Why Matcha Doesn't Foam

There are 5 reasons why you might not be able to get this nice foam on top of your matcha. In this article, were going to break down why your matcha isn’t foaming, and also share with you a few tips on how you can improve your matcha making, and create beautiful foamy bowls of matcha at home.

First, let’s briefly discuss why you want the foam on top of your matcha. This foam isn’t just to make the matcha look nice, it also aerates the tea, giving it a smoother texture and a creamier taste. A high quality matcha should almost taste like a latte, even without adding milk or sugar. The foam helps create this effect, by giving it a light and airy consistency.

Although we show this matcha foam in a lot of our videos, many people tell us they are not able to recreate it with their own matcha at home, so we wanted to create a small guide to explain what might be going wrong. 

Reason number one is that the matcha you’re using is low quality. We have found that these low quality culinary matchas do not produce as good of a foam. If you plan on making matcha yourself and drinking it plain rather than in a latte, we highly recommend that you pick up some ceremonial grade matcha, otherwise you will notice that it foams a lot less. Within ceremonial grade matcha, some matchas foam better than others, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the foamier matchas are higher quality, it just comes down to the saponin content of the tea.

The second reason your matcha may not be foaming is because the water you’re using is too cool. While matcha can be made in cooler water, it doesn’t mix quite as well. When you pour the cool water into your matcha, you may notice more clumps starting to form, and because these don’t mix as well into the water, it will prevent it from foaming up as well. This is why we recommend to go for a temperature between 160-175 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t want to burn the tea, but you do want to prepare it hot enough to mix in properly. This will make sure that your matcha foams well and also that it tastes better.

The third reason you might not be able to foam your matcha is that you’re not using enough powder. By using too much water and not enough powder, the matcha becomes too thin and is not able to produce as good of a foam. You want to use about 2 grams of powder or around 1 teaspoon and then about 100ml of water. By concentrating your matcha like this, you not only improve the flavor, you also are able to create more foam on the top.

The fourth reason you may not create the foam you want is that you are not using the right tools. After testing many different tools, we have found that the best way to whisk your matcha is with the bamboo tea whisk or Chasen. This whisk is carved out of a single piece of bamboo and the 100 bristles move through the water to aerate the tea. Even though this tool has been used for hundreds of years, we still find that it’s one of the best. The metal whisk doesn’t create the right amount of friction through the water, so we found that it doesn’t produce as good of a foam. If you want to get serious about your matcha making skills, we suggest that you get your own bamboo tea whisk.

The fifth and final reason you make not get foam on top of your matcha is because of the whisking technique. This takes a long time to truly master, but there are a few tips that can help make it a little but easier. First, you’ll want to move very quickly. When you watch the teamasters prepare the tea, they use very fast wrist motions with little arm movement. You’ll also want to move the whisk on the surface of the water in zigzag formations. We’ve found that this is the best motion to create more foam. What I have found helpful is actually practicing with a larger bowl if you have it. This will give you more space for a wider range of motion. When you get better at it, you’ll be able to whisk with less space with only your whisk, but this is a good starting point. If you really don’t want to practice your whisking skills, you can also use a milk frother for making quick matcha foam on those busy mornings.

So let’s review what we learned. First, make sure you get a high quality ceremonial grade matcha and mix 1 teaspoon of powder with 100ml of water between 160-175 degrees Fahrenheit. Next take your bamboo tea whisk and whisk it very quickly with zigzag motions along the surface of the tea. If you follow all these steps, you should be able to create beautiful foamy bowls of matcha at home. Thank you all so much for watching, I hope you’ve found this article helpful when it comes to making matcha at home. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. Until then, we’ll see you next time