Category: Matcha

I’ve waited for 1 month to buy this legendary Matcha Mochi sweets! Ginza Kazuya

I’ve waited for 1 month to buy this legendary Matcha Mochi sweets! Ginza Kazuya

In Ginza, Tokyo Japan, there is a very popular and famous Matcha sweets that are very difficult to get. It is “Kazuya-no-Ren” from Ginza Kazuya in Tokyo.٩(๑•̀ω•́๑)۶

Let me share more about that sweet with you!

 

You need to make reservation at least one month before.

First, you need a reservation to buy this delicious dessert. You can reserve by calling shop or visiting it, however, since the shop is super busy they rarely can pick up calls. I called them several times, but they didn’t pick up, so I ended up visiting the shop to make a reservation. [Please see below for the detailed shop information]

 

ginza kazuya shop

 

At the shop they tell you dates and time slots where you can pick up your order, but those dates are usually one month ahead!! If you are really lucky you can pick up an earlier date when somebody cancelled and they have an opening. You need to tell them how many boxes you want, your name and your phone number.

 

kazuya menu

 

Their popular sweets are called “Kazuya-no-Ren” but besides that they also sell other sweets such as Yokan, candy and Matcha tea powder that you don’t need reservation for. But I highly recommend you try “Kazuya-no-Ren”.

 

Let’s go pick it up!

After one month, I visited the shop again to pick up my order. “Kazuya-no-Ren” comes with 6 pieces for 2,150 yen with some ice packs because needs to be kept refrigerated.

 

kazuya box

 

“Kazuya-no-Ren” is made from some simple ingredients without any preservatives, so they last only one day. I referred it as “Matcha Mochi” but technically it is not Mochi because it is not made from Mochi rice.

 

kazuya box inside

 

It is a high-quality Matcha sweets that cannot be categorized under usual Wagashi groups.

Because each piece of “Kazuya-no-Ren” is wrapped with a bamboo leaf, first I was surprised at how much fresh aroma they have.

 

kazuya no ren wrapped

 

Once you open the bamboo leaf wrapping, you will see the vivid green Matcha color. By this color, you can tell how rich taste and flavor of Matcha it has.

 

kazuya no ren

 

I was expecting it would taste like mousse by its looking, but it is way more complicated! It is chewy like Mochi, soft like pudding and smooth like mousse. Of course it has strong taste and flavor of Matcha, but I could feel rich milk taste as well, just like I am drinking a really good Matcha latte.

 

delicious kazuya no ren matcha mochi

delicious kazuya no ren matcha mochi 2

 

It was something I never tasted before and cannot be categorized in anything. It is absolutely worth the wait. Super delicious, thumbs up for it!!

 

[Shop info] Ginza Kazuya (銀座かずや)

Access: 3 min walk from Hibiya station. The shop is located inside a building, and it is really small.
1. Take the A4 exit of Hibiya station and turn right under railway viaduct.
2. Go into a building on your right side that has a small sign saying “菓子”.

 

ginza kazuya access

 

Hours: 11:30am – 3:00pm (close once sold out), closed on Sunday and public holidays.

Note:
1. Cash only
2. No English menu

Website: ginzakazuya.com(Japanese only)

Address: 1-6-8 Matsui Building 1F, Yurakucho, Chiyoda, Tokyo

 
 

You have to wait for more than one month, so it is difficult to try when traveling but if you get a chance, please give it a try! And let me know how you like it.

Related post: my recommended 3 cafes in tokyo where you can enjoy matcha and high-grade japanese sweets

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

All about Japanese tea: types and how they are different from other teas

All about Japanese tea: types and how they are different from other teas

As you know, Matcha is one type of Japanese teas. However, did you know there are many other types of delicious Japanese teas? ٩(๑´0`๑)۶

Let me introduce you to the world of Japanese teas!

 

Japanese tea is ‘unfermented’, unlike most of other teas

Unfermented tea is made from tea leaves that have been heated in such a way as to prevent oxidization from enzymes, whether by steaming, roasting on a pan, drying out in the sunlight or other similar methods.

Almost all tea made in Japan is green tea, aka Ryoku-cha (緑茶), and the term Ryoku-cha refers to this unfermented tea. As the tea leaves have not been fermented, the tea becomes a brilliant green color. Thus, the green color of the tea gave rise to the name Ryoku-cha.

I will show you some of the most common Ryoku-cha!

 

Sen-cha (煎茶)

Sen-cha is the most widely consumed type of green tea (Ryoku-cha) in Japan. The usual method of preparing Sen-cha involves steaming fresh tea leaves before rolling and shaping them. The longer they’re steamed for the more the color and flavor of the tea will change, becoming darker, stronger and reducing the astringency. For that reason there are multiple different grades or varieties of Sen-cha.

 

 

Gyokuro (玉露)

Gyokuro is a type of green tea where the tea plants, shortly after they begin to sprout, are covered up in order to prevent them from receiving direct sunlight during their growth. By limiting the sprouts’ exposure to sunlight, astringency in the leaves is reduced and their flavor becomes richer. Its main characteristic is the resemblance in flavor to nori seaweed. As cultivating Gyokuro is a more painstaking process than regular Sen-cha, it is considered to be the most high class variety of green tea in Japan.

 

 

Matcha (抹茶)

Matcha is a type of green tea made from powdered ‘Ten-cha’ tea leaves. Ten-cha is much like Gyokuro in that it is cultivated with limited exposure to sunlight, but the main difference is that rather than being rolled up before drying they are left flat, and the veins and stalks of the leaves are removed. Also the way of making Matcha is different from other teas as Matcha is powdered, to make Matcha tea, you need to mix Matcha powder with hot water with a whisk, not steaming.

Related post: what is matcha? basics of matcha green tea from japanese people

Related post: matcha vs green tea. matcha is not just a powdered green tea!

 

 

Matcha is mainly consumed during Japanese tea ceremony, Sado, without being added any sugar or milk. But other than that, Matcha can be used for sweets or other sweet drinks such as Matcha latte.

 

 

 

Hoji-cha (ほうじ茶)

Hoji-cha is made from taking Sen-cha or other green tea and roasting it over a strong flame until it turns a light brown, resulting in a very fragrant brew. Due to the roasting process that gives Hoji-cha its brown color, the caffeine content is sublimated creating its distinctive flavor.

 

 

Genmai-cha (玄米茶)

Genmai-cha is a variety of tea where brown rice that has been soaked and boiled in water is roasted and then added to Sencha or other types of green tea in a roughly equal ratio. The aroma of the roasted brown rice mixed with the refreshing taste of the green tea is a delight.

 

 

Non-green-tea Japanese teas

There are not very common but there are some Japanese teas that are not green teas. For example: Mugi-cha, tea made from roasted wheat. Sakura-cha, tea made from salted petals of cherry blossom that is usually consumed in spring.

 

 
 

If you visit Japan, please try as many Japanese teas as you can and find your favorite one!

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

Matcha utensils! What tools do you need to make Matcha tea?

Matcha utensils! What tools do you need to make Matcha tea?

In Japanese tea ceremony, you usually need specific utensils to make Matcha tea. Here, I will introduce you 4 Matcha utensils I recommend you have though some utensils can be substituted with kitchen tools you already have!

Related post: what is matcha? basics of matcha green tea from japanese people

 

Matcha bowl, Matcha Chawan (抹茶茶碗)

Matcha Chawan is a tea bowl for making Matcha. They are usually made from porcelain or ceramic, and have a wide mouth which makes it easy to make Matcha. There are many types of materials and patterns. Sometimes the patterns express seasonal designs or a lucky charm.

Chawan usually has a front, and it is the most beautiful part of the Chawan. In a ceremony, host faces the front of the Chawan towards guests when he/she offer matcha tea, and to show respect during the ceremony guests will slightly rotate the Chawan as to not drink directly from the front.

Matcha Chawan is most commonly available at stores that specialize in utensils for Japanese cooking. There are cheap Chawan available, but antique Chawan or Chawan that were used by popular designers can fetch a high price. Try searching for one that best fits your taste.

 

 

 

You can substitute Matcha Chawan with a cereal bowl or a soup bowl.

 

Matcha whisk, Chasen(茶筅)

Chasen, or Matcha whisk, is a tool used to mix Matcha powder with hot water when making tea. Normally Chasen has 100 thin bamboo prongs. Chasen is used to mix Matcha and hot water. Thanks to thin prongs you can make your Matcha drink very attractive looking and frothy.

 

 

When finished with using the Chasen, dip it in warm water and gently swirl it to get the Matcha powder to come off. Do not use any type of soap or dish detergent on your Chasen. After washing, hang it out away from direct sunlight in a place with good ventilation to prevent mold from growing on it. You may wish to use a Chasen holder to help preserve its shape.

 

 

You can substitute Chasen with a handy milk frothier.

 

(optional) Matcha spoon, Chashaku(茶杓)

Chashaku is a thin Matcha spoon made by bamboo. It is typically hand-made by professionals and very delicate. Chashaku is used to scoop out Matcha tea powder.

 

 

If you don’t have Chashaku, you can use a regular spoon instead.

 

(optional) Matcha tea powder container, Natsume(棗)

Natsume is a jar that contains Matcha tea powder in Japanese tea ceremony.

There are many types of Natsume. Typically, it is lacquered and has beautiful painting or pattern on it to entertain guests during the ceremony.

 

 

It is not designed to preserve Matcha tea powder for long time, but it is used during tea ceremony. To preserve Matcha tea powder, please make sure to put Matcha tea powder in an air-tight container and save it at cool and dry place.

How to make Matcha tea

You will need Matcha powder, hot water, a bowl and a whisk.
1. First, put 2g (about 2 scoops of Chashaku, Matcha spoon) of Matcha powder into a Chawan, Matcha bowl.
2. Then, pour 60ml of hot (80℃/175℉ is the best) water into Chawan.
3. Whisk quickly for about 15 seconds with Chasen, a bamboo whisk, making “m” shape, until your drink gets frothy.

It is easy and simple. Of course, you can change the ratio to enjoy Matcha tea!

 
 

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

Thick Matcha tea, Koicha? Matcha tea you didn’t know

Thick Matcha tea, Koicha? Matcha tea you didn’t know

Matcha tea is a drink enjoyed at Japanese tea ceremony, but did you know that there are two types of Matcha tea? Matcha tea can be Usucha (thin) or Koicha (thick).(・0・。)

Related post: what is matcha? basics of matcha green tea from japanese people

 

 

Usucha (thin Matcha tea) and Koicha (thick Matcha tea)

Typically, Matcha tea is referred as Usucha (thin Matcha tea), because most of Matcha tea cafes provide Usucha.

However, there is another type of Matcha tea that is served at Japanese tea ceremony, what we call it “Koicha” (thick Matcha tea). There are only few places/cafes that provide Koicha and even most of Japanese people have not tried it.

Related post: my recommended 3 cafes in tokyo where you can enjoy matcha and high-grade japanese sweets

 

 

What is Koicha (thick Matcha tea)?

Koicha tends to be much thicker than Usucha. It doesn’t froth like Usucha and is prepared with more tea leaves and less hot water. Please think about Usucha as regular coffee, and Koicha is espresso! But the texture of Koicha is not watery at all, it is more like a rich and thick melted chocolate.

In tea ceremony, Usucha is a basic tea that beginners usually start with. Koicha is for advanced learners.

High grade Matcha is commonly used to make Koicha. Because of the high concentration, the taste of the tea tends to be strong and direct. If cheap Matcha is used, it can end up tasting too bitter. In proper Koicha, the umami flavors of the Matcha overpower the bitterness, making it quite delicious to drink.

 

 

Where can I try Koicha?

Places/cafes that you can enjoy Koicha are very limited compared to Usucha. Please find cafes that are specialized in Matcha tea or if you are in Japan, there are classes where you can have Japanese tea ceremony experience and try Koicha!

 

What Wagashi is good with Koicha?

Koicha is very thick so Wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets) that goes well with Koicha should be more sweet than typical Wagashi. Usually Wagashi that have a strong taste of red bean paste match well with Koicha, for example Yo-kan and Nerikiri (beautiful shaped Wagashi that is made of white bean paste mixed with sweet Mochi). Richness of Koicha in general match well with the sweetness from Wagashi!

Related post: what is yokan? traditional japanese sweets that can be very arty

 

 
 

You may be surprised at the first time when you try Koicha because it is very thick. But once you can have a really good Koicha, I bet you will be obsessed with it! (just like me!) It may be difficult to find places where you can try Koicha, but if you find it please give it a shot!

 

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

Can Matcha contribute to weight loss? Matcha is really a superfood!

Can Matcha contribute to weight loss? Matcha is really a superfood!

Did you know Matcha has so many health benefits? Matcha contains many of nutrition that support your healthy lifestyle, such as catechin, theanine, tannin, vitamin, saponin and many others. (●´∀`)ノ

Related post: what is matcha? basics of matcha green tea from japanese people

Matcha can be the best drink in your weight loss journey! Why? Lets go through main reasons why, and explore healthy ways to consume Matcha.

 

Matcha is good for weight loss

Matcha leaves, in powdered form, are readily drinkable after dissolving into hot water, because of this, you can take in every bit of their components. Matcha leaves include an abundance of healthy substances and components that are good for losing weight.

Related post: matcha vs green tea. matcha is not just a powdered green tea!

 

Matcha helps you control absorb fat and carb/sugar

Matcha is rich in catechin, which suppresses the absorption of lipids and carbohydrates ingested during meals. When eating fatty foods or sweet things, we should drink Matcha at the same time to reduce absorption of fat.

In particular, Matcha is a good combination with sweets, as you know. So if you crave for some sweets when losing weight, Matcha can be the best drink for you!

 

Matcha helps you burn fat

The tannin contained in Matcha increases the ability to burn fat. It also reduces cholesterol in the blood and boosts the ability to burn visceral fat and subcutaneous fat.

In addition, Matcha contains caffeine, which promotes fat burning effect. By drinking Matcha before doing aerobic exercise, visceral fat is preferentially used as energy, so fat becomes easier to burn than usual.

 

Matcha helps regulate bowel movements

Because Matcha is tea leaves turned into powder, it has the characteristic of being rich in fiber. Dietary fiber relieves constipation and regulates the intestines.

It doesn’t only stimulate your bowels, it also has the effect of absorbing any excessive nutrients or toxins, and works to discharge them outside of the body.

 

How to consume Matcha in a healthy way

Traditional way to enjoy Matcha is very healthy and tasty as it, however why don’t we explore other healthy ways to enjoy it? Let me introduce you 2 additional ways to consume Matcha. And of course, they are delicious and very healthy!

 

Add Matcha to your healthy smoothie

Add one teaspoon of Matcha powder to your smoothie is an easy way to intake nutrition from Matcha in addition to fruits and veggies. I will introduce you one Matcha smoothie that you can make easily!

Banana Soy Milk Matcha Smootie
– One teaspoon of Matcha powder
– One frozen banana
– ¼ cup of soymilk or milk of your choice
– Good amount of cold water or ice cubes

What you need to do is just to blend everything in a mixer. It is easy, healthy and delicious!

 

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Add ginger to a cup of Matcha

Ginger is known as a super food that can help you burn fat and have other many health benefits. How about we try to combine it with Matcha?

Ginger Matcha tea
– One teaspoon of Matcha powder
– ½ cup of hot water
– One teaspoon of ginger juice
– Good amount of honey

Honey makes this drink taste smooth. If you really like ginger, go ahead and add some slices of ginger!

 
 

Matcha is healthy and good for your weight loss. But of course, being a tea, it also contains caffeine. For that reason, try to avoid excessive intake, and drink no more than two to three 200ml cups per day for an adult. φ( ̄ー ̄ )

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

Matcha vs green tea. Matcha is not just a powdered green tea!

Matcha vs green tea. Matcha is not just a powdered green tea!

Matcha sometimes is recognized as “green tea powder” but it is actually more than that! Let’s explore the world of green tea and Matcha together! ( ̄∇+ ̄)v

 

What’s green tea?

Green tea (Ryokucha) refers to group of teas made with unfermented fresh tea leaves, such as Sencha, Gyokuro, Tencha and Houjicha.

Among those many kinds of green teas, Matcha is made from Tencha (碾茶).

Related post: what is matcha? basics of matcha green tea from japanese people

 

What is Tencha?

Tencha is a special tea that, unlike other green teas, is made with leaves that are grown on tea plantation with special cover, to make sure tea leaves are not exposed to strong sunlight, before being steamed and dried.

Protection from strong sunlight, helps to develop deeper and richer umami (savory) flavor. Tencha also has the stalks and veins of the leaf removed.

 

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Matcha is powdered Tencha

Matcha is Tencha grounded into a powder with a stone mill. It priced higher compared to other green teas is because of higher labor and process effort involved.

You can use Matcha powder for drinks, cooking and sweets making. It gives vivid green color and rich tea flavor to them. Matcha is frequently used ingredient in Japanese sweets.

Sweets of Japan also sells Matcha Mania Box that includes Matcha powder and lots of Matcha sweets!

 Sweets of Japan
Sweets of Japan
All about Japanese traditional sweets "Wagashi" and "Matcha"

 

What is Sencha?

Unlike Tencha, tea leaves grown without being kept out of direct sunlight are known as Sencha. Sencha is made with tea leaves grown in plenty of sunlight. After tea leaves are collected they are steamed, kneaded and dried.

When tea leaves are grown in sunlight, the umami ingredients (teanins) are transformed into astringent catechins. For this reason, Sencha has fewer umami ingredients compared to Tencha.

Usually Japanese people enjoy Sencha as an everyday tea without adding any milk and sugar.

 

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“Powdered green tea” is powdered Sencha

Powdered Sencha is usually called “powdered green tea” or “green tea powder” in Japan. You can often enjoy it at conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Japan, as you usually make tea for yourself. Have you tried it?

 

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Difference between Matcha and powdered green tea

To sum up, green tea that is made under sunlight is Sencha. And powdered Sencha is “powdered green tea” or “green tea powder”.

On the other hand, green tea that is made with very limited exposure to sunlight is Tencha. And Matcha is powdered Tencha.

 

Hope you understand more about Matcha and green tea now! (´罒`)✧
Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)

What is Matcha? Basics of Matcha green tea from Japanese people

What is Matcha? Basics of Matcha green tea from Japanese people

Matcha popularity has been growing at a fast pace all over the world. When I travel overseas to see my friends they often ask me to bring some real Japanese Matcha for them!But, how much do you really know about Matcha? Allow me to tell you few basic things about Matcha that you may find useful! φ(・ω・ )

 

What is Matcha?

Matcha is one of the traditional teas of Japan, made by pounding tencha leaves into a powdered green tea using a stone mortar. Tencha is a green tea cultivated without exposure to sunlight, with few astringent catechins, for a strong bodied and flavorful tea.

In Japanese homes, green tea is generally drank on a daily basis rather than Matcha. This is because, while Matcha is made from green tea, it is a high class item that can only be produced from good quality, high grade tea. Matcha is typically drank at the formal tea parties that make up Sado (茶道: tea ceremony), a traditional Japanese cultural practice.

However, in these days, you see many cafes provide Matcha and you can enjoy Matcha more easily and casually on daily basis.

Related post: my recommended 3 cafes in tokyo where you can enjoy matcha and high-grade japanese sweets

Related post: matcha vs green tea. matcha is not just a powdered green tea!

 

 

How to drink/prepare Matcha?

The way of making a cup of Matcha is different from the way of brewing tea. Here is an easy and basic way to make a cup of Matcha tea.

Related post: matcha utensils! what tools do you need to make matcha tea?

You will need Matcha powder, hot water, a bowl and a whisk.
1. Put 2g of Matcha powder into a steady bowl.
2. Pour 60ml of hot (80℃/175℉ is the best) water into the bowl.
3. Whisk quickly for about 15 seconds with a bamboo whisk*, making “m” shape, until your drink gets frothy. *if you don’t have a bamboo whisk, a metal whisk also works!

In Japanese tea ceremonies (Sado), Matcha is drunk hot without sugar. However, other than Sado, you can of course add sugar. You can even add ice cubes to make it cold or add milk to make Matcha latte (Matcha drink + milk) is very good too.
Many people enjoy Matcha with delicious sweets. Nowadays some Western sweets made to complement Matcha drink well, including cookies or muffins!

However, most Japanese Enjoy Matcha with traditional Japanese sweets Wagashi. Wagashi was developed to complement Sado and Matcha drinking ceremonies, not only from taste (typical Matcha is unsweetened and bitter when you drink), but also from looks and sound perspectives.

Related post: wagashi and matcha – combination polished through ages!

 

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What are health benefits of Matcha?

Matcha uses the entirety of the tea itself, so it contains all of the tea leaves’ nutrients. It is said that one cup of Matcha contains as many nutrients as ten cups of green tea.

It contains many of the nutrients held by tea leaves, such as catechins and teanines, as well as vitamins and fiber. Furthermore, it contains almost zero calories! For this reason, it has gained attention as a superfood.

Related post: can matcha contribute to weight loss? matcha is really a superfood!

Of course, being a tea it also contains caffeine. For that reason, try to avoid excessive intake, and drink no more than two to three 200ml cups per day for an adult.

 

What is the best brand of Matcha?

The best brand of Matcha is Uji Matcha, which is Matcha made in Uji region in Kyoto, Japan. It is one of famous regions where Matcha is made. It is often said that Uji Matcha has vivid green color, strong rich aroma and lots of umami flavor. But there are lots of good Matcha that are made in other regions too, and of course, the taste and flavor is different depending on farms and makers as well. So please try different brands of Matcha and find your favorite Matcha!

 

 

Where to buy Matcha powder?

Probably you can find Matcha powder at your local organic grocery stores or Japanese/Asian grocery stores. As for high-quality Uji Matcha powder, you can buy it from online or AMAZON.

Sweets of Japan also sells Matcha Mania Box that includes Matcha powder and lots of Matcha sweets!
Click here

 

Hope you know why people are obsessed with Matcha now! Matcha is delicious, healthy and easy to make! ◝(・ω・)◟
Please let me know if you want more about Matcha or Japanese culture!

 

Matane! (in Japanese, means “see you soon!”)