How To The Traditional Way
There are two methods for traditionally preparing Matcha Green Tea Koicha and Usucha . Koicha is sweeter and mellower, requiring very little water to mix and results in a thicker drink than Usucha. Koicha is the method for preparing Matcha for Japanese tea ceremonies. Usucha has more water than Koicha and so is easier to froth. Both preparations only have 2 ingredients- Shade grown Tea powder plus hot water .
Activation Of The Theanine
Theanine is what is responsible for the sweet and savory flavor Japanese green tea is known for. After the tea plants are shaded, the farmers then select only the top leaves to be used in the matcha. The top leaves and buds of the tea plant are the youngest, and therefore contain the highest concentration of nutrients. The older, more mature tea leaves are thicker and slightly more bitter.
This careful shading and selection of the tea leaves is what separates high quality from low quality matcha. The high quality matcha has a beautiful jade green color, a smooth flavor and is loaded with nutrients. The low quality matcha has a much more unappealing color, a more bitter flavor and less nutrients. This low quality matcha is often sold as culinary grade matcha and is used in desserts all around the world. These matcha desserts are quite common in Japan and are made by mixing low quality matcha with cream and sugar to disguise the bitter taste.
Do You Need To Learn The Traditional Tea Ceremony To Enjoy Matcha
No you do not. Not everyone will enjoy traditional forms of matcha tea and that is fine. If you like traditional forms of matcha tea, it is also not required to prepare it in accordance with the tea ceremony procedures. Feel free to enjoy matcha in various different ways.
For the average consumer, a bright green powder placed alongside the traditional Japanese tea ceremony tools can look quite foreign. If you are new to matcha, please do not worry about the proper way to make matcha.
The proper way of preparing matcha requires months and years of dedicated study
- The tea ceremony, or chanoyu, is a formal Japanese ceremony that is an important cultural tradition.
- It is a formal event with its own set of correct tools, manners and attire.
- The tea ceremony may appear simple and straightforward if youre watching one being performed on YouTube videos.
- However, many steps are full of cultural significance with prescribed tools and procedures to follow.
- Many Japanese will tell you that they have no idea about the extent of these rituals, and no Japanese tea master would expect a foreigner to follow or even understand this traditional way of preparing and enjoying matcha.
- If you are genuinely interested in the art of the Japanese tea ceremony and are willing to invest the time and energy to learn it, go for it. If not, just try any of our recipes and see if matcha works for you.
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How To Whisk The Tea
Place tea in the bowl, add hot water and mix with the chasen tea whisk. Raise then the chasen a little from the bottom and whip vigorously back and forth with the wrist and arm and avoid swivelling the tea around. When the tea is sufficiently aired and turned into a fine creamy foam, slow down and move the chasen in the surface to remove larger bobbles and to make an even smooth surface. Finally, turn the chasen slowly around the bowl and lift it carefully from the center to produce a little mound.
1. Sifting of Matcha Tea Powder
2. Preparation of Hot Water
4. How to whisk the tea
Alternatively, you may obtain a result like this by not whisking so thoroughly.
How To Make Matcha Tea
How to make traditional Matcha, step by step
1-With a bamboo spoon, scoop 1,5-2 grams of matcha tea into the matcha bowl
2-Pour hot water over the matcha
3-With a bamboo whisk, whisk matcha vigourously in a zigzag motion until it is frothy
4-Add hot water to taste, and stir. You can also add hot or cold milk of plant-based milk so as to obtain a delicious Matcha Latte. Your Matcha is ready to drink!
5-Another trendy and tasty option is to add natural orange juice to your matcha.
How to make urban Matcha, step by step
1-Pour water or milk into the matcha shaker up to the lmark indicated on the shaker.
It is important to use room temperature milk or water, so as to avoid splashing while shaking.
2-Add the Matcha into the Shaker.
4-When Matcha is frothy, carefully open the Shaker.
5-Pour into mug or tea flask and add more water, milk or plant-based milk, hot or cold, to taste.
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When You Use Tap Water
- Please pour the water into an iron or anodized aluminum kettle, and keep it overnight.
- Once the water is boiled, keep it for 5 minutes by low heat in an open kettle. Then the smell of chlorine, mold and trihalomethane is removed.
- For Japanese green tea, slightly acidic water is suitable. Tap water has a neutral value of pH7.
- It is recommended to use a charcoal water filter.
Second Step Add Water And Ice
If you need the brew to take flavor faster, try a room temperature water. If you arent in a hurry or if you want to favor the sweeter notes use cold water.
If youre heading out of the house, consider adding ice .
Lastly, no ice or cold water is needed if youre planning to leave the cold-brew overnight in the fridge. Feel free to fill entirely with room temp water.
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Relationship Between Tea And Temperature Of Water
When the temperature of water is high, green tea gets bitter and change the balance of the taste. So, it is important to boil water and cool it for some extent based on the bitterness you prefer.
When the temperature of water is higher than 175°F, the taste gets bitter and has more astringent.
When the temperature of water is below 140°F, the taste is less bitter.
See my other article “Everything you need to know about Water and Japanese Green Tea” for more detail about how to select water for your tea.
Koicha Matcha Steps :
Koicha is typically hand harvested from the choicest buds of older tea plants
Step 1.Preheat your tea bowl by adding hot water. Place matcha bamboo whisk tips into water and let set .Step 2.When tea bowl is heated thoroughly, remove bamboo whisk and water from tea bowl. Dry tea bowl with linen cloth.Step 3.Measure approximately 1/4 cup boiling water into a separate bowl and allow to cool to approximately 160°F to 185°F here you can use a thermometer to cool the water to your preference.Step 4.Measure approximately 3 to 4 scoops of matcha powder with bamboo scoop or ladle, placing into matcha powder sifter. Sift powder into tea bowl, gently shaking and spinning powder with ladle to remove any powder clumps.Step 5.Once water has cooled to the correct temperature, pour ½ of water slowly into tea bowl .Step 6.Hold tea bowl in one hand and take whisk in the other hand. Whisk matcha and water slowly and in a kneading and circular pattern, until liquid has become a thick and smooth consistency. Step 7.Add remaining hot water and whisk slowly until smooth. There should be no foam on top.Step 8.Pour matcha tea into a tea bowl or tea cup.Step 9.
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Matcha Preparation: More Than A Cup Of Tea
How to prepare matcha goes beyond your daily cup of tea. This traditional Japanese tea ceremony orchanoyu, as its called in Japanese, has its origins in Zen Buddhism. To enhance their meditation practices, monks used to whisk powdered green tea leaves in a bowl of hot water. This tradition of matcha preparation was brought to Japan from China around the 12th century and became a symbol of status among the warrior class. Later it developed into a spiritual and transformative practice throughout the country, helping reinforce some of Japans classic philosophies on harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility.
Although the Japanese tea ceremony has evolved throughout the years, it hasnt lost its fundamental nature. It still takes place in a specially designed room where every single detail is carefully chosen. The flower arrangements, wall decorations, tools, and clothing vary according to the type of gathering, the season, the time of the day and the number of people joining . Not only are the aesthetics of a matcha preparation ceremony studied and precise, so is every motion and gesture made by the host to the guests during the ceremony.
First Harvest Of The Ceremonial Matcha
High quality, ceremonial grade matcha is naturally sweet and smooth, meaning that it can be mixed with water and drunk plain. Within ceremonial grade matcha, you can also have first and second harvest. First harvest is an even higher quality matcha, made from the fresh tea leaves picked in the springtime. The tea plant is typically harvested between early Spring and mid fall, so during the winter, the tea plant has a long recovery period, where it can absorb nutrients from the ground, and store them in its leaves. These more nutrient dense leaves are then picked in the early spring, so the first harvest is far more flavorful than later harvests
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How To Make Perfect Matcha Green Tea
Whether it is finally time to relax or to start the day, nothing can replace a good cup of tea! But what if we found something for you that doesnt give you a buzz like coffee, rather leaves you feeling energized and focused, but still calm.
Yes, we are talking about Japanese green tea powder – Matcha green tea. Once the cornerstone of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries, and now one of the most popular drinks in the US and around the world because of its health benefits. The antioxidants it contains may lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, and even boost your metabolism.
And, now you know why we still cannot stop talking aboutMatcha– the wonderful Japanese powdered green tea that packs a good amount of caffeine, but still has a calming effect on your mind, body, and soul. It’s packed with nutritional value and popular for its deep vegetal flavor and a lovely umami taste. We simply love it! But we have talked very little about how to make a perfect cup of matcha green tea, since it is different from making your regular green tea. You dont steep this tea. Matcha tea is ground to a fine powder and whisked with hot water to create a full-bodied, verdant elixir.
Did you know tea connoisseurs take tea ceremony classes for a month in Japan, learning how to perfect the art of making matcha green tea. However, to make a good matcha consistently, it needs good quality matcha powder and some practice for sure.
The Secret Is In Your Wrist
The key to achieving creamy matcha tea with a delicate layer of foam on top is to whisk vigorously and in a zigzag motion. Start by whisking immediately after adding the water and tea powder to your cup. Whisk heartily with the bristles touching the bottom of the cup. Once you start to see the tea becoming frothy, gently raise the tea whisk to the top of the tea to whip soft foam.
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What Is Green Tea Club
Sign up free to Green Tea Club to get tips and exclusive articles about how to use your matcha and green tea for a healthy lifestyle. Green Tea Club is hosted by Kei Nishida, Author of Cook with Matcha and Green Tea and CEO of Japanese Green Tea Company.
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What Is Green Tea
Green tea is one of the most popular drinks in Japan and has been consumed there for centuries. The traditional way to make green tea is with matcha powder, which is a type of green tea powder that is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant.
Making this tea is a simple process that just requires a few steps.
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How To Make Matcha
Got your tea and the right tools? Then lets make green tea! Heres how to make matcha at home:
Other Points To Consider
- Drink the matcha tea immediately after it is prepared, as the matcha powder can settle to the bottom of the tea bowl.
- Make sure to allow your water to cool after boiling, or matcha will be bitter.
- Make sure to whisk the matcha tea completely, or matcha will be bitter.
- Make sure to whisk usucha matcha until a thick foam with tiny bubbles appears so the flavor is not bitter.
- Make sure to whisk koicha matcha so it is smooth with no foam or froth when complete.
- Make sure your matcha powder is sifted into the tea bowl to aver clumps
- If your usucha matcha does not froth, check to make sure you have used sufficient matcha powder or too much water
- If your usucha matcha does not froth check to make sure you have whisked enough
- Store unused matcha powder in a dark and cool place, and use opened matcha as quickly as possible to maintain freshness
- Usucha bamboo whisks typically have 50 to 125 thin prongs
- Koicha bamboo whisks typically have 32 to 48 thick prongs
- Matcha contains a higher level of caffeine than other teas. Unlike coffee, however, matcha is absorbed slowly by the body and gives a slower, more consistent level of energy . Additionally, matcha does not typically produce the negative effects, such as the jitters, associated with caffeine.
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Want To Skip The Tools
Dont want to spring for the special whisk and bowl? We do recommend them for the best experience. But if you want to make it on the spot and dont have these tools, heres what to do:
- Shake in a jar: Shake the green tea powder and cool water in a jar until frothy.
- Complete the remaining recipe steps as written.
Picking Up The Right Matcha
Procuring high quality, authentic matcha is a must. Vahdam Teas work directly with farmers in Japans best tea-producing regions to procure freshly-harvested and ground pure matcha tea. As soon as you open our matcha green tea powder, you get a whiff of the sweet grassy aroma, which is a sign that you have opened a good pack of matcha. We have a best-by date stamped, packaged in a vacuum-sealed bag to protect the tea from light and come in small batches because matcha loses its potency in about 2 months once opened. Last, but not the least, if you are looking to get a good quality matcha green tea within a good price, we suggest getting a culinary grade matcha for if you are looking to make matcha smoothie or a sweetened latte.
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How To Brew Tasty Japanese Green Tea
This approach does not require any special equipment such as tea pot. You can use any type of mesh strainer to filter the green tea.
Where To Buy Matcha Powder
When you first begin drinking matcha it is an introduction to a unique tea drinking experience as well as a lifestyle choice and a commitment to your good health and wellbeing.
Choose the finest quality matcha available in T2 stores and at T2 online, along with all the required accessories and teawares to ensure a perfect match, first time and every time.
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When You Use Mineral Water
- Most Japanese mineral water is soft and suitable for green tea. One should use only the best pure and soft water for tea, as can easily be ascertained through experiments with tap water and different mineral waters. Each water will give different colours, smells and tastes. It is highly recommended to use soft water of the best quality only.
- Mineral water should be boiled for 5 minutes as well.