How to Make Matcha
Before you make a bowl of matcha, you will want to soak the tea whisk. The chasen is made out of a single piece of bamboo, and the fine bristles can be extremely fragile especially when they are dry. You can prepare this by soaking it in warm water or also just by moving it around the water slowly. This will make the bristles more pliable.
When you are making a bowl of matcha, you may want to preheat the tea bowl by pouring in some warm water. A cold tea bowl, particularly a heavier clay bowl like this chawan, will cool off the tea very quickly, so you will actually want to start with a warm bowl so the tea inside it can stay warmer for longer.
Unlike with leaf tea, matcha tea doesn’t need to steep, so there is no need to worry about the brewing time. The tea is stronger in flavor because you are drinking the entire leaf, not just an infusion. Because of this, instead of using 5 grams like you would with leaf tea, you can start with 1-2 grams of powder. This is roughly one teaspoon of powder.
We recommend sifting the matcha powder into the bowl before you use it. Matcha is extremely sensitive to humidity, and it will begin to form clumps as soon as you open it up. To remove these clumps, you’ll want to measure out your 2 grams of matcha powder and then try and push it through the strainer into the bowl. This will allow the matcha powder to mix evenly into the bowl and make the drinking experience much more pleasant.
You should use 100ml of water for a bowl of matcha. The temperature does not matter quite as much when it comes to matcha because you are drinking the entire leaf rather than extracting it. We recommend a temperature between 160-175. If the tea is too hot, it can show a bit more astringency and if it is too cold, it actually won’t mix as well into the water. If you keep the water temperature in this range, you should be able to make a nice tasting matcha with a beautiful foam.
When whisking a matcha, you can first begin by scraping off the sides of the tea bowl, to make sure all the matcha is able to mix in. You can then move the chasen gently through the water in a zigzag motion to mix it into the water. You should be careful not to drag the tea whisk at the bottom, but rather keep it more towards the surface of the tea. You can switch to faster zig zag motions with your wrist and the tea will begin to form this beautiful foam.
The foam on a matcha is very important when it comes to the flavor. These small bubbles aerate the tea, giving it a smoother taste and a creamier texture. This is how you get a matcha to taste like a latte but without the cream or sugar.
Once you are done preparing the matcha, you can just drink it out of the bowl! During the tea ceremony, you drink the matcha out of your own chawan or you share it with a guest.
To make a warm matcha latte, you can first start by getting 150ml of coconut milk or soy milk in a glass and heating it up in the microwave. Then you can whisk up 30ml of matcha using 2 grams of powder and 175 degree water. You can then go ahead and pour the matcha into the warm milk and stir it up.
If you want to make a cold matcha latte, we recommend you actually make matcha ice cubes. While regular ice cubes tend to melt and dilute the flavor of the tea, the matcha ice cubes will actually make the flavor even stronger as they melt. You can make up some matcha, pour it into an ice tray and freeze it overnight to make these. Then you can add a few of these matcha ice cubes to your glass, pour in 150ml of cold coconut milk and then pour in the 30ml of the matcha on top. Once you have all the ingredients in, you can stir it up and enjoy your tea!
When it comes to matcha lattes, you will want to use a more inexpensive latte grade matcha, but when you are drinking the tea plain you should go for the ceremonial grade matcha. Ceremonial grade matcha is naturally smooth, so it should taste good even if you are drinking it plain.