Anyone who has made their own Matcha knows the ritual of its preparation is partially about ceremony, but largely about achieving the optimal consistency. Whisking the bright green powder in to a bowl of water helps break up the clumps often found in even the highest grades of tea. One would never just mix it with a spoon as the result would be a gnarly mess. Until now. Panatea, the New York-based Matcha purveyor, has devised an Instant Matcha that dissolves easily in water, but maintains all the delicious and healthy benefits of the tea. For those who travel and are hooked on Matcha, this is groundbreaking.
A brief digression. Despite being common in Japan for over 800 years, Matcha—powdered green tea—has only recently gained popularity in the Western world. Matcha powder is created by drying and slowly grinding shade-grown leaves. The powder is traditionally whisked in to water to create a rich, dense tea with a strong but bright flavor. The tea is widely known to provide “calm energy” given its high levels of caffeine and theanine; the latter is an amino acid known to reduce stress and increase cognition. Admittedly, I’m Matcha-obsessed and have been drinking it daily for a while now.
David and Jess Mandelbaum launched Panatea in 2014 to bring the tradition of Matcha in to the modern moment. Their ceremonial-grade tea is on par with Ippodo (my Kyoto-based gold standard) but their branding and celebration of the tea is totally fresh. Though their instant tea is a departure from traditional preparation, it’s further to their mission to make the benefits of Matcha more aligned with today’s drinker.
The instant tea powder really does dissolve evenly with a mere turn of the spoon. The innovation comes from binding the tea powder to corn fiber. The resulting tea is a bit lighter in flavor than their flagship ceremonial grade, but still delicious and with all the same health benefits. For travel it’s a game changer.
Launching today, Panatea’s Instant Matcha is available in a 10 single-serving packet canister for $20 or a 30-packet bag for $40.
Images courtesy of Panatea