What Is Matcha Aka Japanese Green Tea
Matcha, aka Japanese green tea, is a fine powder made of ground green tea leaves that originated in East Asia. Its consumed as part of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, and plays an integral part in Japanese culture. Theres a complex set of ceremonial intricacies to the tea ceremony . The method below outlines how to make a cup of matcha for enjoying at home.
Matcha tastes grassy and earthy. It can be consumed as a cup of tea, or as a latte like matcha latte or iced matcha latte. Its also a popular flavor for ice cream, cakes, cookies, and more. Matcha does contain caffeine: more than typical green tea, but less than coffee.
Zen Garden Or Tea Garden
Japanese gardens can be a special place to enjoy a cup of green tea. Tea was introduced to Japan from China in the 9th Century, and originally used for rituals in the monasteries where Zen gardens originated.
Japanese History: The traditional Japanese tea ceremony became a practice of its own. Chado is the Japanese word that means the way of green tea.
Chado centers on the concept of the host and the guest spending a heartwarming moment together over a bowl of matcha. This practice is always enjoyable in a garden setting with the sounds or sights of flowing water.
Traditionally, the garden that surrounds the tea house is called Roji. Roji is a place for quiet reflection on the beauty and art of living at one with nature. A pathway of carefully placed stepping stones lined with granite lanterns leads through the woodland garden to the tea house.
In the case of your own backyard Zen gardenwhere tradition is modified to fit with urban settings and alternate culturesadding a seating area where friends can enjoy a cuppa is a unique way to celebrate two types of Japanese traditions.
Authentic Zen Garden Tip: Your DIY Zen garden can be the perfect place to divulge your cares and release the stressors of the everyday worldover a cup of tea.
With the addition of some DIY garden seating and simple patio design ideas, a backyard Zen garden builds on old traditions in new ways to offer a soothing place for a hot beverage by the ocean of gravel.
The Hidden Meaning Of Tea Ceremony
Those who only know tea ceremony through books or a brief visit to Japan usually miss out on some of the unseen angles that pertain to tea and its rituals. For one thing, even among the Japanese themselves, tea ceremony is considered a hard-to-understand, esoteric practice that takes years to appreciate. An analogy might be the way Westerners view classical violin playing. It takes a bit of study and a good deal of time to listen to a violin piece with true appreciation for the music, the instrument and the player.
Japanese who wish to learn more about their countrys most secretive art form join informal clubs to study it. After that, a few go on to attend formal, sometimes rather expensive, lessons from a tea master. There are, as in many martial arts, certificates and ranks associated with many of the prominent tea schools throughout Japan. For the select few who decide to delve deeply into the art, perhaps a lifetime of study awaits. Much as a concert pianist or cello player might give his or her life to the perfection of musical technique, some Japanese will devote themselves fully to the ancient art and ritual of tea ceremony.
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How To Brew Sencha
One teaspoon per tea cup is a general rule, but you can adjust as you like.
Pour boiling water into a yuzamashi to let it cool down. You can also use tea cups for this purpose.
Pour just enough of the cooled water into the kyusu to fill the tea cups that you will serve.
Let the tea disperse for about 30 seconds.You can shake the kyusu gently to extract the tea quickly.
Fill each cup little by little and evenly.There is an order for pouring the tea: cup 1 â cup 2 â cup 3 and then 3-2-1. By pouring into each cup little by little, the tea is evenly distributed so that the amount and strength of tea in each cup is equal.
The strongest taste of the tea is concentrated in the last few drops.If tea remains in the kyusu, the next pot of tea will be bitter.
You don’t need to cool water for Hojicha and Genmaicha. Pour boiling water directly into a kyusu.
How Should You Prepare Matcha
Jue explains that there are two types of traditional preparation rooted in chad, the Japanese tea ceremony. Known as usucha and koicha, these styles of preparation have long, cultural histories with Zen Buddhism and social gatherings. Koicha is brewed using the very best of ceremonial matcha teas on the market, and the double matcha-to-water ratio results in a seriously umami flavor and syrupy texture. Most American drinkers are more familiar with usucha , a lighter preparation that leads to a smooth, mellow flavor.
“The austere, and potentially intimidating tea ceremony one experiences in Japan is actually a convivial act of hospitality between host and guest, where both are familiar with the ritual and take time to appreciate each others’ company,” she says. “Ceremonial matcha is traditionally consumed with a sweet snack to counterbalance any bitterness, such as a piece of candy, cake, or mochi!”
How to Prepare Usucha
1. Heat filtered water to ~180ºF
2. Rinse a chawan and your bamboo whisk with warm water.
3. Sift 2 grams matcha into your bowl and add ~1/4 cup of water.
4. Whisk in a W or M-shape for approximately 45 seconds to aerate the matcha and create froth.
5. Enjoy immediately, as matcha settles and separates from the water quickly.
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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.
Art Of Brewing Japanese Green Tea
Japanese green tea can be brewed in a number of ways. In this article, we will go over the Simple Way and the Advanced Way for brewing tasty green tea.
As you know, Japanese green tea can be categorized in two major types. Sencha and Matcha , so we have segmented this article is in two parts. Click on a link to jump to the specific part you want to read. Enjoy!
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How To Prepare Hojicha
Hojicha, roasted green tea, is lower in caffeine than other Japanese green teas and very easy to brew. Its intoxicating, roasty fragrance is as irresistible as its flavor. Hojicha can tolerate high water temperatures, which helps draw out its distinctive aroma. This tea is extremely versatile, wonderful to drink with meals or on its own as a casual cup whenever the mood strikes. Lets watch Zach walk us through the steps to brewing hojicha:
Here are the details for preparing hojicha:
- Water temperature 195° F to 212° F
- Brewing time 00:45 to 1:00
- Number of steeps 1-2
Note Zachs technique for pouring servings, which can be applied to all whole leaf teas. For three cups, he pours 1-2-3, 3-2-1 and so on. Why? As it brews, tea becomes stronger on the bottom. So Zach pours across servings so every cup has the same potency. And he makes sure to shake out the last drops of liquid, which hold intense, delicious flavor.
Gyokuroen Ume Kombu Cha
No, not kombucha, but tea made with kombu , green tea, and ume . A nutrient-filled tea for people who love deep umami flavours. The plum makes the tea pink and more acidic and the green tea provides depth and balance. You can find many different variations of this kelp tea.
How to Brew Kombu Cha You can buy instant powder mix of this tea which can make it up quick and easy. Otherwise, you can buy dried kelp online or from your local Asian store which you can then boil and leave to soak for several hours and keep this in the fridge to them mix with green tea and sour plum.
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Two Choices For Getting Temperature Right
Make use of these two temperature methods when making Japanese tea:
Many electric kettles these days offer temperature control so you can set the perfect brew right to the degree . That means right out the spout the temperature will be ideal for brewing tea.
The most common denominator in brewing temperature for Japanese teas is 176º F, but a few vary like Gyokuro and Hojicha
Unlike the precise method above, traditional stove-tops require a bit of guesstimation. Unless you have a kitchen thermometer to go hand-in-hand with your stove-top kettle, theres at least one rule of thumb to know about as you gauge the right brewing temperature.
Bring water to a boil, which is approximately 212º F. Pour into your empty Kyusu and allow it to warm for about half a minute. Roughly, this should bring water temp down to 193-195º F thats step one.
Step two, pour the water from the kyusu pot to empty tea cups, and pour away any remaining water. As hot water sits in the tea cups, add your loose-leaf tea to the now-empty kyusu at which point you can pour each tea cup of water back into the brew pot, now with temperature in the healthy range of 163-175º F.
- Although there is a range to potential water temperature, its within the guidelines for a delicious cup of tea in most every case. More importantly, youll be sure to avoid the main problem of excess heat.
Category: How To Make Japanese Tea
How make Japanese tea the proper way, how to enrich the tea leaves when you make the tea for a full flavored Japanese tea experience.
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How To Make Japanese Tea
Yuzamashi is a technique for determining the temperature of the water.
How Do Japanese Drink Their Tea
Please use both hands to hold our cup as you drink your tea. You should pick up your cup using your right hand and your left hand should just barely touch it. You should drink with both hands, so move your left hand to the bottom of the cup and sip from there. When sipping matcha, you can create a slurping sound, however you cant produce that sound when drinking sencha.
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What Is Green Tea Extract Or Egcg
Green tea extract is a decaffeinated mixture of polyphenols from the Camellia sinensis tea plant .
In other words, green tea extract is a concentrated version of green tea without the caffeine content. As a dietary supplement, its available in capsule and powder form.
Most green tea extract comes from tea leaf scraps left over from tea processing. Commercial manufacturing techniques use hot water or solvents like alcohol or acetone for extraction followed by freeze-drying, spraying, or emulsification to ensure a predictable consistency.
In contrast to green tea extract, epigallocatechin gallate is a specific, individual catechin polyphenol found in Camellia sinensis. It also occurs in lower concentrations in many fruits, in nuts, and in cocoa.
Green tea contains around 7.3 grams of EGCG per 100 grams of dried tea leaves. Its the most abundant catechin in tea, accounting for nearly 60% of total catechin content in green tea.
Like green tea extract, EGCG is also available as a supplement and is made with a similar manufacturing process. EGCG used in supplements mainly comes from leftover green tea leaves, too.
How To Brew The Perfect Cup Of Sencha Green Tea
Sencha is one of the most delicious and aromatic of all green teas. Indeed, it is the most popular green tea in Japan and it goes well with medium and light meals, snacks, and sweets. One of the most interesting aspects of sencha green tea is the ability to alter the flavor by changing the water temperature. Brewed with a higher temperature of the water, it produces a more astringent tea whereas a cooler temperature results in a more mellow flavor.
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Techniques For One Serving At A Time
Note to make a larger amount, multiplying the parameters will work but you may need to adjust depending on the tea. You may also make a larger amount by combining several steeps into one serving. 1 cup = about 240 ml. or 100 ml = about 0.4 cups / 3.4 fl oz.
Remember, these techniques are guidelines meant to start you off. Depending on your own personal taste, the water type you have available, and of course the specific tea leaves, you should learn to adjust the water amount, temperature, tea leaf amount and steep time to achieve your perfect cup of tea.
Determining The Right Water Temperature For Your Japanese Tea
You might not only be interested in standard green teas but they make a good example out of water temperature .
Temperature thats running too hot essentially pulls the bitter/astringent notes out of green tea and any Japanese tea although this is most relatable in standard green teas .
The antioxidant compounds in Japanese tea are most abundant in the green varieties these have a distinct bitterness to them. While that bitter bite is a sensory assurance to key health benefits , with the right water temperature they should be brought in balance with other flavors on the palate.
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Infused By Henriette Lovell
Written by the tea lady herself, Henrietta is a tea expert and owner of the Rare Tea Company based in London. Advising some of the most prestigious hotels and restaurants on the art of tea making, her fascinating journey across the world in search of the best tea is recounted here with each chapter teaching you about tea, production, and culture. I learned a lot about proper brewing techniques from this book which have improved my own tea drinking and helped with this article.
Henrietta is also an advocate for responsible trade relationships which really shows in her writing as we get to know those farmers that she works with through her writing. Adventures in tea absolutely sums up this book.
Is Japanese Tea Good For You
Because catechin prevents the development of LDL cholesterol, drinking Japanese green tea can be of assistance in the fight against atherosclerosis and other conditions related to high cholesterol. Catechin, which is found in Japanese green tea, not only stops the formation of harmful LDL cholesterol but also raises levels of the beneficial HDL cholesterol already present in the body.
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