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Starting your day with an invigorating cup of matcha or staving off the dreaded afternoon slump with a mug of the good green stuff is a great way to boost your energy without the dreaded caffeine crash. And with the ongoing pandemic pushing many people out of restaurants and into their homes, it’s never been a better time to turn your kitchen into your new favorite tea shop. Unlike most teas that simply require hot water and some loose leaves, making matcha is more of an involved process. But don’t be intimidated if you don’t have a background as a barista. We’ve put together a guide on the steps and products you need to become the Mayor of Matchaville, location — your home.
What Is Matcha?
Whether you have been enjoying matcha for years or are new to this delightful drink, you may not know exactly what goes into the tea. In a nutshell, a lot of natural goodness. Matcha is typically used in traditional Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies and has become more popular in the West over the past two decades. Unlike other green teas that use steeped leaves, matcha is made using green tea leaves that have been ground into a powder for added potency. Green tea plants used to make matcha are shaded by farmers so that they grow slowly, which increases chlorophyll, making the powder bright green. This also increases the levels of L-theanine, an amino acid that boosts mental cognition, lowers stress and encourages relaxation. This process also means that matcha retains all the nutrients in the green leaves and is typically higher in its levels of catechins and antioxidants compared to regular green tea.
Although traditional green teas that tea drinkers are more familiar with are made from the same leaves that are used for matcha, the difference in their processing means that matcha has its own unique taste. Matcha can taste sweeter and creamier than traditional green tea and often has a ‘grassy’ taste that may take some time to get used to.
Why Should You Drink Matcha?
Matcha has a long list of health benefits, including helping to lower cholesterol, inflammation and blood pressure. Matcha contains polyphenols and other antioxidants, which may help ward off cancer. It has high levels of L-theanine, which like caffeine, promotes alertness, memory function and reaction time, but without the crash of a cup of coffee. Plus, it tastes good. It’s a win-win.
How To Make Matcha
Matcha can be consumed as a tea, in latte form or as an additive to shakes or baked goods. There are three levels of matcha powder that are appropriate for each type of consumption and we will get to those later. For now, we are focusing on how to make matcha as a tea or latte, the two most common ways to enjoy the powder.
The Best Matcha Tea Bowl
When making traditional loose-leaf or bagged tea, you would normally warm-up the teapot by adding hot water and then pouring it out. The same idea goes when making a cup of matcha tea. Add hot water to the tea bowl to warm it, pour the water out and dry the bowl.
MatchaDNA Handcrafted Matcha Tea Bowl
Handmade in Japan and available in a beautiful white or black speckled finish, the MatchaDNA Handcrafted Matcha Tea Bowl is designed with a wide opening that is conducive to whisking matcha powder. Ideal for both tea preparation and to use as a drinking bowl, the bowl is packaged in a beautiful box that makes it a great option for gifts.
ELITEA Matcha Green Tea Bowl
Making matcha is messy, which is why we like the ELITEA Matcha Green Tea Bowl. Not only does it have a wide opening that is ideal for use with a bamboo whisk, but it also has a spout for easy pouring, helping users get all of their delicious tea into their mug without green drops all over their counter or table.
The Best Matcha Teaspoon Set
If you want to learn how to make matcha, you have to learn how to measure matcha. Measuring matcha powder largely comes down to personal taste. This can vary between 1/4 teaspoon to a full teaspoon of powder per cup depending on how strong you like your tea. After the tea bowl has been warmed, add your desired amount of matcha powder to the tea bowl.
Spring Chef Magnetic Measuring Spoons Set
Perfecting your recipe for matcha may come with some trial and error and once you discover the ideal powder to water or milk ratio, you won’t want to forget it. Get the perfect scoop every time using the spoons in the Spring Chef Magnetic set. With seven double-sided spoons, it will be easy to correctly measure your next cup of matcha.
The Best Matcha Strainer
A wire strainer can help ensure that there are no clumps in the cup of matcha tea. The tea or latte can be poured directly through the strainer to remove any clumps that may have formed when the powder was mixed with water or milk. After all, we’re not teaching you how to make matcha like a barbarian.
OXO Good Grips 3-Inch Mini Strainer
You know what drink tastes great with clumps? The answer is none. When making a matcha tea or latte, banish clumps using the OXO Good Grips 3-Inch Mini Strainer, which has a soft nonslip handle and features an extended metal lip that makes it easy for users to place the strainer over a mug of tea without having to hold it in place. The BPA-free strainer is dishwasher safe, making it easy to get out any excess matcha powder.
The Best Milk Steamer
Speaking of milk, a steamer or frother is a great addition when making a matcha latte. If making a latte, steam the milk and add it to the warmed tea bowl before adding the matcha powder.
HadinEEon Milk Frother and Steamer
Making a matcha latte is not complete without steamed milk. Bring out your inner barista with the HadinEEon Milk Frother and Steamer, which comes with whisks that allow users to froth or steam milk to the optimal temperature for drinking. The easy to use HadinEEonhas a jug spout, making it convenient for customers to pour their steamed milk into a tea bowl.
The Best Matcha Bamboo Whisk
Once the matcha powder has been added to either water or milk in the tea bowl, it’s time to whisk. A bamboo whisk is the traditional instrument for making matcha tea or lattes and helps mix the liquid and powder, creating a fine froth and getting rid of any clumps. (Though if you miss a few, that’s okay. That’s why you bought the strainer!)
BambooWorx Japanese Tea Set
Make your matcha frothy and clump-free with the help of the bamboo whisk included in the BambooWorx Japanese Tea Set. The handcrafted whisk has a pronged design that helps create a delicious and frothy drink that is smooth and clump-free. The set also comes with a scoop for measuring matcha powder and a spoon that can be used to stir your drink once the powder has settled. All three items in the set are made from 100% natural bamboo and finished with vegetable oil for added longevity.
The Best Matcha Powder
The main ingredient in matcha tea is, well, matcha. Go with organic to avoid pesticides in your drink and always opt for matcha that is stored in airtight containers as oxygen can degrade its quality. Greener is better since it’s a sign of purity and the texture should be fine and powdery. As for what kind of matcha to purchase, it depends on how you will be consuming it. As its name suggests, culinary matcha is used for baking. Ceremonial matcha is best for tea drinking and latte matcha is ideal for milk-based drinks. Still not sure which matcha is right for you? Check out a few of our favorites below and click here for a more in-depth list.
KENKO Matcha Green Tea Powder
Want to enjoy matcha powder in its purest form as tea with hot water? Then we recommend KENKO Matcha Green Tea Powder. An organic, ceremonial grade powder, Kenko powder does not have any bitterness or traces of stems and leaves, creating a smooth and rich cup of tea. The powder is made in small batches and ground to order to ensure customers get the freshest product possible.
Kiss Me Organics Matcha Green Tea Powder
Whether you are making lattes, cold frothy whipped drinks, or want to add some matcha to your baked goods, we like the Kiss Me Organics Matcha Green Tea Powder. The 100% certified organic Japanese matcha powder is natural and has an unsweetened, slightly grassy flavor that lets users know it’s the real deal.
Jade Leaf Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
Make matcha lattes, muffins, cookies and other delicious and healthy treats with the help of Jade Leaf Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder. The organic, 100% pure ground culinary grade green tea powder is made with leaves sourced from family farms in Uji and Kagoshima, Japan, and delivers a powder rich in health benefits.