APR 2016

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 64 of 100

© GETTY IMAGES YOURWELLNESSSPA HERBAL HEALTH Quality Control "For serious connoisseurs, matcha is consumed almost like wine," says Eric Gower, founder and creative director of Breakaway Matcha. "There's defi nitely a hierarchy to matcha, similar to that of wine country," concurs Babette Donaldson, author of The Everything Healthy Tea Book. The highest- quality, most recognized matchas are grown and ground meticulously in Japan. However, many producers of dubious credibility jumped on the bandwagon once they recognized the growing demand for matcha. To source the best matcha, consider these tips from experts Gower, Donaldson and Steve Schwartz, founder of Art of Tea: chlorophyll and oxidizing," says Donaldson. "And that's why the best matcha is such an intense color." Lastly, the steamed leaves are ground into a fi ne powder and packaged immediately in airtight contain- ers. Growers who produce premium batches of matcha only pluck "new leaf growth" once a year, in January, for their blends. Subsequent harvests of "old growth" leaves can take place up to four times a year and pro- duce varying, lesser grades of matcha. "Simply put, there's no such thing as inexpensive, high-quality matcha," says Gower. That said, you can purchase the powder cheaply by the pound, but keep in mind it will mostly likely be "culinary grade"—ground from a faster-growing varietal that's more bitter and in- tended for mixing with ingredients other than just water. Which leads to the fi nal question: hot or cold brew? With a cold brew, you can get away with a slightly lower-quality powder. "Molecules move faster in your mouth when they're hot, and our tongue picks up spices, astringency and bitterness more easily," notes Steve Schwartz, master tea blender and founder of Art of Tea ( "When molecules are cold, you're less sensitive to bitterness, and pick up sweet- ness instead." "A bowl of hot matcha is ideal on a cold day," says Gower. "But if your clients are working out, rehydrating post-massage or relaxing in the steam room, a frothy glass of cold brew matcha could be just the ticket." Rachel Kossman is DAYSPA's associate editor. id matcha that c mes fr m Chin a. T he c u ntry's p lluti n, plu s heavy meta ls in the s il a n d air, ma ke their wa y int the tea leaves." —G wer "The powder should be an absolutely brilliant green. It should look almost fake." —Donaldson "High-quality matcha will smell almost chocolatey. If the aroma is pond- or hay-like, leave it on the shelf." — Gower "Because of tea's sensitivity to oxidization, make sure any packaging is airtight." —Schwartz "The best matcha will be ground by hand, using artisan-carved granite wheels. If you throw the leaves into modern electrical grinders, you won't get the same quality." —Gower "Teas attract and hold water, so don't leave matcha powder sitting out in your humid spa environment. Make a batch and serve it in a pitcher, or fi nd a company that packages single servings for your guests." —Donaldson 62 DAYSPA | APRIL 2016

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Dayspa - APR 2016