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MATCHA (抹茶) is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea. It's special in two aspects of farming and processing The green tea plants for MATCHA are shade grown for about 3 weeks before harvest, and the stems and veins are removed in processing. The traditional Japanese tea ceremony centers on the preparation, serving, and drinking of MATCHA . In modern times, MATCHA has also come to be used to flavour and dye foods such as mochi and soba noodles, green tea ice cream and a variety of wagashi (Japanese sweets). The former is often referred to as ceremonial-grade MATCHA , meaning that the MATCHA powder is good enough for tea ceremony. The latter is referred to as culinary-grade MATCHA . However, there is no standard industry definition or requirements for either. Different MATCHA manufacturers might provide their own definitions.