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!”)