Most of us are familiar with KickStarter and have participated in a few campaigns over the years. I’m always keeping an eye out for tea related projects that I might want to support. I came upon a campaign started by two interesting Frenchmen who’ve been living in Japan for a few years. Needless to say, they got turned on to tea and more specifically matcha. Many may not be aware that the truly best Matcha produced in Japan has not been available for export. What we’ve gotten in the U. S. to date has not been the top of line Matcha. Looks like that’s about to change.
From what I understand, Matcha sales have been declining in Japan as the younger generation hasn’t embraced this ancient practice. But wait, you may be thinking. Isn’t Matcha appearing in everything these days, from ice cream to lattes and self-care products? Yes, that’s true but the Matcha you’ve been drinking and applying isn’t high-grade Matcha that I’m talking about. It’s a commercial grade that still contains the remarkable bright color but not the amazing flavor associated with high grades of Matcha.
It took 2 entrepreneurs from France to attempt to impact this almost dying tradition. Here’s what got me really interested:
“..the aging tea-making community faces successor problems, endangering its very existence. The average age of active farmers in Japan is now more than 66 years old. 515,000 farmers are 75 years or older and only 83,000 are 39 years old or younger!
If nothing changes, in 10 to 20 years a whole pan of Japanese culture, knowledge, and agricultural know-how could simply disappear!
(there will still be people making Matcha somehow, but not at a high level of refinement anymore)”
Can we allow this ancient tradition to disappear? We fight for animals that may become extinct. It’s time to invest in a culture of tea that may soon disappear unless we can create a culture around the world that sees the value in this form of green tea, or as the Frenchmen say, “Craft Matcha”.
There are tremendous health reasons to embrace Matcha tea. Because one is essentially consuming the entire leaf, rather than just steeping the leaves, you are left with a maximum amount of polyphenols and catachins which are the highlights of green tea when we’re looking at the health benefits. This form of green tea is the mother lode.
So if this ancient ritual and healthy beverage appeals to you and you want to help in the effort to save it from extinction, check out the KickStarter page.
An added bonus is the great “How to make Matcha” video that’s on the site.