If you’ve never had Matcha before it’s a special type of powdered green tea from Japan. It has quite a distinctive almost savory flavour. It’s made by grinding down specially grown and picked tea leaves with a stone mill. In Japan you’ll find this type of tea everywhere – from western style coffee shops to traditional tea houses. To me it is the taste of Japan and it’s incredibly morish once you get the hang of preparing it.
The powder can be purchased either at your local Chinese supermarket or you can also order different grades of tea online. I’d recommend Japan Center for this as their selection and delivery times are very good.
Getting the taste right is a difficult thing, I found in Japan the milk used to really influenced the taste. Japanese milk has a sightly different almost tart flavour compared to British milk but a lot of the taste is the balance between sugar and matcha tea powder.
Another key to successful preparation is the whisking of the tea; the powder can end up being clumpy especially if you prefer to use cold milk to make an iced version. Make sure you whisk it vigorously you can even transfer the mix to a plastic bottle to give it a good shake. Ice is good to add friction!
Preparing matcha tea
1 tsp matcha powder
1 1/2 tsp sugar
250 ml of milk, your choice of milk – hot or cold
First in a small bowl add your matcha powder and sugar together. With about 1-2 tablespoons of milk whisk your tea vigorously!
If you have a plastic bottle for cold tea or metal thermos flask for hot tea you can pour your milk/sugar mix in here. Add the remaining milk and give it a good old shake. Once the powder is suspended well pour it out into a cup and enjoy.
Matcha tea is great on it’s own but the bitter taste goes well with sweets and of course it pairs with Japanese food well.