Matcha green tea is gaining a lot of popularity in the world of teas today, but many people are puzzled as to how to prepare and use this unique product.
In this article, we will provide a little background regarding this powdered form of green tea.
We will also give clear, no-nonsense instructions on preparing matcha for drinking, as well as some ideas for using it as an ingredient in cooking.
How To Prepare Matcha
Traditional Japanese tea ceremonies are elegant and complex, but making a cup of Matcha tea for your own enjoyment is simplicity, itself.
You Will Need
- a tea cup or mug
- a small sifter
- a bamboo whisk
- hot water (Check out our best tea kettle guide)
- Matcha tea powder.
- Begin by sifting one or two teaspoons of Matcha tea powder into your cup or mug.
- Pour in the desired amount of hot water (2-6 ounces). The amounts used are not set in stone.
- NOTE: Experiment with these measurements until you come up with the combination that suits you best.
- The water should be almost at the boiling point. If you accidentally allow the water to boil, remove it from the heat and wait a few minutes for it to cool slightly before pouring.
- Use your bamboo whisk to mix the powder and the hot water. You should whisk from side-to-side in a zigzagging motion until the mixture becomes frothy.
- Enjoy your tea!
TIP: If you have difficulty getting the powder to dissolve, add the water in increments. Begin by adding just a few drops and whisking to form a paste. Follow up by adding the rest of the water gradually.
Use Matcha In Cooking!
Once you have become accustomed to the Matcha flavor, you will surely want to add it to some of your favorite recipes.
This is very easy to do. Use your bamboo whisk to add the desired amount of powder to dry ingredients.
Alternately, you can add a bit of Matcha powder to smoothies, shakes, yogurt, ice cream and the like. Use your blender to mix it in smoothly.
There are no hard and fast rules regarding the amount you should use. Follow your taste buds and use your own best judgment. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Matcha VS Green Tea
As we have mentioned, the growing process for Matcha leaves results in more of the amino acid, L-Theanine which is very beneficial, indeed.
To compound this benefit, when you drink Matcha tea, you consume the entire powdered leaf. This means you gain much more benefit than you would be consuming an infusion of tea leaves.
For this reason, Matcha has the potential to deliver far more benefits than green leaf tea.
Does Matcha Contain More Caffeine Than Leaf Tea?
Yes! Be aware that leaf tea usually contains between twenty and forty milligrams of caffeine per six-ounce cup.
Matcha, on the other hand, contains a whopping seventy milligrams of caffeine per six-ounce cup.
For this reason, it may be a great eye-opener in the morning or pick-me-up in the afternoon, but don’t use this tea for relaxing at bedtime!
What Is Matcha Japanese Tea?
You have surely heard of the precise and elegant Japanese tea ceremonies. You may not realize that these ceremonies are performed using finely milled Matcha green tea powder.
This convenient and potent form of tea has been a staple of Japanese tea enjoyment for centuries.
Now, tea drinkers in the west can enjoy the convenience, unparalleled flavor and stellar health benefits of this stone ground, powdered tea.
Why Is Matcha More Convenient Than Leaf Tea?
Although the preparation of the powder is quite time consuming and labor intensive, the finished product is easy to use and presents no waste.
It is essentially an “instant” tea that is merely whisked into very hot water to be consumed. There are no tea bags or loose leaves, so there is no steeping time and no waste.
Where Does Matcha Come From?
There are many places where the leaves for Matcha tea are grown, but this type of tea originally hails from China. Its earliest reported use was during the tenth century.
Today, the best quality Matcha tea originates in Japan. It is grown in the southern portion of the country in the areas of:
The special growing process is what differentiates Matcha tea from other types of green tea.
The leaves of the bush are protected from the rays of the sun for the last twenty days prior to being harvested. This causes the plants to produce more chlorophyll, resulting in darker leaves and more of the amino acid, L-Theanine.
This amino acid is known to be very effective in calming the nerves and heightening focus and awareness.
In addition to special treatment of the plants, the harvest is also quite specific. Only the very best of buds are picked. Then they are sorted to determine the method of processing.
Some are rolled out to dry, and these are used to produce Gyokuro, which is a premium green tea.
Some are simply laid out for drying as-is. These are the leaves that are used to make Matcha. Once dry, these the stems and veins are removed from these leaves and then they are stone ground to create Matcha powder.
It’s easy to see that there are many good reasons for Matcha’s current popularity. As with all popular products, imitations are sure to abound.
When you buy Matcha, be cautious of bargains. Look for genuine products hailing from the regions of Japan we have identified.
Also, be aware that Matcha is perishable. It is not wise to purchase large quantities at once, and you should store your precious tea in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place to retain freshness.