Preparation and consumption of powdered tea was formed into a ritual by Zen Buddhists around 900AD. They cultivated it under shade conditions thus maximizing the therapeutic benefits of the Matcha.
The Zen Buddhists were very aware of the meditational benefits of the Matcha green tea, which brought to them a greater sense of clarity and well-being. They found that in drinking this tea before their afternoon meditations that it enabled them to be much more "centered", "focused", and maintain a level of sustained energy throughout the afternoon which they had never experienced before. This special green tea eventually became known as "Matcha, the Ceremonial tea of the temple high priests".
The Chinese methods of preparing powdered tea were brought to Japan in 1191 by the monk Eisai. In China and Japan it became highly appreciated by others in the upper echelons of society during the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries.