Inspired by a number of friends, bloggers and in no small way by long term inspiration Tanya Maher, I finally bit the bullet and went full matcha.
If you’ve had green tea before, then matcha is to home made espresso like green tea is to mellow birds coffee (sorry Gran). Diving into matcha is a whole new universe of artisan producers, methods, techniques and processes. And as I’m new to it, I’m just going to give a brief overview here.
So why matcha? Well, is has about 10 times the antioxidants as other potent sources like goji berries, acai and the like. It does contain caffeine, but it is in a more controlled gentle way. It’ll give you a lift, but it is not such a shock and it lasts longer. I would recommend only 2 cups of matcha a day max and not closer than 6 hours before bedtime. I find one cup mid morning works well for me. But then I can kick coffee any time I like 😉
There are many grades of matcha available, if you want the best experience, go for Japanese, artisanal or ceremonial matcha from a reputed source. My current favourite is Matchaeologist, whose products I will review properly in the future. It seems that with matcha, you really do get what you pay for – the more you pay, the better your experience will be. Most matcha available is food grade – great for flavouring things, but not really for making tea.
Here is a great video from Matchaelogist or see the method below for an introduction to the process of creating a great bowl of matcha. Enjoy!
1: Preheat the matcha bowl by filling it about 1/3 full with hot water. Then place the whisk facing down into the hot water to wet the tips of the prongs. Once the bowl has thoroughly preheated, empty out the water and dry the bowl out preferably with a cloth such as a chakin. Set the whisk aside and then measure out 70ml of hot water into a measuring cup and leave it to cool to approx 65°C.
2: Use a bamboo scoop to measure the matcha powder, about 2 scoops (approx 1g), and place it into the bowl. Note, sifting the matcha prior to measuring out the matcha is highly advisable to remove any clumps of powder.
3: Once the water that was measured out drops to 65°C pour it into the matcha bowl. Cheap milk thermometers are available on Amazon for about £1.99
4: Take the whisk in one hand and hold the rim of the matcha bowl with your other hand. Whisk the matcha briskly in a W motion using your wrist (not arm) until the matcha has a thick froth with many tiny bubbles on the surface.
Many thanks to my great friend Shisodelicious for an in depth discussion of matcha 🙂