We recently attented one of the wonderful tea masterclasses tea Whittard host at their stores, and we learned everything about matcha tea.
So, what’s so great about matcha? We’d say it comes down to three things: the exquisite taste of the best varieties, the power generated by grinding the green leaves into a powder, and the artistry of the Japanese tea ceremony.
Think of matcha as a green tea espresso: the powdered form promotes quick caffeine absorption, and the leaf itself has a high antioxidant content.
By consuming the leaf as a powder rather than infusing and removing, you get all the goodness contained in the leaf.
It’s all in the leaves
The leaves used to make matcha are processed by protecting the tea bushes with blankets to protect them from direct sunlight. This causes the leaves to grow slowly, prompting them to stock up on nutritious amino acids and green chlorophyll and allowing their flavour to develop. That’s why matcha is super-green and delicious.
Most teas leaves are infused in water and then removed. The difference with matcha is that you consume the whole leaf – that way, you get all the goodness.
The process of shading the leaves results in a high content of the amino acid theanine, which is reputed to boost brain power and energy levels when combined with the natural caffeine in the leaves. Matcha is also high in antioxidants – particularly EGCG, which allegedly fortifies the cells and promotes a youthful complexion.
Here’s how to brew the perfect matcha tea:
Matcha is super-easy to make. We love it at breakfast with a glass of orange juice, and we’ve even been known to sprinkle the powder on our porridge. It’s also AMAZING with soy milk as a creamy matcha latte.We always use a traditional Japanese bamboo spoon and whisk when making matcha, but you can also use a standard teaspoon and electric whisk. Bamboo’s just better though.
1. Add two bamboo scoops (1 slightly heaped teaspoon) of matcha to your mug or traditional tea bowl, and mix with a couple of drops of water to make a smooth paste.
2. Top up with water heated to 80°C (cool for five minutes after boiling). Alternatively, use warmed soya milk to create a creamy matcha latte. Only fill the mug or bowl to about ¾ full – otherwise the whisking could get a bit messy.
3. Whisk the liquid until a creamy froth forms on the surface. The tea should taste fresh and rich – slightly vegetal, but with a rounded sweetness.
It’s official – we now stock our very own high grade Japanese matcha. So what’s all the fuss about? Here’s the skinny on why everyone’s raving about the green tea power powder…
Are you a fan of matcha tea? We’d love to know!