When Santa Barbara native Lauren Danson accidentally got off the train at the wrong stop while traveling in Japan, she found herself in Uji, the center of matcha tea production. She met a tea farmer and tasted fine-quality matcha, recognizing that the flavors and variations in carefully grown and selected matcha were unlike the imported powdered green tea she’d previously known. The experience was life changing, and she formed the Mizuba Matcha Tea Company.
Matcha is whole green tea leaves ground into a fine powder and consumed entirely, most often by dissolving in water. Matcha has been a part of Japanese tea ceremonies for over 800 years, and is now becoming a mainstream go-to beverage for its healthy qualities and versatility.
Lauren works directly with an organic small-production, 100-year-old family farm in Japan, to offer Mizuba Matcha in several grades—a daily variety, an organic grade and a ceremonial-level quality with select green tea. While traditional preparation of the matcha using a chasen and chawan (bamboo whisk and ceramic bowl) is encouraged, matcha can be added to a morning smoothie, churned in ice cream or baked into bread.
Mizuba Matcha is available at local retailers such as Lazy Acres, Kokutu Elixir Bar, Isla Vista Food Co-op and Isabella Gourmet Foods, as well as online at MizubaTea.com. Follow them @mizubateaco on Instagram for recipes and inspiration.