Famous in Japanese Tea Ceremonies, Matcha tea is a tea with a difference: instead of steeping tea leaves, matcha comes in powdered form and is whisked to create a full-bodied elixir that is healthy, verdant, and both calming and invigorating at the same time.
Traditionally, matcha tea is made with the following tools: a handmade bamboo whisk (chasen); tea bowl (matcha-chawan); a ladle (chashaku); a tea strainer; and matcha powder.
Follow these simple steps to make the perfect cup of matcha tea...
- You will need: hot water water (spring water is preferred), a ceramic bowl, a cup, a whisk, and a strainer.
- Use only the finest Matcha Tea. The powder should be fresh, vibrant green in colour, almost to the point of being fluorescent.
- Decide whether you wish to drink a thicker (Koicha) or thinner (Usucha) brew. Not only are they different in consistency, they are slightly different in flavour and aroma.
- Boil the water then allow it to cool to a temperature of approximately seventy five to eighty degrees Celsius, which is below actual boiling point. Preheat the bowl with some of the boiling water. Discard this water and carefully dry the bowl. Keep some hot water aside for making the beverage. If you are preparing Koicha, you will need 40ml; for Usucha you will require 70ml.
- Sift the dry Matcha powder through the strainer into the dry bowl. Sifting the matcha will make the powder dissolve more easily. If making Usucha, you will require a half to two scoops/teaspoonfuls, and for Koicha you’ll need three to four. Swirl the powder around the strainer to ensure there are no clumps.
- Pour the hot water (by measure) into the bowl. It will need to be rapidly whisked to dissolve the Matcha powder completely. The water should still be above seventy degrees.
- To make Usucha (thinner brew): whisk in a “W” shape until it is topped with a thick, bubbly froth.
- To make Koicha (thicker brew): whisk in a circular motion for a smoother, creamy consistency without any froth. Add the water gradually and mix completely after each addition.
- Drink immediately! The powder will settle in the base of the cup if allowed to sit for any length of time.
Always keep matcha powder in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and use the powder within two to three weeks of opening. The flavour and aroma depend greatly on freshness.
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