Whether or not you're a tea aficionado, you’ve probably seen Matcha tea and Matcha flavored food in local stores, cafes, and restaurants. After all, it’s quickly become one of the most popular types of tea, surpassing many traditional favorites. But this special form of green tea isn't as simple to make as its tea counterparts. Unlike other teas which are made up of coarse tea leaves, matcha is actually a fine powder. This means it comes with special instructions to properly make and enjoy.
If you are looking to make matcha green tea at home, read on to learn about this special process.
History of Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea has been around for ages. The concept of green tea powder was first created in China, but the process itself was polished and popularized in Japan. As the 12th century AD came to an end, a Japanese man named Myōan Eisai took an interest in powdered green tea during his trip to China. From there, he began experimenting with ways to replicate the powdered green tea with his own take. He later penned a work called Kissayōjōki, which essentially means “Drinking Tea for your Health.”
Eisai's work has deemed matcha a special Japanese green tea and made it an integral variety in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.
How to Find Quality Matcha
If you're looking to make matcha at home, it all starts with finding quality ingredients.
Because of its increased popularity, it is now easy to find Matcha green tea powder. The real challenge lies in finding the right kind. A high-quality Matcha green tea undeniably provides a more authentic and enjoyable drinking experience than brands that process their product without proper attention to detail.
Quality-grade Matcha has a very distinctive look, feel, and taste. First, you can spot authentic Matcha powder by its appearance. A high quality matcha will come in a rich, vibrant shade of green. The more vibrant, the better the quality. If the powder is yellow or pale, then it’s probably a lower-quality brand.
As for the smell, high grade Matcha has a scent you could recognize anywhere. The aroma is strong, pleasant, and slightly sweet compared to other teas. The texture of powdered Matcha should be crushed finely and feel smooth to the touch, like baby powder.
Lastly, the taste and frothing must also be considered. High-grade Matcha tea should have a natural, earthy, only slightly bitter taste with a hint of sweetness. There should also be a thick layer of froth on top of a cup of matcha. If it doesn’t end up creamy and frothy while making it, then it is probably not high-grade.
Mosi Tea's Vanilla Matcha comes from the famous Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan, which is known around the world for its matcha. To add sweetness to its naturally grassy flavor, we couple it with warm vanilla from Australia for the perfect cup of quality matcha tea.
Equipment Needed to Make Matcha at Home
Matcha is traditionally prepared using a set of equipment that has been around since it was first invented. Here are the traditional materials, along with their modern alternatives:
Chawan (Matcha bowl) / Small bowl or mug
Chasen (Bamboo whisk) / Milk frother or Mosi's flexible silicone whisk
Chashaku (Bamboo scoop) / Teaspoon
Furui (Sifter) / Kitchen strainer
Most households don’t have the traditional tools on hand; you will likely have to look for them online or in Japanese stores near you. However, if you want to make Matcha tea without having to splurge on the equipment, then the modern substitutes can still create a similarly delicious and more practical outcome.
How to Make Matcha Tea
Matcha tea is fairly simple to make. First, prepare all of your equipment. You want to have everything set out ahead of time to avoid mess and speed up the cleaning process. Once done, follow this brief step-by-step guide on how to start preparing your Matcha tea.
If you’re using the traditional tools, then pour hot water into your bowl and begin whisking the Chasen (bamboo whisk) back and forth into the hot water to soften its material. If you’re using a frother or Mosi's matcha attachment, skip to step 3.
Drain the water and wipe the bowl down with a clean cloth.
Scoop 1 to 2 teaspoons of Matcha into the furui or kitchen strainer. Sift the Matcha thoroughly into the bowl, pressing any clumps through the mesh to break them up.
Add 20 ounces of hot water to the bowl.
Begin whisking or frothing your Matcha with the hot water. Make sure you whisk in a zigzag motion to achieve the best results. If you are using a Mosi silicone whisk attachment, whisk in the bowl until mostly blended, and then transfer the liquid to the Mosi travel mug and attach the whisk to the lid.
Keep whisking (or shaking your Mosi travel mug) until the tea begins to form a thick, creamy layer of froth at the top.
Once it’s all nice and frothy, it’s time to enjoy your drink!
How to Make a Matcha Latte
Matcha lattes are a modern way to enjoy this traditional tea. Many enjoy this drink, as the creaminess of the milk complements the naturally sweet and earthy taste of the Matcha tea. Here is how you can make it at home.
Prepare 1 teaspoon of Matcha powder, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of hot water, and 300 milliliters of milk or milk alternative of choice.
Place the matcha powder into your mug or bowl.
Add the hot water and begin mixing it all together. You should know that you’re ready for the next step when it begins to form a smooth paste. Make sure there aren’t any lumps before you proceed!
From there, add the milk and continue to mix with your Chasen, Mosi whisk or frother. Mix it all together until your latte is a light green color. Again, make sure there aren’t any lumps.
Enjoy your tea!
Many fusion drinks have been invented since Matcha lattes rose to popularity. Many enjoy mixing their drinks with coffee, chocolate, and even strawberries. It all depends on your unique preferences!
Benefits of Drinking Matcha
Matcha tea and Japanese green tea both offer several health benefits. However, many studies and individual experiences have found that certain benefits are exclusive to Matcha. Here are some of the health benefits you can enjoy when you make Matcha green tea regularly:
Improved Brain Function and Cognitive Abilities
A study has found that drinking Matcha tea can enhance brain function, specifically in terms of attention span and reaction time. The participants were 23 individuals split into groups that were given Matcha tea and a placebo to consume. The results of the study showed that the participants who drank the Matcha tea displayed an improved attention span, reaction time, and memory. There was a significant difference compared to those who were given the placebo. It is theorized that this is because Matcha contains more l-theanine than other green teas.
One of the most well-known benefits of drinking Matcha tea is that it serves as a powerful antioxidant. In fact, it could possibly prevent cell damage due to its high antioxidant content.
Matcha tea contains 1348 units of Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) per gram, which is 13x more in comparison to the amount found in pomegranates and 15x more in blueberries. Matcha tea also contains Catechins, which identify and mitigate the harmful effects caused by free radicals in the body.
Substitute for Coffee
It’s a given that when people feel that they are lacking in energy or feeling sleepy throughout the day, then coffee will be their number one option to make them feel more vigilant and alert. However, coffee also has its disadvantages, such as the jittery and nervous feeling it causes due to its caffeine content. Matcha tea could become a solid substitute for coffee, as it offers the same energy-inducing properties without causing anxiety or nervousness.
Both Matcha tea and coffee contain caffeine. However, Matcha has 70 mg of caffeine, while coffee only has around 47 mg. It may seem like Matcha tea could cause more harmful effects given the higher caffeine content, but considering its calming effects, the tea seems like an equally reliable option to your usual cup of coffee.
A study has found a certain amino acid in Matcha tea that is known to fend off stress and promote calmness. This amino acid is called L-theanine, known to increase neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This is responsible for eliminating stress throughout the body, so those who consume Matcha tea can experience its benefits without any unnecessary side effects.
Reduces Risk of Disease
While it is well-known that Matcha helps to support your health, it is much lesser known that these benefits even extend to your bones. The results of a study have found that drinking Matcha tea can reduce the risk of developing Osteoporosis by reducing inflammation-causing oxidative in the bones. Matcha tea can also lower or maintain your cholesterol levels. A different review of studies has found that drinking Green tea consistently can help in eliminating bad cholesterol or LDL, which may cause heart attacks, stroke, or other ailments if left untreated.
Make Yourself a Cup of Matcha Tea!
Matcha tea is one of the healthiest options when it comes to finding an enjoyable and unique beverage. The health benefits mentioned in the article are only some out of the many advantages that Matcha tea has to offer; studies are continuously being developed to discover and optimize the positive effects of this powerful variety of Japanese green tea.
While making matcha may seem daunting at first, we hope this blog can serve as a guide to ease the process and encourage you to try your first cup of matcha, and enjoy its countless benefits, from the comfort of your home or on the go.