I’ve been obsessed with Matcha tea for a few months now. I first tasted it when I was on vacation in Maine last summer. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. We had been road tripping through New England for a few days, and were meeting up with family in a country house in Maine.
Before arriving at our destination, we stopped for one night in Portland, Maine. First let me just say, what a beautiful seaside city.
I was pooped by all the walking we had been doing the past few days, and felt like getting a massage. The hotel we stayed in got me an appointement in this cute little foot massage and teahouse called ‘Soakology’. It wasn’t just any foot massage, they have a really original and soothing ritual like I’d never seen before. What’s cool is that you can have your tea or food brought to you during your massage, which of course I did!
So I tried a Matcha Latte for the first time that day and of course loved it. The taste, texture, color… everything. For a tea lover like me, it was perfection!
Since that day, all I could think of is when would be my next matcha experience. In France we are usually a little late with the trendy foods. So when I would talk about it back home, nobody knew what is was !
Since I was working for a French chef, conversations about food trends, or anything food related was quite common with my colleagues. I must have talked their ears out about Matcha because on my last day I was offered a Matcha tea kit :-)). The real deal: matcha powder, the chashaku tea scoop, the chawan (tea bowl), a mesh strainer and the chasen (a bamboo whisk). All was left for me to do was make Matcha tea !
First things first, before getting yourself into this Japanese tea ritual, you need to know that Matcha is very expensive. If you want the real matcha powder, it’s going to cost you about 30€ for 30g. Yikes! But it will also last a long time as you don’t use a lot of powder when making the tea. You can sometimes find Matcha tea bags, it’s not the same as when making it yourself.
Then, it’s not that simple to make. An M-shaped gesture is required to create a sort of foam on the top of the tea that makes all the difference when drinking. It also calls for a strict 70-80°C temperature. 70°C (165°F) will bring forth a more sweeter, less frosty matcha, while hotter temperatures of 80°C (175°F) will produce bolder, more robust flavors.
OK, don’t get discouraged 🙂 I can just hear you saying to yourself how annoying this sounds to make, but trust me when you have the tools and get the ritual down, it’s totally worth it.
I like my Matcha as a latte because it’s sweeter. I also like adding a bit of honey for the taste. I usually make milk foam (cow’s milk or why not almond milk) before incorporating it to my matcha. I do this because the cold milk tends to be too aggressive with the hot tea, making it react weirdly, and then by the time I’m done mixing everything it’s cold ! The milk foam is also a little trick to help with the foam aspect it is supposed to have at the end.
I’ll be honest, I don’t think my matcha is perfect, my foam tends to stay for barely 2-3 minutes…but it tastes good!
This summer I’ll be going to Japan, I’m hoping I’ll learn a little more about matcha then. You’ll be the first to know.
Try it out, it’s great and is a really healthy choice!
INGREDIENTS (for one bowl):
• 1-2 scoops of Matcha Powder (or approx 2g)
• 80ml of warm water
• Almond milk (or cow’s milk)
• A little bit of Honey
1. Using the chashaku tea scoop, measure out your matcha powder by portioning 2 rounded scoops into a handheld mesh strainer (equivalent of one tea spoon or 2g). Position over your tea bowl (chawan) and, like sifting cake flour, gently push the powder through the strainer to remove any lumps that would otherwise sabotage your brewing.
2. Add about 80ml (2.7 fl oz) or warm water. Feel free to experiment with brewing temperatures: cooler water towards 70°C (165°F) will bring forth a sweeter, less frothy matcha, while hotter temperatures of 80°C (175°F) will produce bolder, more robust flavors.
3. Chasen in hand, vigorously whisk your matcha from the wrist in M-shaped – not circular – motions. After about 15 seconds your bowl should be filled with that prized, jade green foam and voila !