If you love tea as much as we do, you'll fall in love with all the herbal goodness that comes from making a freshly brewed cup of matcha tea. The best part is that it's super easy, and you can use this bright green powder in a few different and delicious ways.
In this article, we'll look at what matcha powder is, how to use it, and the benefits you can get from enjoying a steaming cup of matcha tea. We'll also share a very good recipe for matcha tea with you. Whether you're new to the tea game or a seasoned tea drinker, let's whisk our way into what makes this popular drink so amazing!
What is Matcha Green Tea?
It is Japanese green tea. It is a fine powder made from ground-up young green tea leaves. The process originated in East Asia and, over time, found its way to Japan, where it became part of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies and an essential part of Japanese culture.
The traditional way to drink ceremonial matcha involves a few essential steps. Drinking matcha green tea in a ceremony is quite complex, and there are specific rules to follow to do it properly.
We recommend you try a traditional Japanese tea ceremony to experience the art form and culture of this tea. Or try the matcha recipe we're sharing today at home.
What Does Matcha Powder Taste Like?
A good quality matcha powder has a vibrant green color and an earthy or grassy taste. Although the original recipe for this finely ground powder used mainly hot water, many people today use steamed milk or fresh almond milk. And they're making everything from iced matcha lattes to thick matcha smoothies, ice cream, cakes, cookies, and more!
Does it Contain Caffeine?
Yes, the perfect cup of matcha has caffeine. It contains more caffeine than green tea but a bit less than coffee. There might not be enough caffeine for you to just up and quit coffee, but enough to satisfy those cravings.
Many coffee drinkers can incorporate a cup of this tea into their day and not feel the harsh effects of caffeine. Just don't expect it to taste exactly like coffee! It is full-bodied and slightly bitter like coffee, but it is also surprisingly earthy and full of hearty flavor!
Benefits of Drinking Matcha Tea
The modern matcha trend started a few years ago, and its popularity has gained momentum. You can find it listed as a menu option at your favorite coffee shop and as an ingredient in many founds like smoothies, cakes, cookies, and more. Although these food items can contain other ingredients, a nice warm cup of this beverage contains some incredible health benefits.
The beverage is both energizing and calming, and the process of making the tea is a way to pause and enjoy the moment. It is also very high in antioxidants, which reduce cell damage and help prevent diseases.
Different Grades of Matcha
Before you make a small cup of this delightful drink, you should know that not all matcha is equal. It comes in two distinctly different grades, each with its unique flavor and level of quality and use.
Ceremonial grade is similar to ceremonial Japanese green tea powder. Out of all the grades, the ceremonial grade has the smoothest flavor and the brightest bright green color. It is considered the best grade to use for drinking. If you're looking for the best ceremonial grade matcha, here's one worth trying!
The culinary grade matcha (cooking grade) is much different than the ceremonial version. It is darker in color, almost having a greenish brown appearance, and is slightly bitter in comparison. The ceremonial version is an excellent choice for making matcha drinks, cuisine, and anything else because it has the smoothest flavor and highest potency. However, this potent matcha powder is slightly more expensive, so feel free to stick to culinary matcha when you need it for baking, cooking, candy, or a matcha latte recipe.
Equipment To Make Matcha
Before you sit down and relax with your soothing cup of matcha, there are a few pieces of equipment to get before you start the recipe! Here are the items you'll need to begin your matcha-making journey:
A tea bowl (or chawan/matcha bowl) - You'll need a suitable size bowl to properly whisk and blend your scoop of matcha with the warm water. This is typically a small bowl from which you will later sip your tea.
Matcha whisk - A specially designed bamboo whisk makes for the perfect blending of your powder into a thick froth. Try to find one with a whisk holder, so it dries properly after use.
Fine mesh strainer or sifter (optional) - Even with the right whisk, you may not remove all powder lumps. Sifting before you add the powder to your bowl helps make a smoother beverage.
How to Make Matcha
Got your tools, boiling water, and matcha ready? Great! No special cooking tips are needed to make this recipe. You can easily have your very own green tea ceremony in minutes!
Prep Time: 5 minutes - Yield: 1 drink
¾ teaspoon matcha green tea powder
2 ounces (¼ cup) cool water
6 ounces (¾ cup) hot water (approximately 175 to 180°F)
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (optional)
Boil your water, and remove the lid to let it cool until there's no more steam coming off the top before you pour it. Your water should be a little cooler with matcha tea. If you pour boiling water over the powder, you may end up with a bitter taste.
Make a paste: To make a thick tea add ¾ teaspoon of matcha powder to a matcha bowl either by sifting or adding directly. For thin matcha, use a ½ teaspoon instead. Add a few drops of lukewarm or cool water and whisk vigorously for about 20 to 30 seconds to make a paste.
Add hot water: When you have a nice frothy paste, fill the cup about halfway up with your hot water and whisk it until the powder dissolves.
Add your sweetener. Since matcha contains no added sugar, you can balance the bitterness with a little bit of honey or maple syrup.
Other Matcha Drink Creations
Once you've learned how to make matcha, you can play around with other ingredients to take these brilliant green ground-up tea leaves to the next level! Add some almond milk or regular milk to elevate your matcha drinking experience. Anyone for a matcha latte?
Add milk to your matcha cup for a robust tasting concoction. You can use almond or oat milk, rice, soy, or even regular milk; they all work fine! If you have a milk frother kicking around the kitchen, even better!
Iced Matcha Latte
Add ice and turn your regular matcha latte into an iced matcha latte! This frosty beverage is the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer's day!
Pour the matcha into a blender, add some fruit like blueberries or strawberries, milk of your choice, and blend for a berry-bursting beverage with all of the health benefits of an antioxidant powerhouse smoothie!
The best part about playing around with your original Japanese green tea recipe is that you can make matcha-inspired drinks dairy free, vegan or gluten-free. You can even adjust the sweetness to be as sweet as you like it! Have fun and enjoy!
You don't need a traditional Japanese tea ceremony to enjoy all the flavor that matcha has to offer fully. With a few minutes and even fewer tools and ingredients, you can create your very own unique matcha tea tasting experience!
Learn more and buy some matcha today at firebellytea.com.