Japanese do NOT drink matcha as a tea anymore. As far as I remember, I've (almost) never had an 'authentic' matcha since I was a little child and I believe most of my friends in Japan are the same. But, I do love matcha and my friends do as well.
Why we don't drink matcha tea? First, it's too bitter! Japanese people often drink green tea. But, matcha is completely different from green tea normally consumed in Japan. Secondly, drinking authentic matcha needs a lot of procedures and it's not easy for modern people to do so. For example, wear decent clothes (kimono), at decent place, with decent tea cup and so on. Tea ceremony is a kind of an art. It requires a lot of 'not practical' procedures in it.
So, it's not suitable for those who just want to enjoy a cup of tea at all, unfortunately. Lastly, it's expensive. Authentic matcha is way too expensive (for example, 15g of matcha tea leaves is approximately 15 pounds / 20 US dollars).
Having said that, Matcha is still very popular among Japanese and loved by all generations. Normally, we can see matcha products in many different areas, but possibly most common among all of them is matcha dessert. For example, we love matcha ice cream and you can find everywhere this kind of ice cream in Japan.
We love matcha parfeit (matcha sundae)
Starbucks in Japan have matcha frappuccino and matcha latte (and it's regular menu!)
We have countless number of matcha cakes...
Even matcha pancakes!
Matcha, this word is consist of two characters in Japanese. 'Ma' (抹) means grind and powdered, then 'Cha' (茶) means tea in Japanese. So, matcha means literally a powdered tea. There's no reference to 'green' in this original word as tea means green tea in Japan if you don't say it specifically. So, if you say just tea in Japan, Japanese people would think you're talking about green tea rather than red or black tea (likewise coffee means 'black filter coffee' in Japan. Please be careful when you go to cafe in Japan!).
Matcha is becoming popular outside Japan in recent years. First, its nutrition has been focused on. Matcha has a lot of vitamins and does good for anti-ageing and detox. Matcha is definitely a super food.
Matcha appears to be less common as a tea, but it is still most commmon flavour in Japan and all-time favourite for Japanese as well.
Tokyo Direct is online Japanese shop of finest selection of Japanese foods and more. We're shipping UK, Europe and further. Please find our selection of matcha at Tokyo Direct.