Launching our Matcha Mill Club has been one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences since I started Kettl back in 2014. Each month the Matcha Mill Club requires a surprising amount of attention and focus - sourcing and selecting the tencha (the leaf prior to milling is referred to as tencha) from the producer and learning the unique story behind it, milling it in our traditional stone mill, hand packing each tin, and then shipping it within 24 hours of being milled. But maybe surprisingly, this has become one of the most energizing pursuits within the company. Precisely because of how when I myself experienced it for the first time, freshly milled, it fundamentally changed my relationship to Matcha.
Previous to Matcha mill club, unless you lived in Japan, it was just physically impossible to be close enough to the source to try freshly milled Matcha.
What makes fresh milled matcha so different?
While its true that all of the Matcha at Kettl is fresh, there is something special about the consuming Matcha just after milling. The process of milling is fairly simple. An ishiusu, or stone mill, consists of two large pieces of circular stone with a very specific pattern carved into both the upper and lower stones. The bottom stone remains stationary while the top stone, driven by a crank arm connected to a motor, spins counter clockwise. Tencha is loaded into a hopper at the top of the mill and is gravity fed into an opening where in the leaf is consumed into the stones and pulverized as the mill turns. The resulting powder is fine - actually super fine. Infrared spectrometer analysis shows the matcha powder being milled to an average of just 5 microns.
Why is Matcha Mill club so exciting?
Whether its a Matcha Latte or pinnacle grade powder, experiencing Japanese tea at its deepest level is what excites us most. Kettl's Matcha Mill Club subscription is the most direct way to connect with the source. Each month, we choose not just a tea - but a story. It's about a place, a season, a cultivar, a technique and ultimately about a person. Learning about the nuance of the tea and all the elements that culminate in your bowl is as exciting an experience as we can think of. And on top of all of that, experiencing the product at absolute peak freshness is something remarkable to take part in. And something we are proud to be able to offer.