Matcha Green Tea Interesting Facts That You Probably Didn’t Know
Matcha is an expensive type of green tea. Mainstream matcha sells for at least $20 a tin, but those with higher grades can cost 10x as much. High grades of organic matcha tea come from the very first flush of leaves during harvest time.
The supreme grade of matcha tea comes from the Camellia sinensis during the very first harvest, while the lower leaves come with a lower grade. On the other hand, the lowest grade of matcha tea comes from the last harvest on the plant’s lower section. Traditionally sun-dried matcha is more expensive than those leaves that are commercially prepared by drying in a chamber.
The name of the leaf used in preparing matcha is tencha. In making tencha, harvesters placemats over the tea bushes to cover it completely so that it won’t get affected by direct sunlight. The tea bushes’ growth takes place at a very slow period under the covering, wherein it first manufactures amino acids.
The manufacture of amino acids provides two big changes such as turning the tea sweet and turning the leaves dark. Then, the leaves will be harvested by drying them, and the veins and stems will be removed from tencha. The ones with the highest quality are ground with the use of stone, while the ones with low quality are ground with the use of a particular machine. This will then result in a fine matcha green tea powder.
When purchasing matcha, it’s important to select a grade that will suit the purpose. High-end matcha must be used in tea ceremonies, while those with lower quality will work fine in ice cream or cookie recipes.
To have a great matcha green tea drinking experience, you should know the right way to prepare match tea. The first step is to sift the green tea powder by using a special matcha sifter. Then, sift the tea into a dry and warm bowl. Next, bring mineral water to a boil, and let it cool for about 167-185 degrees Fahrenheit.
After that, add the cooled water to a bowl having a ratio of 2.4 ounces for every 2 teaspoons of matcha tea. Combine the tea with a certain bamboo whisk known as “chasen” until is it foamy. The ratio of water would vary depending on your preferences. When you are done whisking, ice cubes must be added to the drink if you want it cold.
Another interesting fact about matcha is that it’s used in Japanese tea ceremonies because it promotes purity, respect, and harmony between the participants. The ones promoting these aspects are the blend of sweetness, bitterness, and warmth.
The tea is prepared by the host for the guests from zero, beginning with bowl cleaning and water boiling. The guests and participants sit in a circle around a Japanese table. When everyone has received the bowl containing matcha, they should bow to show gratitude to the host. This is an important etiquette in the Japanese tea drinking ceremony.
The bowl of matcha tea is then taken using the right hand and is transferred to the left hand, where it must be turned clockwise thrice. After this, you can drink matcha tea. When you are finished drinking the tea, slurp it to show all the participants that you have enjoyed it. This is a typical etiquette of Japanese culture.
Then, the part of the bowl that has been touched by your lips must be wiped with the use of your right hand. Don’t forget to turn it counterclockwise before giving it back to the host.
Now that you already know how matcha tea is used in the Japanese tea ceremony, you should also check out the different recipe ideas. Yes, indeed, matcha is normally used as a beverage, but in Japan, people also use it in various recipes. They mix it with tempura to create a more delicious and flavorful deep-fried fish. Matcha can also be added in castellan, which is a type of sponge cake. Dishes made with Monaka, manjū, and azuki beans can also be made with matcha.
In the west, matcha is added to several dishes, especially by those people who want to increase their metabolism or antioxidant consumption. The following are some of the best ideas: baked goods, whipped cream, lattes, ice cream, and smoothies. Matcha is also mixed with other tea varieties to meet the demand of customers around the world.
Matcha green tea powder is one of the most celebrated drinks around the world. Apart from its unique and indulging taste, it also comes with the best health benefits that can pave the way for an individual to live healthier and longer.