up the tea with just a little water (this makes it froth better), then add more water. You can also find instructions on how to prepare matcha here: Matcha preparation

Is it essential to use a bamboo scoop?

No, you can also use a normal teaspoon. Half a teaspoon corresponds to around two bamboo scoops.

Aren't teaspoons made of metal? Doesn’t this oxidise the matcha?

These days, teaspoons are no longer made of oxidising metal. This means it is not a problem to measure out the matcha using a teaspoon. Incidentally, half a teaspoon corresponds to around two bamboo scoops.

Why do I need to sieve the matcha when preparing it?

If you keep the matcha in your fridge (as we recommend), small clumps can form, which are not optimally dissolved by the bamboo whisk. Sieving gets rid of these little clumps and enables you to enjoy a first-class matcha. You can find instructions on how to prepare matcha here.

Ingredients and Effects

Are the ingredients the same for the different kinds of tea?

The ingredients are similar, though because the tea is grown for longer in the shade, giving it a higher quality, it contains a greater concentration of amino acids. Combined with the tea’s caffeine content, the amino acid L-Theanine produces the expected matcha effect: it awakens the mind and relaxes the body. With teas that are shaded longer (i.e. higher quality teas), this effect is likely to be stronger.

How much matcha would you have to drink to feel more awake and focussed?

If you’re looking for something new to replace your coffee or energy drink, matcha tea is definitely the right choice. Matcha is a genuine superfood that not only contains a host of vitamins and nutrients, but also a high level of caffeine too. Just one cup of matcha (1 gram of matcha prepared with 80ml water) should be enough to leave you feeling more awake.Matcha also has a particularly high ORAC value, which measures the antioxidant capacities in drinks and foods. Matcha has an ORAC value of 1,573, closely followed by goji berries, which have an ORAC value of 253. One of the amino acids contained in the tea, L-Theanine, works in combination with the caffeine to produce a gentle and calming effect alongside the caffeine kick.

How much matcha should you drink in a day?

To start, we recommend you drink one to two cups of matcha per day (one gram of matcha per cup). This will give you an easy basis to determine how much matcha tea is right for you. Generally speaking, everyone has their own unique “tolerance” to matcha. However, you can’t go wrong with one or two cups per day.

Is there a kind of matcha tea that has the same intensity of flavour but doesn’t have such a strong effect?

Our Izumi matcha tea, for example, contains 32mg/g of caffeine (compared with 41mg/g in Ten matcha). Izumi tea still has the same intense flavour and is ideal, for example, in shakes.

I am pregnant. Can I drink matcha?

If your doctor has said you can drink one cup of coffee per day, then you should also have no problems drinking the same amount of matcha. To be on the safe side, we recommend checking with your doctor first. Your doctor will be able to tell you if there are any medical reasons why you should or shouldn’t drink matcha or green tea.

I have had a baby and am still breastfeeding. Can I drink matcha?

If your doctor has said you can drink one cup of coffee per day, then you should also have no problems drinking the same amount of matcha. To be on the safe side, we recommend checking with your doctor first. Your doctor will be able to tell you if there are any medical reasons why you should or shouldn’t drink matcha or green tea.

Can children drink matcha?

Children in Japan eat and drink matcha tea almost daily. Products that contain matcha are as common in Japan as products that contain chocolate or vanilla flavouring are here.

Therefore, children shouldn’t experience any problems consuming matcha in baked goods or other foods. The same applies to matcha given as a drink in appropriate quantities (for example, one bamboo scoop instead of two).

Which matcha is the healthiest?

That depends on your personal perspective of what’s healthy. If you go by the ORAC value (ORAC determines the antioxidant capacity of a product), then Tsuki matcha is the tea for you. It is grown in the shade for a shorter amount of time, which means it contains more antioxidants. If you’re more interested in the wake-up properties of matcha, we recommend our premium Ten matcha. This tea contains the highest concentration of L-Theanine, which is the amino acid that gives the matcha its wake-up effect.

What are the differences between the products in tins and packets?

Generally speaking, products in tins contain quality tea for drinking and are best enjoyed on their own. The higher the quality, the finer, sweeter and milder the flavour. The packets contains cooking-quality products, which are ideal for use in shakes and smoothies, as well as in cooking and baking. The flavour is stronger and more bitter, which makes it perfect for refining dishes when used in combination with other ingredients.

There are so many different varieties of matcha. What differentiates them from one another?

As with all kinds of tea, matcha is available in different qualities.

Generally speaking, there are three different qualities: cooking, drinking and ceremonial, each with three different main criteria: fragrance, appearance and ingredients. The longer the amount of time spent growing in the shade, the more chlorophyll is produced in the leaf, which means that the tea contains more amino acids and has a higher quality. Matcha, which is grown in the shade for longer (approx. four weeks), has a particularly sweet and delicate flavour. Because it is grown in the shade for longer and has such a high quality, matcha has a luminous jade green colour. Ceremonial and drinking products generally have a more delicate and softer taste than the cooking products. These have an intense green tea flavour that comes through in the baking and cooking.

Why do the different products produce different shades of green?

The chlorophyll in the leaf produces the green matcha colour. The tea plant produces more chlorophyll when out of the sun. The longer the plant is grown in the shade, the darker the colour produced by the matcha. Aiya Matcha Ten, for example, which is grown in the shade for four weeks, is darker than Matcha Izumi. The higher the quality, the richer and more intense the shade of green.

Storage

Does matcha need to be kept in the refrigerator?

We recommend storing your matcha in the refigerator to ensure that it retains its classic, mild yet intense and aromatic flavour. Matcha tea is a very high quality, natural product, whose powdery texture is more sensitive than that of other products. Matcha tea has a larger surface than leaf tea, which means it oxidises faster. Matcha tea is therefore best stored in an airtight aluminium tin that can be sealed again after opening to ensure that no other aromas are able to blend with the fine matcha flavour. Once opened, the tea can easily be kept fresh for 1-2 months. Storing it in the refrigerator helps it to retain its classic character and its full fragrance.

Why do lumps form in the matcha? / Is it normal for matcha to have/form lumps?

Matcha is an ultra-fine powder that clumps together in a humid atmosphere and is prone to forming lumps. If the product is shaken during transport, it can also become electrostatically charged. Don’t worry, this will not lessen the quality of the product or in any way affect its flavour. In spite of any lumps, matcha tea will retain its high quality and its classic, full-bodied fragrance. However, we have a tip to make it easier to prepare when the powder is no longer so loose: Put the matcha tea into a sieve first, before it goes in your bowl. Use a spoon or bamboo scoop to push the matcha through the sieve and into the bowl. This will result in an ultra-fine matcha product, which will then froth even better in the bowl.

How long does matcha keep for?

Our matcha has an expiration date of two years. However, we recommend you use it within one year in order to enjoy it at its best.

Product Safety

Is Aiya matcha still safe after the Fukushima disaster in 2011?

Aiya is Japan’s leading producer of matcha. Our products are of the highest quality and are tested thoroughly. We have continued to apply extensive quality control procedures, even after events in Fukushima. This is standard for us, despite all imported products having been proven safe since the disaster. Since Fukushima, it has become standard procedure to test the tea for radioactive residue. All of our measured product data have been deemed safe, in accordance with our high standards of quality and safety.

Tips for your safety – what you can do

To confirm the absolute safety of your tea, you can request a radioactivity analysis report from AIYA. In addition, you can request the results of pesticide assessment at any time. You are entitled to be given access to these supporting documents upon request. You can rest assured that your organic matcha is a high quality, safe product.

By the way: AIYA only purchases goods from the southernmost provinces in Japan. The tea plantations there are more than 1,000 kilometres away from Fukushima, which means we can offer you the highest standard of safety. What’s more, meteorological conditions ensure that no radiation is able to reach our fields.

Accessories

Why do bamboo whisks sometimes break or change shape?

Bamboo whisks are high quality natural products made from wood, and are therefore subject to change due to contact with moisture, how they are used and how long they are used for. Damp wood is more pliable and can easily break when dry. Generally speaking, however, the whisks are relatively durable. Before using the bamboo whisk, soak it briefly in warm water to make the tines more pliable. When preparing your favourite matcha drink, we recommend whisking just under the surface of the drink and not touching the bottom of the bowl. This will ensure that the whisk doesn’t break as easily. Rinse the whisk briefly in warm water after each use. To dry the whisk after use, we recommend placing it on the specially designed matcha whisk holder. This ensures that the whisk retains its natural shape and you get more use out of it.

Why do the bowls sometimes look different than they do in the photo?

Every bowl is different as they are manufactured by hand rather than using industrial machines. Every bowl has its own unique colour and shape. Their asymmetry reflects the beauty in their imperfections as well as the beauty in nature. These ancient Japanese ideals are embedded deep in the philosophies of zen Buddhism.

How many grams fit in one bamboo spoon?

One bamboo spoon holds roughly one gram (lightly heaped). Two bamboo spoonfuls of matcha amount to roughly half a teaspoon.

Miscellaneous

Is matcha always ground using stone mills?

Aiya matcha is always and exclusively ground using stone mills. This is the only way to produce authentic matcha. However, there are quite a few fake matcha products on the market now, which are not ground using stone mills. These usually contain nothing more than ground green tea. Authentic matcha, like Aiya matcha, is always made from tencha. This is the only way to produce genuine matcha. You can find out more under Origin and Production.

Are the matcha tins made of aluminium?

Our matcha is not sold in aluminium tins, but rather in tins made from tinplate. Matcha is classified as a foodstuff and, as such, must comply with strict packaging regulations. Our tins meet these requirements optimally. With matcha, for example, it is essential that the packaging is airtight to ensure that the product keeps well.Glass, for example, would not be a sensible alternative: Firstly because matcha must be stored out of the light and, secondly, because the added weight of the glass would increase the product’s environmental impact during transport.By the way: Our empty tins are particularly well suited to storing spices. So give nature a helping hand and give the tins a second chance at life.