What is Matcha Tea?
Ground Japanese green tea leaves are used to make Matcha Tea. The traditional Japanese tea ceremony has included the drinking of Matcha Tea for centuries. Over recent years it has become more and more popular in western countries because of its remarkable health benefits and tremendous versatility.
The Matcha used to make this tea can be purchased in powder form and is whisked with milk or water to create this tea. A Japanese bamboo whisk is often used for the making of this tea, but you can prepare the tea with a simple western whisk as well.
Matcha can be a thick tea called Koichi or a thin tea called Usucha. To make either, you must correctly brew it. To begin brewing a perfect cup of this tea, gather the tools you will need and then follow these simple steps
Matcha bowl, Chawan, or cup
Bamboo whisk, Chasen, or western whisk
Bamboo Matcha Scoop, Chashaku, or small scoop
Sifter, Furui or small sifter
Matcha Green Tea Powder
5 Steps of Brewing Matcha Tea
Step 1: Preheat the Bowl by filling it about 1/3 with boiling water. The water should be approximately 75 to 80 degrees Centigrade or 165 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. To get the whisks prongs’ tips wet, place the whisk into the water facing down. Be careful not to get water on the handle. Place the whisk aside.
Step 2: Discard the water and thoroughly dry the bowl. In a separate bowl, pour 70 ml of hot water for the preparation of Usucha and save it. For Koichi, save 40ml of hot water.
Step 3: Use the scoop to put two scoops that would measure to be a little less than one teaspoon of Matcha powder into the bowl for Usucha or 3 to 4 scoops that would measure approximately 1.5 teaspoons for Koicha. For both Koicha and Usucha, you should sift the powder into the bowl.
Step 4: Now you should pour the water that you set aside in step 2 into the bowl. This water should be 70 to 80 degrees Centigrade or 158 to 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
For Usucha, you want to use the whisk to develop a thick froth that has many tiny bubbles over the surface. To do this, you should hold the whisk with one hand and the bowl with the other hand. Whisk briskly in a ‘M’ motion using your wrist.
For Koichi, you do not develop any frothiness as you did with Usucha. This type of Matcha tea should be smooth and thick totally lacking any bubbles or froth. To make this smooth and thick Matcha tea, you knead the tea front to back and left to right and mix it in circular motions circling the inside of the bowl occasionally.
For both these types of Matcha teas, you should avoid scraping the whisk along the bowl’s bottom. Just allow it to float a little above it.
Consider the amounts of water and Matcha powder in these instructions a rough guide. If the water is too hot, you used too much green tea powder, or you didn’t whisk correctly, the tea may taste too bitter. If the tea tastes too mild, you should try using more powder or increasing the temperature of the water.
It, most likely, will take some experimenting for you to make the perfect brew for your individual taste. The effort involved will be well worth it since you will find a cup of Matcha tea is the best tea you have ever tasted.