The Matcha Journey
I first discovered Matcha in 2019 after deciding to drastically cut back on my coffee consumption. Since a detox phase, I have been aware of how much energy coffee draws from me instead of supplying me with it.
A product as a healthier replacement was needed. I already tried Matcha a few times, but I have to admit, I didn't like the taste of Matcha at all.
A few years later (two to be exact), I had tried several Matchas and had come to this conclusion: Not every Matcha is the same!
Matcha, from the first harvest of the year, has a particularly mild taste.
I also didn't want to compromise on quality. Organic quality, regular soil checks and a general examination of the nutrient level and heavy metal pollution are important factors for me.
So back then, the two of us started our journey to find the best Matcha in the world.
We tried many different types of Matcha, looking for a Matcha powder that was naturally mild in flavor and smooth enough to drink without adding milk or syrup. We found what we were looking for in the Uji region of Japan, on a farm that has been a family business for generations.
Health Bar was born...
and we found the newly discovered lifestyle so convincing that we absolutely wanted to share it! A cup of Matcha, packed with nutrients and antioxidants, might just be the easiest form of self-love! And it only takes a few minutes to incorporate this tea ceremony into your routine!
Matcha is the first stop on this journey, but our vision is much larger.
About Health Bar Matcha
Our farm in Japan
Our tea farm is a traditional company that has been a family business for several generations and has been producing Organic Matcha for several decades.
The growing area for Matcha tea is one of the best and at the same time oldest tea growing areas in Japan: the Uji region, west of Osaka. The region is known for its clean water and nutrient-rich soil, free from any pesticides. The right climate can be found on site: the fog from the Uji and Kizu rivers keeps the tea plants moist and reduces the risk of frost damage.
The tea farmers traditionally protect the plants from the sun with reeds with bamboo sticks. This increases the amount of chlorophyll in the leaves and softens the taste. The cultivation takes place without pesticides.
Our quality standards
Annual soil samples and laboratory tests focusing on the heavy metal and radiation exposure are executed in order to be able to deliver the best possible quality. In addition, each batch is carefully checked for its mineral properties.
Our quality is confirmed by strict standards of the Organic Certificate from the Japanese Certification Body JONA and the German Organic Certification.
Production & Cultivation
Oishitaen: Tea cultivation in the shade
Around April, shortly after new shoots appear on the bushes, the fields are getting covered up almost completely to protect the plants from the sunlight.
In Uji, reeds have been spread on bamboo sticks for centuries. Today only a few farmers use this traditional method anymore. The shade allows the tea to pool and multiply nutrients. Shrubs that are not exposed to sunlight produce more chlorophyll.
Also important is l-theanine, the amino acid responsible for the umami flavor in tea. Due to cultivating in the shade, the gentle taste is preserved.
Chatsumi: Tea Harvest
The first harvest of green Matcha Tea starts at the end of April and ends at the end of May. After the leaves are picked, new ones appear in their place and are harvested in late June and early July. The third harvest of the year takes place in August. With each harvest, the tea is less strong, the color is less bright and the flavour decreases. Even the leaves within a single harvest vary in quality - only the tip of the stem with the two smallest leaves are picked for the premium quality tea.
Mushi: Evaporation and drying
After harvesting, the tea leaves are immediately steamed to prevent oxidation and fermentation. This process ensures that the tea retains its bright green colour, fresh aroma and valuable nutrients. After the steam bath, the tea is dried with gentle blasts of air. The leaves shrink to about a sixth of their previous volume.
Senbetsu: Separation of stems and leaves
The dried tea leaves are sorted by size, weight and colour. Then their stems and veins are removed. The clean leaves are cut into smaller pieces and finally dried for a while. In the end the tea undergoes a final inspection and all unnecessary parts are removed. The end result are small, dark green and perfectly cleaned leaves. This tea is called Tencha and is the raw material from which Matcha is made.
Funsai: Grinding the leaves into powder
To make Matcha, the leaves of the Tencha are taken and grinded in rotary mills. Two specially shaped granite stones rotate and slowly grind the tea into a powder. This process takes time and precision. Thanks to its powdery texture, it dissolves perfectly in water, but is not as soluble as for example cocoa powder.
Kensa: Final Check
The last step is a detailed examination of the produced tea. The nutrient levels are measured and possible contamination is tested. The Health Bar Matcha is also certified by the independent Japanese Organization JONA, which issues a special JAS certificate. This certification confirms that our tea has its origin in an organic, pesticide-free cultivation and has not been exposed to external pollutants (such as air pollutants) during cultivation and production. The Japanese JAS certificate is awarded in Europe by an independent body, Agro Bio Test, which not only additionally controls the tests carried out in Japan, but also the way in which our tea is stored.