The secret behind the unique taste and bright green colour!
The secret behind the unique taste and the bright green colour of matcha is shade. A couple of weeks before the first harvest, the tea plants are covered with dark nets to place them in shadow. Shadowing the plants is the most important step in matcha production and the net only allows 10% of sunlight pass through, while still letting through the rain.
By shading the plants, they become stressed and start producing more leaves and chlorophyll. The result is bigger, thinner and greener leaves than normal, with the tannins not developing as much. This softens the natural bitter character of the tea leaves, while increasing the theanine which gives them a sweeter taste.