The cultural ceremony of drinking Japanese Matcha green tea is these days optional. Historically, the finely powdered tea leaves would be to sift it through a fine strainer scoop 1/2 to 2 teaspoons into a tea bowl depending on taste add 1/4 to 1/3 cup hot water whisk the mix together with a brisk motion until a soft foam appears.
But these days most recipes a person will find online will simply add the powder to most any drink or food item of choice. Its natural flavor is earthy and ‘green’ as is its natural color. It can color your ice cream or smoothie so that taking in the health benefits of Matcha can be fun and creative.
Matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves also used to make gyokuro, unlike other forms of powdered tea. Shade slows down growth, turning the leaves a darker shade of green and causes the production of amino acids that result in a sweeter tea. To go a grade further would be to use the soft and supple leaves from the very top.
After the harvest, the leaves are laid out flat for the drying process, still in the shade or even indoors. Once they begin to reach the crumble point, they are de-veined, de-stemmed, and stone ground to a powder. To look at what is now the Matcha powder, you would see that it is fine like talc and bright green.
Matcha has become a common ingredient in sweets. It can be
- mixed with milk and sugar as a drink
- added as a flavoring for cakes and pastries
- added to puddings and desserts
- the options are as limitless as your imagination.
Why Matcha? Because it is healthy, colorful, flavorful, and somewhat elite. Popular trends show that people prefer it when looking for something special, out of the ordinary, beyond the routine. It’s a conversation piece at the table. Matcha, more than other teas, truly does have a rich heritage and history.