Are you a fan of matcha and want to learn how to make tea the traditional way? I found the ideal way to create the best cup! Keep reading to find out how.
What Is Matcha?
Matcha originated in China and is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The plant is kept in the shade to boost chlorophyll production, giving it a rich green color. Once ready the leaves were harvested and it was customary to grind them into a powder and then whip or beat the ground tea in a bowl with hot water.
While this method was abandoned by the Chinese in favor of steeping the leaves. The Japanese went on to popularize the method in later years. They turned tea making into a more meditative practice called ‘The way of the tea’ brought on by Eisai a young Zen priest, which then was taken up by the Japanese Samurai class. This practice involves specific hand movements, the design of the tea room, and instructions for how to sit, prepare, and sip the tea. This is a very revered practice centered around the art of preparing and presenting matcha in a meditative way. The practice principles – harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility, are still central to the tea ceremony today. 1
Benefits Of Drinking Matcha
- High in antioxidants – Matcha is rich in catechins, a class of plant compounds in the tea that acts as natural antioxidants that may reduce cell damage and prevent chronic disease.
- May Help Protect The Liver– Some studies have shown that this matcha tea can prevent liver damage and decrease the risk of liver disease. This still needs additional research but the results are promising.
- Boost Brain Function – It has been shown to improve attention, memory, and reaction time. It also contains caffeine and L-theanine, which can improve several aspects of brain function.
- May Help Prevent Cancer – Test tube and animal studies have found that the compounds in matcha may inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
- May promote heart health – Studies have shown that green tea and matcha can decrease several heart disease risk factors.
- Helps you lose weight – Some studies have shown that green tea extract helps increase metabolism and fat burning, both of which may aid in weight loss2.
Grades Of Matcha
Not all matcha is created the same! In fact, there are 3 different types. 3
- Ceremonial grade – this is the highest grade and fit for tea ceremonies; it has the brightest color and smoothest flavor.
- Latte Grade – Slightly less vibrant and a bit more bitter.
- Cooking grade – A greenish-brown color and relatively bitter.
How To Make The Perfect Cup
Now on to the fun part! Let’s make some matcha tea! First, let’s grab the equipment we need.
Spouted matcha bowl – It’s the easiest and most efficient bowl to use the whisk with. You can also use a chawan, a large matcha bowl. Buy it here!
Matcha Whisk – This is a bamboo whisk that creates a frothy foam. Buy it here!
You can also shift the matcha before making the tea as I do. It’s optional but it removes any clumps that you don’t want. However, the method that we’re using it’s not necessary.
Make the paste using the sprouted bowl add 3/4 teaspoon of matcha or a glass bowl. Then add a drizzle of the 2 ounces of water and whisk into a paste.
Whisk until frothy add the remaining cool water and whisk vigorously back and forth until a thick foamy layer appears about 20 to 30 seconds.
*Avoid whisking in a circular motion for best results move the whisk back and forth.
Heat 6 ounces of water to about 175°F to 180°F
Pour the foamy matcha into the mug then stir gently and adjust the sweetness to taste.
If there’s no time or tools here are some alternative options.
Pour a teaspoon of matcha into equal parts water and use a frother(buy it here) to mix and then add the hot water or warm milk.
You can also shake the green tea powder and cool water in a jar until frothy then follow the steps above.
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