Matcha is a very special Japanese green tea in the form of a powder. This is what is used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. These days you will spot in in smoothies, juices, lattes, cakes-pretty much everything!
Why is it so special?
Unlike most tea produced in Japan it is hand picked. Before it is picked it has been shaded for at least the previous 20 days. Shading the leaves means the leaves will have a higher concentration of chlorophyll (the stuff that makes leaves green) and theanine amino acids (the tea equivalent of caffeine that is provides a longer smoother ‘hit’ than caffeine) which is why it is often called a ‘superfood’. These leaves are then steamed but not rolled, they are stripped of the stem and veins and ground into a very fine powder. This means when we drink matcha we are ingesting the whole leaf not an infusion of the leaf.
So how do I make matcha?
You don’t have to learn the whole tea ceremony! It’s actually quite simple and rather relaxing.
You will need:
- a matcha bowl chawan (or other wide flat vessel)
- a matcha spoon chashaku (or measure half a normal teaspoon)
- a matcha whisk chasen (or small whisk or fork if desperate!)
- water at 80C (or boiled water left for 3 minutes)
- Put 1.5 matcha spoons or half a normal teaspoon of matcha powder into your bowl
- (If you have time you can warm the bowl and whisk beforehand but we know the morning routine doesn’t allows allow such extras! you can also sieve the powder through a fine mesh if you like)
- Add approx 1/4 of a matcha bowl or 60ml of 80C water
- Whisk vigorously in a W pattern to make a froth
Okay, matcha can be an acquired taste. Not everyone loves it straight away! If you find you don’t love it straight try it made into a latte with whichever type of milk you prefer. You can also add a bit of honey to sweeten your latte.
If your matcha tastes bitter or even a bit like sardines then it has been scorched by boiling water. This is why we use 80C water.
Maybe add it to your smoothie or juice in the morning, our Tea Fairy pops it in her porridge if she is really short on time.
See our blog for recipes to try!