Matcha tea is becoming a popular product. Not only for drinking as tea but also to use in dishes, smoothies and more. But what is it? How do you use it?
What is it?
They make it from the leaves of the green tea plant. The green tea leaves get steamed to preserve color and nutrients, and to stop the enzymatic action within the leaves. Right after they dry the leaves in large cages equipped with heat blowers. They keep the leaves cooled until they are ground into the powder known as Matcha. When you use or drink Matcha, you drink the entire leave instead of making tea the conventional way where you throw away the leaves used for making your tea. Matcha is green tea powder.
What types of Matcha are there?
Officially, there is isn’t a real grade system but most company’s use one. This makes it easier for people to choose the right product. I will still divide it in three categories. The higher the quality of Matcha you buy the less bitter it is. High quality Matcha has a vivid green color, is slightly sweet and has a grassy aroma.
The highest quality green tea powder you can get. Used for tea ceremonies. However, you will have a hard time finding ceremonial grade outside Japan. Most of the times when you buy green tea powder that’s labelled as ceremonial grade its most likely premium quality. I recommend to stick with buying premium grade Matcha unless you are 100% sure it’s ceremonial grade. Don’t want you to buy an overpriced product.
Premium grade Matcha is used for everyday use. Use it to make tea. Also delicious in iced green tea latte.
The green tea powder used for ingredient grade is more bitter than premium grade. Therefore ingredient Matcha is only used in cooking to add green tea flavor to food like; ice cream, cookies, chocolate, cake, salad dressing, smoothies, etc.
How do you prepare Matcha Tea?
If you want to make it the right way, you will need:
- Chasen (whisk )
- Chashaku (tea scoop)
- Chawan (tea bowl)
- Fine small sieve
- Place the fine sieve over the bowl, put in 1-2 scoops (1-2 grams) of green tea powder
- Sieve the powder into the bowl
- Add a little bit of cold water en mix untill smooth.
- Add 100 ml water with an ideal temperature of 175°f / 80°C (any warmer will kill it).
- Slowly move your Chasen (tea whisk) back and forward mixing in the powder. Try not to hit the bottom off the bowl this is better for your whisk.
- Increase the speed until you get a nice foam on top. About 20 – 30 seconds
- Stop whisking when the large bubbles are gone.
- Enjoy your tea.
Try out this recipe
If you like to cook with green tea powder, I have a recipe of mine for you to try. This dressing with avocado and lime is very easy to make. Delicious on a green salad.