No, the grinding in question isn’t a dance move; it’s how green tea leaves transform into Matcha tea. Make yourself the first in your group of friends to know about this ancient piece of Japanese culture and how to integrate it with what you already enjoy on a daily basis. Discover the mysteries of Matcha, and get ready to amaze with instructions on how to safely make your own!
Mystery 1. What is Matcha Tea?
When a skilled cultivator takes expertly grown, cut and dried green tea leaves and grinds them into an ultra-fine powder; you get Matcha. It is the tea used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, and its preparation and serving holds as much significance as its substance. Today, you find Matcha tea used as a base for dyes and flavorings. It has also achieved notoriety as a miracle weight loss supplement.
When you examine the actual substance, it’s not surprising to discover the brilliant simplicity of the process, and mystery number one is unraveled. After the tea is ground, the powder dissolves into hot water and is served. The host does not strain or flavor the tea before consumption, which is traditionally enjoyed with an accompanying sweet food.
A thin Matcha is very bitter, and a thick Matcha is only slightly more mild. Modern palates and specialty drink makers commonly add sweeteners to Matcha refreshments to make what they think is a nice Matcha green tea. Matcha flavorings area also added to beverages to make other unique drinks and drink mixes. The possibilities are almost endless, especially when you consider the fact that you don’t always have to add the tea powder to a liquid. Read on to unravel the next mystery.
Mystery 2. How to Choose a Matcha Tea
Like most things on the market, any caliber of Matcha product is available for purchase. It’s up to you as an informed, modern consumer to do your homework by browsing sites like this one before you make your purchase. Here are a few things that, when kept in mind, will help make your buying decision feel less like guesswork:
Am I going to drink this Matcha tea?
If you are planning to drink the Matcha, higher quality tea typically produces a more pleasing flavor. Buy the best Matcha green tea powder that you can. The cause of the sweet and mild taste relates to the age of the tree from which the leaves were grown. The older the tree; the sweeter the leaves.
Am I willing to pay a fair amount?
Old trees require generations of maintenance and dedicated cultivation. That doesn’t always come at a super-low price.
If you’re planning to use the Matcha as flavoring or additive, lower quality products are acceptable. Organically grown teas and those packaged without artificial or innocuous preservatives always make for a better option.
How interested am I in the history and traditional preparation of Matcha?
You don’t need a kimono to truly enjoy a Matcha experience, but it would make for a really gorgeous tea party dress. A journey into Japanese tea ceremony is magical for many, and easy to attain for most. There are specialized tea sets, books, video tutorials and countless fictional short stories guaranteed to propel you as far into the Japanese culture as you wish to go.
Mystery 3. How to Make Your Own Matcha
Unless you have a decades old tree from which to harvest your very own tea leaves, it’s best to begin your endeavor by sourcing reputable whole leaf tea merchants. Most larger cities have tea specialists, and services are abundant on the internet. Do some sleuthing and find the best Matcha tea leaves you can procure
Starting with fresh, whole leaves allows you to to control the entire process. However, you can also start with loose green tea, which is available at most grocery stores and markets. Once you have your hands on cut and dried green tea leaves, preferably organic and processed without artificial preservatives, you can roll your sleeves up for the hard work.
You’ll need a mortar and pestle, which are simply a large bowl and a hard, hand-held object. Place your green tea leaves into the clean, dry mortar and grind them down to a powder with the pestle. The Matcha should have no lumps or discernible leaf parts. The entirety of the substance should be fine, smooth, dusty, green powder.
Once you have your Matcha tea, you can store it easily for future use. Simply wrap it in plastic wrap or store compressed in glass jars. This will keep moisture to a minimum, and the compressed tea powder is less likely to disburse.
Now that You Know…
There are countless ways to integrate Matcha into your daily life. You can use the powder as flavorings to baked goods and other dishes. It creates a vibrant green tint and, when used properly, allows for endless creative possibilities.
You can stir Matcha into almost any other drink to use as a dietary supplement. The anti-oxidants are a wonderful thing to drink up with your morning smoothie, especially if you’re the type who won’t go near a vegetable. Beyond anti-oxidants, Matcha tea has multiple health benefits which we will cover in another blog post.