My Japanese friend Kimio gave me today original matcha from his hometown, Fukuoka:
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Do you know matcha? It's a traditionally made green tea powder made from the only few top young leaves of the green tea plants, hand-picked after a specific seasoning (mainly covering the leaves to protect them from the sun), then hand-removed veins and imperfections, to be ground in a stone mill. It's one of the things that is to this day made traditionally by people, and is by now not mechanized! :-)
To drink matcha, you need a special drinking bowl, a bamboo scoop and traditionally carved bamboo whisk (which I have ordered today :P). The whisk is something of a pinnacle of Japanese engineering — it's hand-carved from a single piece of bamboo, making it both beautiful and functional! Stay tuned for the matcha set showcase soon.