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The Ultimate Guide to Matcha Tea: Choose it, Prepare it, & Enjoy it

Posted on3 Years ago by
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About Matcha Green Tea

Why is everyone such an advocate for matcha? Is it really the holy grail of green tea? Matcha has been revered for centuries due to its valuable medicinal properties as well as its ability to encourage wakefulness and alertness for hours. A few benefits of matcha include:

  • Packed with antioxidants such as EGCg

  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

  • Fortifies the immune system

  • Increases energy levels

  • Detoxifies body

  • Enhances calm

  • Rich in fiber, chlorophyll, and vitamins

If this isn’t enough to get you on board with matcha tea, know that it is rich and delicious and capable of being used as an ingredient in ice creams, baked goods, smoothies, and more. The traditional cup of matcha goes way back to 8th century in China. Over the years people have learned how to harvest and process different kinds of matcha, how to flawlessly prepare it, and how to savour each cup. Learn more about the three steps to a perfect cup of matcha.

Step One: Choose Your Grade of Matcha Tea

Ceremonial Grade

Ceremonial grade matcha is the most pristine grade available. This grade of tea is meant only to be consumed as a traditional drink without additional ingredients. The purity and taste profile is a result of the careful care that goes into its production. This price can fluctuate regularly.

Ceremonial grade matcha spends its last few weeks of growth in bamboo mats protected from the sun. Leaves are hand-picked and dried indoors away from sunlight. This process ensures the leaves are vibrant green and filled with nutrients.

The stems are removed by hand. Even the veins running through each leaf is discarded by hand. A millstone is used to grind the dried leaves into a fine powder. The powder is immediately stored and sealed in airtight containers to prevent oxidization. This preserves the integrity of the taste profile.

Premium Grade

Premium matcha is not as pristine as the ceremonial grade but is better in nutritional value and taste to a cooking grade tea. This tea is often referred to as the “in-between” grade. It is better processed and grown than cooking tea but does not stack up to the taste profile or intensive processing of the ceremonial grade.

Basic Grade

This is the cooking grade tea. The basic grade is grown with intent to be used as a complementary ingredient rather than a stand-alone cup of matcha. You can use this grade to make a cup of tea but you will need approximately 4 grams per cup as opposed to the traditional 2 grams per cup. The cost of basic matcha tea is more reasonable for consumers and is great for people looking to enjoy the taste and benefits of matcha without breaking the bank.

Basic matcha often has sweeteners added due to the slightly bitter taste. The tea is grown to be bitter as it is expected to be used in recipes, lattes, and sweetened mugs. The astringent flavour is popular in baked goods, smoothies, and other dishes.

Step Two: Prepare Matcha At Home

Prepare Hot Matcha Tea

  1. Use the Perfect Matcha Spoon to scoop tea powder to six ounces of water (¾ cup). Depending on grade of tea or your personal taste, you may want to experiment with more or less powder.

  2. Use hot water (approximately 80 degrees celsius) rather than cooling off boiled water. Boiling the water reduces the amount of oxygen in the water and it becomes more stale. Heat the water until the bubbles reach the size of  'crab eyes'. This is an ancient Chinese technique that can be found here. Alternately you can use the kettle that adjust the temperature automatically or use a candy or meat thermometer as the water is heating.

  3. Remove matcha lumps through a Matcha Strainer.

  4. Use two ounces of water with powder and whisk together with a Matcha Whisk.

  5. Once the mixture is frothy add the remaining water.

  6. Enjoy your tea!

Prepare Iced Matcha Tea

  1. Mix half of a teaspoon of matcha tea powder with a few ounces of water.

  2. Whisk the mixture into a paste.

  3. Add 10-12 ounces of water.

  4. You can add sweetener to taste.

Prepare Matcha Facial (Two Masks)

Ingredients:

-Matcha powder

-Water

-Organic honey

  1. Combine 1 tsp each of matcha powder, water, and organic honey

  2. Mix the ingredients

  3. Apply the mask and leave on for 20 minutes

  4. Rinse and pat dry

  5. Apply a moisturizer directly after



Step Three: Have Your Own Matcha Ceremony

The Matcha tea ceremony began when Japanese Buddhist monks brought green tea back from China and made the beverage integral to many of their meditative practices. The tea ceremony is called a Japanese chanoyu. The purpose of the ceremony is to engage in harmony, tranquility, purity, and respect through the seemingly simple act of preparing and enjoying tea.

The renowned Buddhist teacher and monk Thich Nhat Hanh said: “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

You too, can use your tea time as a greater metaphor for how you live your life; with greater attention and consciousness. Here are a number of tips to make your matcha prep into a ceremonial practice:

  1. Use deliberate mindful motions while preparing your ingredients

  2. Sip your tea without any distraction (no phone, no book, no TV, etc)

  3. Engage all of your senses as you enjoy your tea

  4. Silently sit and drink the tea slowly

  5. Clean up with the same acute attention

Shop Matcha Green Tea

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