Matcha Class | Lesson 1: What is Matcha? In a nut shell, matcha is the fine, delicate green powder that is produced by stone-grinding processed green tea leaves, it is also the beverage that is produced from this fine powder. Matcha is nothing new, people have been milling tea leaves into fine powder from as early as the 10th century. There are many quality grades of matcha but the best matcha typically comes from Japan. About 20 days prior to harvest, the tea bushes are covered with some kind of shading (usually silk) in order to encourage the plants to produce more chlorophyll (contributing to matcha’s distinct color) as well as increasing the plant’s levels of L-theanine, the amino acid found in tea that is responsible for tea’s pacifying effect. Have you ever noticed how tea has the tendency to both stimulate and relax simultaneously? This is due to the caffeine and L-theanine working in unison. After hand picking only the best buds, the leaves are then laid out to dry, after which they become known as tencha. Tencha is what is used to produce matcha. The leaves are then put through a stone-grind which grinds them into the green powder we know as Matcha.