Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fun with matcha

There is so much to learn about green tea,  and now it is time to focus on matcha.  Matcha is a powdered green tea traditionally used in the Japanese tea ceremony.  Matcha is made from leaves grown only in Japan.  It may actually be even healthier than brewing loose leaves, because you are drinking the actual ground up tea leaves!  I imagine that means there is more caffiene, too. There are many grades of matcha, from food grade up to the ceremonial grades. There are two main differences in matcha, 'thick' and 'thin'. Thin matcha is called usucha.  Thin matcha is more common than the thick version, and actually has a stronger, astringent flavor. Thick matcha, koicha, is grown from tea plants that are at least thirty five years old! It has a milder taste, so more of the powder is used, giving it a thicker consistency.  Koicha is usually more expensive.

photo from greenteagourmet.com
I am trying to learn more about how to prepare matcha the authentic way. I don't yet have a chawan (tea bowl), whisk, or the other necessary accoutrements.  They are easy enough to find, but I thought I should learn a little more about the methods before jumping in and buying lots of things.  In my research I came across a bunch of YouTube videos that are easy to follow, and very helpful.  My favorite videos are with two young men, Griff and Matt.  Based solely on appearance, they are the most unlikeliest of tea drinkers. On first glance I thought that they were going to do some sort of SNL skit.  But they really know their stuff!! I feel guilty for misjudging them.  See for yourself, they have a whole channel dedicated to green tea! Their channel is:

My matcha research has also led me to lots of beautiful chawan (chawans?), on etsy.com.  I cannot choose one! They are all so lovely!!

Tea and shopping. What could be better!! Once I have the proper tools, I will share my matcha experience.

1 comment:

  1. Matcha tea is so elegant, peculiar and healthy!
    I totally understand what you say. It's not just the tea, it is also the proper tools it involves...It's a world itself. Amazing! Have you tried it yet? Which Matcha bowl did you buy?
    Let me suggest you something. Once you enter the Matcha world, you can cook many things with it, so why not try a Green tea Ice Cream recipe? You can have it all year! It's pretty good actually.
    If you have the time to do it, tell me if you liked it.