How to Make Matcha Green Tea in 4 Steps
Are you interested in creating your very own Matcha Green Tea at home? Or maybe you just want to learn how to add matcha tea to your daily routine. Whatever the reason may be, we’re going to walk you through how to prepare the best bowl of matcha tea at home, in 4 simple steps. We’re also going to talk about why each step matters, and how it leads to a better tasting matcha. Later on, we’ll get into more detail and discuss how to improve the foam you create on top of your matcha and make it taste like a latte without adding milk or sugar. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Watch the Video About How to Make Matcha
What utensils do you need to prepare Matcha Green Tea?
Before we get started, we will be going over the most important tools you need to produce a bowl of matcha tea. For your convenience, we have ordered these tools in order of their importance. You may not need to get all of these, but if you can find just a few you will really notice a difference in the overall quality of the matcha you create
The chasen or matcha whisk is perhaps the most important tool when it comes to preparing a bowl of matcha tea. This tool has been used for hundreds of years, and still nothing really comes close to beating it when it comes to whisking up foamy bowls of matcha tea. This matcha whisk can be easily found on our website and is even included in certain bundles, but if you absolutely can’t get one, you can use a metal whisk instead. The metal whisk is much louder and less effective than the bamboo matcha whisk, and it really throws off your matcha making routine, but it is possible to prepare matcha with it.
The chawan or matcha bowl is the next most important tool on this list. It serves a few different purposes through its use in the Japanese tea ceremony. Because it is large and made of clay, the bowl is quite heavy to the guests of the tea ceremony, conveying a sense of importance. This heavy clay also helps with heat retention. If you preheat the tea bowl ahead of time, it will help to keep the matcha tea warmer for much longer. It can even keep your hands warm on a cold day. The higher walls of the tea bowl and it’s more cylindrical design makes it easier to whisk the matcha without spilling it. The chawan matcha bowl is the best tool to make japanese matcha but if you don’t have one, you can use a regular bowl instead. Make sure you are using a chawan or regular bowl and not a glass, as you will want some extra space later in the process.
Furui Matcha Sifter:
You can make proper japanese matcha without the furui but it really helps to have it. This will help to remove the clumps in the matcha, and generally help the powder to mix more evenly into the water. These can be found pretty easily, but if you can’t get one many different types of tea strainers can work for this purpose.
The chashaku or bamboo matcha spoon is designed to perfectly scoop matcha powder out of a vertical container. Japanese matcha often comes in a cylindrical metal tin, and during the tea ceremony the tea is brought in with a Natsume or tea caddy. Both of these containers are quite deep, making it harder to scoop with a normal horizontally designed spoon. This bamboo spoon has a more vertical design, making it easier to scoop out the perfect amount of powder from the container. Of course if you don’t have one of these you can use whatever spoon you have, but these bamboo spoons come for free in a lot of our tea bundles, so it should be no problem to get one.
Chasen-tate Whisk Holder:
While the chasen is perhaps the most important tool, the Chasen-tate is perhaps the least important. This is the ceramic whisk holder that help to maintain the shape of the matcha whisk. While storing the bamboo whisk in this way will help it last longer and perform better, it’s not really that important. Just make sure your matcha never rests on its side, and it should be able to maintain a decent shape over many years. Simply balance the whisk on the top part with the bristles in the air and store it in a dry place and it should be able to last a very long time.
What are the different alternative tools to make the Best Matcha?
If you don’t have the traditional tools used to make a matcha bowl, you can use a few unconventional methods that get the job done. These do not work quite as well as the matcha whisk, but they can really help out if you are caught without the proper tools, but don’t want to miss out on the taste of matcha tea.
Shaker Jar: You can actually prepare matcha inside a glass jar or mason jar. Just add in some matcha powder, pour in the correct amount of water, seal up the jar and give it a good shake. You will find that this actually does a pretty good job at creating the foam in the matcha. The downside of this is that it tends make a lot of clumps in the matcha, so if you use the shaker jar, make sure you thoroughly sift the powder into the jar beforehand.
Metal Whisk: The metal whisk definitely is a step down from the matcha whisk, but it can get the job done with enough patience. If you have something like an egg whisk at home or even a milk frother, you can use this to mix the matcha powder into water. It may take a bit longer and you won’t get quite as much foam, but at least you won’t miss out on the matcha experience!
Step 1: Preparing the Matcha Powder
The first step of making matcha green tea is to prepare the matcha powder. Most matcha powder will come inside a metal tin to keep it fresh, and this also makes it easy to scoop out. When scooping matcha powder out of the tin, you can use the bamboo matcha spoon or Chashaku. This bamboo spoon has a minimalist design, but it makes it easy to scoop out of a cylindrical container like a matcha tin.
During the tea ceremony, you may notice the tea master taking 2 large scoops of the matcha powder. This comes out to about 2 grams, which is the perfect amount for a bowl of matcha tea. If you want to be more free-form, you can use 2 large scoops of matcha powder, or if you want to be a bit more measured you can actually get a small scale to measure out your tea by the gram. You can also use a teaspoon, which is approximately 2 grams of matcha powder. If you are preparing matcha green tea often, you may want to invest in an inexpensive digital scale. This will make it easy to measure out not just the matcha powder, but leaves for other green teas as well.
After you scoop the matcha powder out of the tin, you will want to run it through a sifter. What this does is removes the clumps that form naturally in the matcha from the humidity in the air. These clumps don’t mean that the quality of the matcha has deteriorated, but they can affect the taste of the matcha green tea you prepare. The clumps don’t mix evenly into the water and they can really hurt the consistency and smoothness of the tea. The solution to this is to just get an inexpensive metal sifter and place it on top of your matcha bowl. After putting 2 scoops of powder into the sifter, you can then use the bamboo tea spoon to push the powder through the sifter and into the matcha bowl. When you remove the sifter, you’ll see the finely sifted matcha powder sitting at the bottom of the matcha bowl, without any clumps. You have now successfully prepared your matcha powder and you can continue to the next step.
Step 2: Adding the Water
What temperature to make japanese matcha?
Once the matcha powder is prepared, you are ready to add some water. When it comes to temperature, we recommend to use between 140-175 degrees Fahrenheit or 60-80 degrees celsius water for matcha green tea. Compared to other types of Japanese green tea, matcha green tea is less sensitive to temperature, but it’s still best to keep the water in between this range. If the water temperature is too high, the tea can become bitter. If the temperature is too low it will be harder to mix the matcha powder evenly into the water.
How much water should you use in green matcha?
For a normal bowl of matcha, we recommend to use 100-150ml of water for 2 grams of matcha powder. This is only about half a cup of water for a teaspoon of powder. With less water and more matcha powder, it will make it easier to make a nice foam and create a rich flavor, but it will also make the taste more intense. You may want to start with 150ml of water until you get used to the flavor, and then decrease the amount of water you use overtime. Once you get used to the powerful flavor of matcha green tea, it will be difficult to go back to more watered down teas.
One additional step we like to recommend when adding the water is to first add a very small amount, around 30-50 milliliters of water and then mix the matcha powder into a paste. This matcha paste is also referred to as “koicha” and is actually drunk in special tea ceremonies. What we will attempt to make is “usucha” or drinking matcha, by adding the remaining amount of water to the matcha bowl. The reason we use this extra step is to smooth out any remaining clumps that may form in the matcha. Even after sifting the matcha powder, there still can be some clumps that form when you add the water, and these can make the matcha green tea less palatable. It’s worth it to add this extra step just to make sure that all the clumps have been removed.
Step 3: Mixing the Matcha Green Tea
Once you have the matcha paste mixed, it is time to add the additional water. Once all the water has been poured into the matcha bowl, it is time to mix it in. For this, you can take the matcha whisk and gently stir the sides of the bowl. At this stage, we are not trying to create the foam on top of the matcha, we are just trying to make sure all the powder is mixed into the matcha bowl. Once there is no more powder or matcha paste stuck to the sides of the bowl, you can use the matcha whisk to scrape off the bottom of the matcha bowl.
When you are scraping the matcha off the bottom of the bowl, you have to be careful not to break the matcha whisk. The matcha whisk is incredibly fragile, but there are a few tricks you can use to make sure it doesn’t break. The first is soaking the matcha whisk before using it. All you need to do is put it in a glass of water for 1-2 minutes while you get out the rest of your tea utensils. When the bamboo matcha whisk gets wet, it becomes more pliable and less likely to break. In addition to this step, you can also just make sure not to put it under too much pressure. Only allow it to touch the bottom and sides of the matcha bowl very gently as you scrape, and then in the next step, try to keep it off the bottom of the matcha bowl as much as possible.
Step 4: Creating the Matcha Foam
The final step of making the best matcha tea is creating the foam on top. This layer of green foam is not just for looks, it also serves an important purpose. By aerating the tea and creating this foam, you give it a light and smooth consistency, almost like a latte. When you are preparing matcha green tea without milk or sugar, what you really want to create is a smooth and creamy flavor. This is accomplished by both choosing a high quality matcha powder, but also preparing it the proper way, with this light airy foam on top.
What to make matcha with
To create this foam, the most important thing is getting the right tools. The chasen or matcha whisk is the best tool at creating foam. We have tested this against other common tools such as a metal whisk and even a milk frother, but the bamboo whisk still beats them when it comes to the volume of foam.
The next important factor comes down to the technique of the matcha whisking. By now you have seen tea masters produce the perfect bowl of green matcha tea using these rapid movements, but this is a skill developed over many years. When you first start out, your movements are likely to be much less graceful and the process will take a bit longer. What we have found helpful is using a larger matcha bowl to give yourself more space to create these whisking movements. When it comes to the direction of the whisking, you can whisk the tea in a zigzag motion, keeping the whisk vertical and predominantly using your wrist. Over time you will begin to get better at this technique and learn to produce even more foam with less whisking.
Why won’t my Matcha Green Tea foam?
Even if you follow most of these steps, you may find that your matcha still does not produce as good of a foam. For this reason, we created a quick list of things that may make it difficult to get a proper foam on your matcha.
Higher quality matcha foams much better than lower quality matcha. When it comes to evaluating the best matcha tea, one of the things you can look at as a quality indicator is the amount of foam it produces. While it’s not correct to say that the matcha that produces the most foam is the best matcha, all the high quality matchas you find will produce much more foam than lower quality culinary grade matcha. For this reason, if you want to create a nice foamy bowl of matcha, you need to go for a higher quality matcha powder. These premium matcha teas contain higher levels of nutrients, a smoother flavor and they tend to produce more foam.
The water temperature you use in a matcha tea can have a big effect on how much foam is produced. If you use water that is too cold, the matcha powder won’t mix in as evenly into the water and it will be difficult to foam. This is why it is important to follow the temperature guidelines for matcha and prepare the tea at between 140-175 degrees Fahrenheit or 60-80 degrees celsius.
Powder to Water Ratio:
The third reason why your matcha may not be foaming is due to the powder to water ratio. Of course water itself isn’t able to hold a foam, it all comes from the matcha powder you add. As a result the less matcha powder you add to the water, the harder it is to foam. This is a second reason why the high powder to water ratio is important. In addition to producing a richer tasting experience, it also allows you to create a better foam.
Finally we come to the most important factor and that is the matcha whisk itself. If you are like most matcha tea drinkers, you will put off buying these accessories as long as possible, but they really do make a difference. You may think you can easily substitute for a metal whisk, but if you find that it’s difficult to create foam on your matcha, this is likely the reason. It can be well worth it to invest in a bamboo matcha whisk to create smoother and creamier matcha green tea. That being said, it is not worth missing out of the flavor of matcha if this matcha whisk is a deal-breaker, just use whatever you have and upgrade your utensils overtime.
What can I mix with matcha green tea
We have found all sorts of additional ingredients you can add to matcha to make the flavor taste unique. Cinnamon works surprisingly well, and some people even like to add a hint of white chocolate to accentuate the richness of the tea. Even with all of these additions, we still find that the most rewarding way to drink matcha tea is on its own, without anything added. This way, you are still able to pick up on the subtle differences in the matcha tea. For example, a matcha made from the Saemidori cultivar will have a lighter and sweeter flavor and a matcha from the Gokou cultivar will have this strong umami taste profile. These subtleties are lost when you start adding sugar, so we encourage people to drink matcha plain whenever possible.
Where Can I get the Best Matcha?
After traveling around Japan for years in search of some of the best green teas grown without pesticides or chemicals, we have met a dozen or so farmers that really produce some excellent quality tea. We have compiled a collection of the top 21 best matchas we have found across different tea farms, regions and tea plant varieties. You can experience all of these teas at once and find out which ones you like most with the 21 matcha sampler. We also have bundles that include these 21 different matcha teas, plus the different teaware you need to prepare them such as the chawan matcha bowl, chasen matcha whisk and chashaku matcha spoon. With this set you get everything you need to begin your matcha green tea journey!