Part of the Everything Hapa Asian Food Series, an in-depth dialogue into Fusion Cuisine, the Week of Tea Series explores the origins and fusion trends of Teas found around the world. As the convergence of Eastern and Western cultures becomes ever more prevalent, incarnations of traditional cuisines will be considered a commonplace.
Matcha Green Tea – Made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, matcha green tea is a finely-milled variation of green tea. Origins date back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) where a new powdered form of tea emerged – tea leaves were steamed and formed into tea bricks for storage, trade and to preserve color and freshness. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the modern preparation and consumption of powdered tea was established – the whisking together of powdered tea leaves and hot water in a drinking bowl. By 1191, the methods of preparing powdered tea had traveled to Japan and became a highly important part of life for Japanese royalty and upper class. Even though powdered tea was slowly forgotten in China, Japan considered matcha the most treasured kind of green tea, basing on the four principles of the Japanese Tea Ceremony: harmony, purity, tranquility and respect.
Green tea was eventually brought to Europe and the United States during the early 1600s as part of the worldwide tea trade. The increase in green tea’s popularity in the western world is largely due in part to the special health characteristics that have become more widely known through extensive scientific study. As a result of this research, green tea has no longer been restricted to drinking – its extractives have been widely used in cooking and baking in addition to numerous health food products ranging from cereal, smoothies and energy bars.Link, Link