Move over coffee, there’s a new morning pick-me-up in town and it’s called Matcha Tea. Read on to discover all the reasons to love this drink, how and where to buy it, and how to make it into a delicious hot or cold beverage.
Matcha tea is a traditional Japanese tea that has recently gained popularity all over the world, and for good reason. It’s a flavorful, lightly caffeinated drink made from finely ground green tea leaves. And it packs a hearty dose of beneficial nutrients, too.
Enjoy your matcha hot or cold alongside your favorite sweet or savory snacks like Mochiko Chicken or Black Sesame Cookies.
Read on as we explore the different methods of making Matcha tea and how to make the perfect cup every time.
What Is Matcha Tea?
Matcha is a type of Japanese green tea made from powdered whole leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It has been a part of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries, but in recent years it’s become increasingly popular in Western cultures, too. It has a unique flavor, alluring bright green color, and numerous health benefits.
The tea leaves for Matcha are grown in the shade for several weeks, which intensifies their green color, before they are harvested and then ground into a fine powder.
Why You’ll Love This Energizing Drink
There are dozens of reasons to love matcha. Here are a few:
- Packed with antioxidants: It’s known for its high levels of antioxidants, which can help protect your body from damage by free radicals.
- It’s a natural energy boost: Unlike coffee, which can leave you feeling jittery, the caffeine in matcha is released slowly, so you get a steady stream of energy that can help improve focus and concentration without causing a subsequent crash.
- Versatile: Matcha is delicious hot or cold, and works in a variety of recipes, from smoothies to baked goods.
- Beautiful: Thanks to its high chlorophyll content, matcha has a striking bright green color.
- It’s delicious: Let’s be real, the best reason to love something is that it tastes good. Matcha has a distinctive, delicious taste you’ll love.
What Are the Health Benefits of Matcha?
Green tea has lots of health benefits, and these benefits are even more powerful when you consume the tea as matcha. This is because when you make regular green tea, you steep the leaves in hot water and then strain them out and discard them, so you only get the nutrients that have infused into the water. When you drink matcha tea, you consume the whole leaf. Here some of the most interesting matcha benefits:
- It can help boost your metabolism: Some studies have found that matcha can help boost your metabolism, which can aid in weight loss.
- It can help reduce stress: Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid that can help reduce stress and improve focus.
- It’s good for your skin: The antioxidants in matcha can help protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to wrinkles and other signs of aging.
How and Where To Buy Matcha
When buying matcha, look for green tea powder that is vibrant green in color. This is a sign that the leaves are high-quality and fresh. Matcha loses its flavor and nutritional value over time, so check the packaging for a harvest or production date.
You can buy matcha at any Japanese or Asian grocery store. These stores often carry a variety from different brands and at different price points. You can also buy matcha online.
You can also buy matcha directly from a tea farm or from a supplier that imports Japanese matcha. This guarantees the authenticity, quality, and origin of the matcha. It also helps support the local farmers and the industry.
When purchasing powdered green tea matcha, consider the quality, price, and source of the powder. With a bit of research and careful consideration, you can easily find a high-quality product that will provide delicious flavor and numerous health benefits.
How To Make Matcha Tea
When you’re ready to make your own matcha green tea, choose whether you want to use the traditional Japanese method or the simpler, more modern method. Either way, making a cup of matcha is an art form, so it may take you a few tries to get it just right.
The traditional Japanese method for making a cup of matcha is steeped in history and culture and is thought of as an art form in Japan. The ceremony is a way to express hospitality, respect, and gratitude, as well as to appreciate the beauty of nature and the simple things in life.
To make the perfect cup of matcha using the traditional Japanese method, you’ll need:
- A bamboo whisk (“chasen” in Japanese)
- A tea bowl
- A tea scoop
There are several steps in the traditional method of making Matcha:
- First, prepare the tea bowl by wiping it with a damp cloth and warming it with hot water.
- Next, place the matcha powder in the bowl and add hot water (160–170°F or 70–80°C), using a specific amount of water for the desired strength of tea.
- Using a bamboo whisk, mix the powder and water together, using a back-and-forth motion until it becomes frothy.
- Pour the tea into small tea cups and serve to guests.
One of the key elements of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony is the attention to detail and the focus on the present moment. The tea master and guests take time to appreciate the appearance, aroma, and taste of the tea, as well as the beauty of the surrounding environment and the company of the guests.
The modern method is more straightforward and doesn’t require any special equipment. As long as you have good quality matcha powder, you can make a great cup of tea this way. But this method skips the mindfulness practices that go along with the traditional matcha method.
Here’s how to make the perfect cup of matcha tea using the modern method:
- Start by heating water to around 160-170°F (70-80°C).
- Take a teaspoon of matcha powder and add it to a cup.
- Add a splash of hot water to the cup and mix with a spoon to dissolve the powder.
- Add the rest of the hot water to the cup and mix well.
How To Store Matcha Powder
Matcha is sensitive to light, air, and heat. To preserve the taste and color, store it in a cool, dark place. Here are a few tips for storing your matcha:
- Keep it in an airtight container
- Store it in a cool, dark place
- Avoid storing it in direct sunlight or near heat sources
- Use it within 3 months of opening
Matcha isn’t just for sipping, you can use it in many delicious recipes. Here are a few favorites:
Sugar -Free Sprinkles: Color your sprinkles healthy ways using matcha powder.
Matcha Milk Tea: A sweet, creamy matcha latte-style beverage served hot or chilled over ice.
Matcha Smoothie: Combine matcha powder with a sweet fruit like pears for a satisfying and healthy breakfast smoothie.
Matcha Cumin Salt: Make a seasoning mix with matcha to flavor meat, fish, or even curry.
Matcha Pound Cake: Green tea powder adds earthy flavor, balancing the sweetness of the cake.
The Final Word
Matcha tea is a delicious and healthy beverage that’s easy to make, beautiful, delicious, and good for you, too. So now that you know how to make matcha tea, go out there and enjoy a perfect cup of this delicious and healthy beverage.
Robin Donovan is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, food photographer, and the creative force behind the food blog allwaysdelicious.com, where she shares easy recipes for the best dishes from around the world. Download her 5 Favorite Chinese Takeout Recipes ebook today to try at home.
This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life.