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Matcha 101

Yes, we have matcha! This beloved Japanese tea could be part of your well-stocked tea cupboard. Learn how to make a perfect cup of matcha at home using Murchie's Ceremonial or Premium Matcha.

What is Matcha?

Matcha is a finely ground green tea powder, made famous in Japan. To make matcha, shade-grown tea leaves are deveined and then stone milled to a very fine powder. The mill used to grind the leaves produces heat, therefore only a small amount can be ground at a time to obtain quality and keep the health properties intact. This special processing makes matcha extremely high in antioxidants, amino acids and other nutrients.

Matcha and Health

Matcha is a suspension tea rather than an infusion, meaning the whole leaf is consumed. This superfood is higher in antioxidant levels per gram than any other known fruits or vegetables. These antioxidants are the nutrients responsible for giving us younger looking skin, boosting memory, concentration and energy level, burning fat and preventing a number of diseases. Matcha can even be added to your skincare routine as a soothing DIY face mask!

Caffeine in Matcha

The quantity of matcha added to the cup will affect the strength of flavour and caffeine content. Caffeine from matcha is absorbed by the body at a slower rate than caffeine from coffee, meaning fewer negative caffeine side effects. Matcha has a higher caffeine content than infused teas because the whole leaf is consumed, unlike other tea that is consumed as an infusion.

Drinking Matcha

Matcha can be enjoyed hot as a whisked tea or a matcha latte, as iced tea or added to a smoothie. The whisked tea is vibrant green with strong vegetal notes, a hint of sweetness and a rich umami composition. Traditional matcha is served with special sweets, like mochi or spongecake. This serves two purposes: to balance the flavour of the strong tea, and also because it is not recommended to drink matcha on an empty stomach.

4 Things You Need to Make Matcha at Home

1. Matcha Bowl

Japanese tea bowls, or chawan come in many different styles, shapes and sizes. The Deep Soil Brown bowl has a Bizen-style glaze crafted from iron rich soil, which enhances its durability. Since the bowl is also dishwasher safe, it is especially suitable for beginners. The earthy grey color of the bowl gives the Matcha an irresistible jade green color.

The Pure White bowl has a creamy, smooth glaze and is excellent for whisking up a thick tea. The pure white base of this matcha bowl is brushed with a soft, warm hue giving it a unique, calming quality. The contrast between the soft white bowl and vibrant green matcha is a breathtaking sight.

2. Whisk

The bamboo whisk is called a chasen and is handmade in Japan from a single piece of bamboo. The whisk has many tines, perfect for whisking the tea to create a nice, frothy layer of foam. Keep the whisk clean by rinsing well without using detergent and air dry.

3. Whisk Holder

The ceramic whisk holder will maintain the shape of the whisk, allow for better air circulation during storage to prevent molding and will help maintain whisk life. Ours comes in robin egg blue and a lovely mint green glaze.

4. Bamboo Scoop

The bamboo tea scoop is called a chashaku. The scoop helps to achieve the perfect portion of matcha - about a half teaspoon.

Optional Items

Tea Towel

It is nice to spend the time heating up the matcha bowl before using and then drying with a 100% cotton tea towel. Keep the towel in your tea station to wipe up any spills. Our Murchie's Cupboard Tea Towel would be particularly nice.

Fine Mesh Sieve

A fine mesh sieve will help to break down powdered clumps. If you do not have one, simply spend extra time whisking the matcha to ensure you are not left with lumps of matcha in the bowl.

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2 Types of Matcha

There are two styles of whisked matcha - Thinner tea called Usucha and thicker tea called Koicha. We recommend 1 half teaspoon to 3 ounces of hot water for thin tea and 2 half teaspoons to 3 ounces of hot water for thick tea.

Thin tea is perfect for beginners to matcha or for everyday use. Thick tea would be the tea of choice for Japanese tea ceremonies and special tea parties.

Make Matcha At Home

Directions:
1. Scoop 1 or 2 half teaspoons (depending on whether you are making the thin or thick style) of matcha into a ceramic bowl or cup.
2. Measure 3 oz of hot water and pour over the matcha.
3. Whisk the matcha and hot water by quickly
moving the whisk back and forth and around
the bowl, ensuring all matcha is incorporated. Tip: Whisk in the shape of an "M"
4. Whisk the matcha for about 30-60 seconds.
5. You will see a frothy layer of micro foam on the surface.