Updated: Mar 20
Yes, the title is correct! There is a matcha tea made in Turkey which is produced by a boutique organic farmer/tea master Mr Yogurtcu in his tea plantation MayLivadi. I was also surprised to discover it but hey it is there, and I dare say it is pretty good.
Mr Yogurtcu studied organic agriculture and gained hands-on industry experience for 7 years. Then he embarked on growing and crafting his own tea. He has done a lot of R&D and even created his own roasting pan which is patented. He can make white, green, black and even yellow tea which I am yet to try.
For this matcha, he used tea leaves that were shade-grown and unplucked for 30 days in June to ensure that the highest chlorophyll content possible. After the processing, he has hand-selected the leaves from stems and veins to ensure that the matcha content is 100% leaf. Mr Yogurtcu can make about 1 kg matcha powder out of 7 kg tea. We all know that matcha-making requires mastery which was achieved by Mr Yogurtcu competently.
As for the taste, I have to say I’m not an expert. I have not had matcha for ages by the time I tried the Turkish matcha. I do like it, it is not as grassy as some of the other matchas I had in the past, but it does have an astringent finish. Given the tannins it contains, I guess astringency is unavoidable.
Matcha is at the heart of Japanese tea culture since the 12th century. Japanese people elevated and perfected matcha tea for centuries which I appreciate. Chinese however, almost completely dropped making powdered tea and moved onto innovating techniques to make teas that are less bitter and more flavoursome. They excelled in this. I see that thanks to matcha, you can consume the whole leaf of a tea plant through which you obtain the benefits of a green tea multiple times. So, if you’re a tea drinker and your motivation solely stems from its benefits, there is no doubt that you should drink matcha. Let me know if you want to try this beautifully crafted, organic version from Turkey.
Enjoy your cuppa!
Harvest time: Summer2019
Leave colour: Green crashed leaves
Liquor colour: Vibrant green
Tea aroma: Grassy
Tea taste: Slightly vegetal with an astringent finish
Steeping/brewing: You can brew 1 and ½ spoon of matcha powder in one table spoon water (use around 85°C water temperature) and whisk it vigorously. Once the powder is dissolved, add more water and keep whisking until you are satisfied with the look of the matcha. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to one year, the fresher the better.