Beauty and wellness news: Meet Thea Matcha

It’s green tea, but not as you know it. For those who haven’t already fallen for its charms, matcha (pronounced mah-cha) is a super-superfood - surpassing its fancy peers such as goji berries and pomegranate on the antioxidant front. Like coffee, matcha contains caffeine, but instead of the jitters, thanks to its superpower amino acid L-Theanine, the caffeine is slowly released into the blood stream to energise, with a calming, relaxing effect. Something we all need as we reach the end of a challenging year!
Named to honour matcha’s super antioxidant L-Theanine, New Zealand’s own Thea can be found in the best cafes throughout the country and has an impressive at-home offering to boot. As demand for Thea’s product has grown, so too has their lineup, which now includes sustainably and beautifully packaged premium, organic matcha powder, stunning glassware and matcha accessories that would be perfect gifts for the wellness geek in your life.

As a New Zealand first, Thea offer matcha refills for a more sustainable option and recently launched their Matcha Collagen powder, which has a yummy organic coconut milk powder base. Each serving includes 10g of Collagen as well as Vitamin C to increase absorption, plus caffeine and antioxidants from the matcha.
“If you’ve tasted matcha before, you may be thinking ’the benefits sound great, but it tasted bitter and grassy,’ says Enna Ye, Co-Founder of Thea. “The truth is, you’ve probably tried a culinary grade matcha, which is intended for cooking, which is why you’ve been put off. Now if you try a premium quality matcha, you’ll be able to taste the difference - smooth and delicate, with a delightful umami or savoury, full-mouth rounded flavour. The way matcha should be.”
After experiencing a matcha ceremony at a tea house in Japan two years ago, I’ve been constantly disappointed by the bitterness of local matchas – until now! And there’s good reason for that… Thea uses premium grade leaves sourced from a family-owned business in the renowned green tea growing region of Uji in Kyoto, Japan. After harvesting, Uji green tea is fired and steamed at a lower temperature instead of being roasted like they are elsewhere. Following the steaming, the entire leaves are stone-ground down into a beautiful (bright) green powder. This all helps to produce a much creamier taste.

Like wine, the land or terroir plays an important role in the taste, as does the different leaves from the top, middle or bottom. Though matcha is made from the same plant as green tea, the harvest and process are different. Unlike green tea, the plant is shaded the last four weeks of its growing cycle, which enhances its nutrients, and when harvested the whole tea leaf is stone ground into a very fine powder, so you’re essentially eating the entire plant and therefore absorbing more of said nutrients.
The first ‘flush’ picked from the top of the Camellia Sinensis plant are the ceremonial grade, and in Japan these are enjoyed for special occasions, such as weddings, births and birthdays, and are very expensive. The second flush towards the middle of the plant is the premium grade. Thea uses majority first flush with a blend of second depending on the harvest - these high-grade tea leaves have low polyphenol content and high amino acid content. The leaves near the bottom of the plant, the third flush, can be known as the culinary grade. The third flush can lack shading due to cost-cutting measures and aren’t as delicate. These are ideal for cooking.
I love that the Thea range contains contemporary gifting ideas as well, from individual tins of organic matcha powder to matcha kits including accessories for those wanting to get started incorporating matcha into elevate their daily routine. Thea also has a commitment to sustainability with the attitude that every small thing they can do for the environment adds up. If you haven’t tried matcha or have been put off by past experiences, then I highly recommend you give the beautifully smooth and creamy Thea a whirl!

The full range is available from select boutiques and right here.


Popular Posts