If you're looking for a tea with flavour notes, depth, nutrition and ritual, look no further. We have covered the emerald-hued wonder which is matcha in previous posts (focusing on white chocolate matcha truffles, which is a great introduction to matcha if you are unsure whether to give it a go), however it's time now to embrace it as an artisan drink, as a properly whisked matcha is a work of art.
BUT HOW CAN WE MAKE MATCHA PROPERLY?! I hear you cry. The best way to drink matcha is the authentic Japanese way, where we measure a small amount (~1.5 g) of matcha with a bamboo scoop (or a Chashaku) in a specific hand crafted bowl called Chawan, then whisk it with water using a bamboo whisk (or Chasen). This Japanese tea ceremony is an ancient and beautiful tradition that pays homage to the ritual of tea.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING MATCHA
The main stumbling block to greater acceptance of matcha seems to be the wide spread of inferior quality, old or badly prepared matcha. Always look for a finely milled vibrant green powder - this is an indication it is made from the highest quality tea leaves. The best matcha comes from Uji, a region high in the hills around Kyoto, renowned for producing the best Japanese teas. This area is only accessible by foot thus unpolluted and rich in friendly fauna which keeps pests under control. Organic matcha is always the best and very important as non-organic matcha is grown using excessive amounts of agricultural fertilisers and pesticide which harm the environment. All ceremonial and premium grades of matcha are stone ground in stone mortars for many hours, a careful and slow process which gives the finished matcha a sweet smoothness, better flavor and fuller texture (and commends a higher price). For a less expensive experience choose an organic Culinary grade matcha which could make excellent smoothies, lattes, cookies, ice cream, energy balls, granola bars (like the ones we stock at Tea Inc., a surprising hit and customer favourite!) in fact you could use matcha in nearly everything just use your imagination...
Do try swapping your morning coffee for matcha from time to time...not only will you be given a noticeable boost to start the day but the short ceremony associated with making matcha could become a part of preparing for the day ahead - make sure you pause and enjoy it fully, with a few quiet moments of reflection - you'll be glad you did!