New Dates Coming Soon / Metropolitan Pavilion
05 October 2023
Discovering the Secret to Quality Matcha: A Q&A with Matcha Direct
Matcha has taken the world by storm, and there's a good reason for it. This vibrant green tea powder, known for its earthy flavor and numerous health benefits, has become a staple in the world of beverages and culinary delights. In a Q&A with Matcha Direct, we sat down to learn about their brand, the uniqueness of their matcha, and why freshness matters above all.

Q: Matcha Direct are well established in Japan and have recently expanded to the United States, but for those who don’t know, could you tell us a bit more about the brand and its expertise in the field?

Matcha Direct has a rich history dating back over 160 years in Kyoto, Japan, and we are proud to be one of Japan's leading matcha brands. Recently, we expanded our operations to the United States under the name "Matcha Direct." Our mission is simple: to deliver freshly ground matcha directly from our Kyoto factory to your doorstep. We've always aimed to export our matcha, but quality concerns held us back until now.

Now that we have the necessary infrastructure in place to guarantee our quality standards remain consistent, including an e-commerce system and air freight, we can ensure that you receive the freshest matcha no matter where you are.

Q: Matcha is something we're starting to hear a lot more about, but not everyone knows what it is or how to use it. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

Matcha is essentially green tea made from finely-ground tea leaves. It's not a brew or a liquid extract but the tea leaves themselves, ground into a powder and mixed with water or milk. This unique preparation allows you to directly absorb all the nutrients from the tea leaves.

There are three essential elements to quality matcha:

First, it must be made from tea leaves cultivated under shading, which enhances the green color and "umami" taste. To break it down, shading is introduced in order to prevent the tea leaves from undergoing photosynthesis, forcing them to produce more chlorophyll. This gives the leaves their unique vibrant green color and makes them rich in theanine, the source of the ‘unami’ taste.

Second, it must be processed using a "tencha furnace" to create a unique flavor. The tencha furnace is a facility for drying tea leaves to create tencha, the intermediate raw material for matcha, and is exclusive to the matcha manufacturing process. In the tencha furnace, the temperature is raised to about 200℃ (around 400℉), creating a unique flavor due to the far-infrared radiation.
Lastly, it has to be finely ground, traditionally using a stone mill, though machine grinding is becoming more common due to its efficiency.

In Japan, matcha is enjoyed in its purest form during traditional tea ceremonies, but it's versatile and can be used in various culinary creations like matcha lattes, matcha lemonades, and more, as demonstrated by our customer, Patent Coffee in NYC.

Q: What makes your matcha stand out from all others?  

Our matcha stands out because it's always fresh. We grind the matcha after receiving the order from the customer. This means that the production date of our matcha will always be after the date the customer places their order. When it arrives at your location, it will be ultra-fresh, having been ground only 2-3 days prior. While matcha from Japan is becoming more common in the United States, our matcha is unique because it is freshly ground just for you. The clean and refreshing taste, unique to fresh matcha, is perfect for matcha lattes and other creative drinks. You can even enjoy it on its own. Come by our booth for a tasting to experience it for yourself.
Q: Why The New York Coffee Festival?

The New York Coffee Festival is one of the biggest coffee and tea events in the U.S., attracting numerous brands and cafe owners. While many coffee shops in New York offer high-quality matcha, we believe freshness is a key element often overlooked. Just as coffee enthusiasts prioritize freshness, matcha should be no different. It deteriorates rapidly due to its fine grind, and we want to help coffee shops and consumers alike experience the best in matcha quality. So, if you're at the festival, visit our booth, B08 to experience the freshest matcha you’ve ever tried.

Follow Matcha Direct’s journey and expansion into the United States: https://matchadirect.kyoto
2023 Sponsors
Slayer Espresso
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East One Coffee
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Variety Coffee Roasters
Barista Attitude
Nonni’s Bakery
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World Coffee Portal
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