Before we talk about how to make matcha tea, we first need to know what it is and where it comes from. Matcha is a finely ground powder that comes from specifically grown and processed green tea leaves. This tea is often used in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and was brought into Japan in 1191 by a monk Eisai who had learnt the Chinese methods of making Matcha tea. Matcha tea then grew in importance throughout the Zen monasteries because of their healing properties.
Overtime the methods of cultivating and harvesting these leaves grew and expanded, so much so that there are currently 3 different grades of matcha tea. Grades refer to their quality. The highest grade of matcha tea is the ceremonial grade and this is used in tea ceremonies and Buddhist temples, it is of the highest quality and to the trained pallette one could tell by the subtle “umami” or savory tones. The second grade would be the premium grade, also a high quality grade of matcha tea and is best for daily consumption. This grade contains a full range of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. To the trained tongue one can pick up a fresh, subtle flavor. This is the perfect tea for new and experienced matcha tea drinkers. Lastly we have the cooking or culinary grade, this is the lower quality leaves that usually tastes bitter, but they are perfectly suited for making some of the most delicious dishes.
How To Prepare Matcha
Matcha tea is harvested in the spring, and ground by stone into a light green powder.
You make matcha tea from the same “camellia sinensis” leaves used in traditional green tea. We’ll go over how to prepare matcha tea in two different ways, the first is known as “usucha” or “thin tea” and it is the most common way how to prepare matcha tea using only one teaspoon of matcha powder. The second is known as “kiocha” or “thick tea” this version is stronger in taste and colour and uses two teaspoons of matcha powder. This will produce a thicker tea than the “usucha”.
Remember that unlike most green teas, where the leaves stay at the bottom of the cup, when you drink matcha tea, you drink it all as the powder dissolves fully in the hot water.
For those who want to know how to prepare matcha tea from scratch, it would involve buying the leaves and not the powder. You would be able to use a blender to grind the green leaves. Simply let the blender grind for approximately 3 seconds, shake the blender and allow the content to rest for approximately 10 seconds and repeat.
If you find the blender isn’t grinding the leaves to a smooth enough powder, transfer and grind them using a pestle. It is important to sift the powder constantly while grinding to ensure that you crush it all into a fine powder. When done properly you won’t even taste the difference from your ground powder that you can buy in stores.
How To Make The Drink
Making matcha tea in a bowl: It takes simple 4 steps, but first you will preferably need a bowl, a small sieve and bamboo whisk. Making matcha in a bowl helps you to centre yourself and take a calming moment while making the tea. The bamboo whisk is to help make sure that all of the powder is mixed properly and there is no lumps.
- Step 1: Depending on whether or not you want to make “usucha’ or “kiocha”, add one or two teaspoons of the matcha tea powder into the sieve and sift in into a bowl.
- Step 2: Add hot water slowly, water that’s just boiled will help you reach the best results offered by the matcha tea.
- Step 3: Depending on which tea you decided to make, whisk the tea in a zigzag motion until it either frothy for the “usucha” or until you have a paint-like consistency for the “koicha”. If you want to you can sweeten or add milk to your tea.
- Step 4: You can enjoy your matcha tea straight from the bowl.
Making Matcha tea in a cup: This method on how to make matcha tea is a little less complicated, here all you need is a cup, and a spoon and these four simple steps.
- Step 1: Boil some clean fresh water and add a teaspoon of matcha powder to your cup.
- Step 2: Add a few drops to your powder and stir until you have a paste like texture.
- Step 3: Slowly add more hot water and stir, you can add more powder if you want a stronger taste. If you are new to making matcha, try 1 teaspoon to 6 ounces of water.
- Step 4: You can add sweetner or milk if that’s how you prefer your tea. Now you know how to make it and your tea is ready to drink. Enjoy!
Benefits of Matcha Tea
Did you know that one cup of matcha tea has the same amount of antioxidants that 10 cups of the average green tea. This is because the Matcha leaves are stoneground, releasing all of the antioxidants that are usually still trapped in the leaves that are at the bottom of your empty cup. This matcha powder allows all of the important vitamins and minerals to be released when mixed with hot water. That’s all great, but why antioxidants important? These natural compounds help prevent aging and chronic diseases. Matcha tea contains a unique, potent class of antioxidant known as catechins, in particular the catechin known as EGC or epigallocatechin gallate, and this has specific cancer fighting properties.
Matcha tea is favored in diets as it acts as a dual agent, with the ability to help burn fat as well as boosting your metabolism without adding any extra stress to the body, making it safer than most diets on the market. What helps the body can help the mind too. Matcha tea helps with concentration and focus, remember the Buddhists? They used this tea to help prepare them for their meditation. Matcha is rich in L-Theanine, a rare amino acid that actually promotes a state of relaxation and well-being by acting upon the brain’s functioning and while L-Theanine is common in all tea, matcha may contain up to five times more of this amino acid than common black and green teas. This particular amino acids also may help memory and learning and ability all without the nasty effects we get from drinking too much coffee or too many red bulls.
Did you know that chlorophyll is a powerful detoxifier? Helping to eliminate both chemicals and heavy metals from the body, because of the way Matcha is grown, it has significantly higher levels of chlorophyll it works as a superior detoxifier. With all these natural benefits it’s no wonder that the Match Tea gives its drinker a natural boost in energy without any side effects of the average caffeine overload.
After this article we now know how to make our own matcha powder and how to make matcha tea, but where can one get matcha powder for this fabulous tea? Below we have listed the top three matcha powders based on the different grades we covered earlier.
Kiss Me Organics Ceremonial Grade Matcha
This is a high quality ceremonial grade matcha tea powder.
100% ORGANIC. Made from 100 percent organic Japanese matcha powder sourced from a family owned farm and lab tested for chemicals.
Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea Powder
This is classic culinary grade matcha tea powder.
100% USDA Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder, All Natural, Nothing Added (naturally gluten free and vegan)
Oishi Premium Organic Gourmet Matcha
This is premium grade matcha tea powder.
Gourmet Japanese Matcha, love it or your money back. If you are not satisfied with your purchase of a 30g tin.
As we can see matcha tea is an old traditional Japanese tea that has caught a lot of attention recently because of all the health benefits is presents. It’s no wonder this diverse tea is used in many tea ceremonies as well as the day to day meditation preparations for monks. It also serves as a healthy drink for the average person to drink daily, and they even have Matcha KitKats! Are you curious? Now that you know how to make matcha tea you should try a cup! I can assure you, you wont regret it, and you will soon see and feel its amazing health benefits on both your body and mind.