Mindful and meditative Matcha
Whisking up a perfect cup of matcha doesn’t have to be daunting if you follow our easy steps on how to brew this remarkable powdered tea.
Everything about Matcha sets it apart from other teas: The leaves finely ground to a powder, the unique brewing method, the grassy, kelpy flavor, and the frothy, creamy texture. It should come as no surprise then that Matcha’s journey is unlike that of any other tea.
MATCHA: ZEN AND NOW
It was the Song Dynasty Chinese who first whipped up finely-ground tea leaves for drinking, but the 12th century Japanese monk Eisai brought it back to his homeland. While powdered tea fell out of fashion in China, it was raised to new heights in Zen Buddhist monasteries as an aid in meditation, becoming an integral part of their spiritual practice.
RITUALS OF THE PRACTICE
There is no more elaborate tea preparation than the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Chado, or “the way of tea,” can take years to learn and is counted as one of the three classical arts of refinement in Japan, along with incense preparation and flower arrangement.
Where once Zen monks would spend 20 minutes meditatively hand-grinding a single serving, today Matcha is readily available to everyone (and we can hook you up.) Very few people get to experience a traditional 4-hour ceremony these days, but even the everyday procedure of making and presenting Matcha echoes the rituals of that practice. Though it takes only minutes to prepare, we still find brewing a cup of Matcha to be a calmingly mindful and meditative act, which greatly enhances our enjoyment of the tea. Here’s how to brew an exceptional cup of Matcha:
HOW TO BREW MATCHA
While the traditional Matcha ceremony entails a litany of specialized tools, you can make a very satisfying cup with just the following items:
- Matcha. We recommend our Mighty Leaf Organic Ceremonial Matcha for its delicate notes of freshly mown grass and rich umami, but try our Organic Spiced Turmeric Matcha, with warming spices, or our Organic Matcha, which even comes in single-serving packets so you can whip up your Matcha on the go.
- Water. Always begin with cold, freshly drawn, filtered water. Heat the water to 175°F (or 2 minutes off a boil).
- Tea Bowl (Chawan). The bowl should fit comfortably in the palms of your hands. A flat bottom with high sides makes it easier to whisk without splashing out.
- Tea Whisk (Chasen). A bamboo whisk is the most traditional tool used in Japan, but a handheld frother will work as well.
- Make sure your tea bowl is dry and clean.
- Measure 1 teaspoon of Matcha into the bowl. If desired, sift or whisk the Matcha ahead of time to break up any clumps for an extra smooth experience.
- Pour on a small amount of heated water, 1 or 2 ounces. Whisk until any clumps have broken up and a smooth, vibrant froth forms on top.
- If you prefer your Matcha rich and thick, enjoy it now in just one satisfying slurp. Alternatively, add a bit more water to thin it out until it meets your preferred texture.
HOW TO MAKE A MATCHA LATTE
Prepare the Matcha in the same method as above, but in a larger bowl or mug.
- Heat 1 cup milk (cow, almond, oat, or whatever variety you like) in a small saucepan, in the microwave, or with a steamer, until warm but not boiling.
- Add the warm milk to the prepared Matcha, and whisk to combine. If you like your Matcha latte fluffier, use a frother or whisk more aggressively.
- Sweeten if desired, and enjoy.
To make an iced Matcha latte, combine your prepared Matcha with chilled milk and pour into a tall glass over ice.
To garnish any of your matcha brews, sprinkle some powdered Matcha over the top.