matcha is green tea, but green tea isn’t matcha
Matcha is finely milled Japanese green tea powder made from shade grown tea leaves called tencha. It has a vegetal taste and a vibrant green color that results from the leaves’ high chlorophyll levels. It’s been the cornerstone of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries, and popular because of its many health benefits.
You might already have known about regular green tea being an antioxidant powerhouse, but did you know, matcha has even more to offer. When you make green tea, you steep the leaves in hot water and then discard them. But with matcha, you get the full benefits by whisking the powder into hot water or milk of choice. and consume the entire tea leaf when you drink it.
did you say health benefits?
Matcha contains vitamins A and C, dietary fiber, and potassium. It also contains EGCg, a special kind of free-radical-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant that is associated with cardiovascular health (lower blood pressure, and risk of heart disease) as well as even boosting metabolism.
Mental benefits include an invigorating boost of energy and nutrients, delivering a calm alertness. This is attributed to the amino acid L-Theanine, known to give mental clarity and a heightened awareness. Additionally, the L-Theanine also delivers calm, unlike the jitters that caffeine often gives.
cerimonial grade v culinary grade
If you’ve shopped around matcha, you’ve noticed that the ceremonial kind is pricier #understatement— and it's for a good reason. Ceremonial grade matcha must be made in Japan. Ceremonial grade matcha is made with younger tea leaves, giving it a delicate, mellow flavor. Choose it if you plan to drink your matcha with just water, and/or if you like a bright, sweeter flavor. Otherwise, the less expensive culinary matcha should do the trick. Its made from mature tea leaves, and has a more bitter flavor, making it better suited for baking or cooking.
Regardless of grade, make sure you choose a brand that has no sugar added. Boketto Ceremonial Grade Matcha is sugar-free, 100% Certified Organic, made in Japan, and a pure delight (if we do say so ourselves).
how do you like your coffee?
Matcha has a third of the caffeine content of coffee, but just like coffee, matcha’s (grassy, umami) flavor can be an acquired taste. If you’re new to making it, feel free to add add a few drops of maple syrup or honey. You also might want to sweeten your tea if your matcha powder is particularly bitter, or for a latte.
NOTE: Matcha does contain more caffeine than regular green tea— but it doesn’t give you a buzzy rush like coffee. It leaves you feeling energized and focused, but still calm.
how to make matcha like a pro
First, sift your matcha it into a small bowl or mug.
Matcha clumps very easily, so sifting it before you add any water is key. If you don’t, it will be difficult to get the tea to disperse evenly in the liquid, and your drink will be lumpy. We suggest a Chasen (bamboo whisk) designed specifically for this purpose. Its design is made for the fine powder and size of a tea vessel. A regular whisk is fine in a pinch.
Then, pour in a small amount of hot water, and whisk.
Using your chosen bamboo whisk, whisk vigorously from side to side to evenly disperse the powder in the water and create a foamy layer on top. If you whisk in a circular motion, your tea won’t foam.
Finally, top it off with more hot water or steamed milk.
Traditional matcha green tea is made with just green tea powder and water, but you can also easily make a latte by finishing your drink with steamed milk of choice.
- ¼ teaspoon Boketto Ceremonial Grade Matcha
- 2 ounces hot water, 175°F is ideal
- 6 ounces additional hot water or steamed milk of choice
- Maple syrup, honey, or other sweetener, optional
Sift the matcha into a mug or small bowl to get rid of any lumps.
Pour in the 2 ounces of the hot water. Using a matcha whisk, whisk briskly from side to side until the matcha is fully dispersed and there is a foamy layer on top.
Add the remaining 6 ounces hot water or steamed milk and whisk again until foamy. Sweeten to taste, if desired.