Drinking and eating healthy has been a trend nowadays as people become more and more aware of the many health issues that they could encounter along the way of living.
One of the health drinks that’s gaining quite the attention nowadays is matcha. In this article, we’ll get to familiarize ourselves with what matcha is, get to know its health benefits, and lastly, we’ll get to know how to make a perfect cup of matcha. Let’s proceed, shall we?
What is Matcha?
For those who are unfamiliar with what matcha is, this is a Japanese green tea powder that’s made from finely-powdered dried tea leaves. The taste of matcha is best described as slightly bitter with a vegetal taste while it has a very vibrant green color due to the tea leaves having high amounts of chlorophyll in them. The matcha has been the cornerstone of the traditional tea ceremonies being done in Japan for a long, long time and more recently, the tea powder is starting to become popular around the world due to the health benefits that it can bring.
We all know well that regular green tea is already advertised and proven as a potent antioxidant powerhouse but matcha takes it to the next level. Unlike other variations of green tea which involves steeping the leaves in hot water and then discarding them afterward – matcha is basically consuming the whole leaf when you drink it! That’s because when you make matcha, you don’t steep but instead, you whisk and mix the powder into hot water or milk.
The antioxidants that matcha has can lower blood pressure, reduces risk of heart diseases, and can improve your metabolism. While matcha does have a higher caffeine count than regular green tea, it doesn’t give you that crazy rushing-like sensation after drinking coffee. Overall, after you drink a cup of matcha you will feel energized and focused yet you still remain calm and composed.
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Making the perfect Matcha Green Tea
Now for the focus of this article, we’ll get to know what we need to prepare and the steps needed to be done in order to make a nice cup of matcha.
Let’s start off with the ingredients first:
¼ teaspoon matcha
2 ounces of boiling water
6 additional ounces of boiling water or steamed milk of choice
With the ingredients prepared, let’s go to the procedures to make matcha!
- Start Sifting
Start off by sifting the matcha into a small bowl or maybe a mug to get rid of lumps. You can also use a tea strainer to spread the matcha powder perfectly without lumps.
- Pour some water
Once the lumps are gone, you can start pouring in the 2 ounces of boiling water.
- Start Whisking
Use a matcha whisk (chasen), or a regular whisk if not available, to whisk the matcha briskly from side to side until it is fully dispersed and you are starting to see a foamy layer at the top.
- Once foaming, add more water
If the matcha is starting to form a foam at the top layer, that’s when you start adding in the additional boiling water or steamed milk. Whisk again until the mixture is foamy.
- Pour some sweet
Finish it off with a sweetener of your liking (optional) and enjoy!.
REMINDER: Again, as stated earlier – if you are a first timer to making matcha, it is best advised you would sweeten the tea to your liking as matcha is an acquired taste.
Helpful Tips making the perfect Matcha Green Tea
Before we head onto the steps for preparing matcha, you would need to learn a few key tips on matcha first.
- Quality varies – The quality of matcha varies depending on the brand and purpose. For instance, the ceremonial-grade matcha tends to be more expensive as it is made out of the youngest tea leaves. Ceremonial-grade matcha tends to have a mellow flavor. Whereas the culinary-grade matcha tends to have a stronger or more bitter flavor which acts as a balancer in lattes, desserts, or sweets in general. Do a little research first on the matcha that you can avail of before purchasing.
- Whisk it! – When making matcha, it is suggested that you would use a matcha whisk known as a chasen which has a design that’s made to break up clumps and create a foamy layer on top of the tea. If the chasen is not available to you then an electric milk frother or a regular whisk should do fine. Take note that whisking or stirring with a fork or spoon will not work on matcha.
- Matcha doesn’t last forever – Once opened, matcha will have around 2 months of shelf life which is the time when it has the best color and flavor. For starters, buy matcha in small quantities and store them in the fridge when not being used in order to preserve its freshness.
- Adapt to the taste over time – The grassy and umami flavor of the Matcha takes time to get used to. It is advised that when you are new to making matcha – you can add a few drops or spoons of sweetener of your likings such as syrups or sugar. In fact, it is advised to add sweeteners to your tea if the matcha powder you are using is noticeably bitter in taste.
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Making matcha requires a bit of research especially if you’re a first-timer since you will need to know which matcha you are looking for (is it the ceremonial one or the culinary-grade one?). Matcha too is an acquired taste so that means you will need to slowly need to get adapted to its grassy and umami flavor over time – this can be done by adding a bit of sweetener at first.
On the other hand, once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you will get to enjoy both the flavor and the health benefits that it can offer – as matcha offers the same energizing benefits of coffee and tea but without the whole buzzy and rushing sensation that coffee tends to give after drinking. On top of that, it is a potent antioxidant powerhouse that reduces the chances of heart disease occurring, lowers blood pressures, and improves your metabolism/appetite. Getting to work with this wonderful drink will be truly worth your time and effort.