Matcha is enjoying a surge in popularity these days! This powdered green tea out of Japan is now being seen in all sorts of applications from cocktails to baked goods. Naturally, people are also curious to try matcha brewed traditionally.
Although the process may seem intimidating at first, it is actually quick and simple. All it takes is a few tools and a little practice.
Traditionally, matcha in Japan was prepared in two different ways. Usucha (“thin matcha”) is prepared with more water and less powder, which gives it a creamy head and a foamy appearance. Koicha (“thick matcha”) boasts a higher viscosity and a deeper, more intense flavor. Both types are worth trying at least once, as both offer an experience vastly different than what we Americans think of when it comes to tea.
To brew matcha, you will need:
- Matcha tea powder
- A bamboo chasuku, measuring scoop, or teaspoon
- A chawan or small bowl for mixing
- A chasen or small whisk
- Hot water
- Heat your water to a boil and set aside to cool. To prepare usucha (thin matcha), use 3-4 oz of water. For koicha (thick matcha), use 1-2 oz. The water will need to be between 158°-176°F.
- Preheat your matcha bowl by filling it about 1/3 full of hot water, then stirring gently with the tip of your chasen or whisk. Discard the water and dry your bowl thoroughly.
- Measure out your matcha into your bowl. For usucha, use about ½ teaspoon, or 2 scoops using a chashaku. For koicha, use about 1 teaspoon, or 3-4 scoops. We highly recommend sifting your matcha before proceeding to the next step to remove any clumps from the powder.
- Measure your water temperature. Once it has dropped between 158°-176°F, you are ready to begin.
- Pour your water into the matcha bowl, directly over the matcha.
- Whisk, holding the whisk in one hand and steadying the rim of the matcha bowl with the other.
- For usucha, whisk in W-motion using your wrist until the matcha is thick and frothy, with lots of pale green bubbles on its surface.
- For koicha, rather than frothing vigorously, use the whisk to knead your matcha from left to right and up and down, rolling into a thick, syrupy consistency. The resulting tea will be dense, smooth, and dark.
- Drink directly from the bowl and pour into your cup of choice. Enjoy!
As you get comfortable with the process, you may wish to experiment with water temperature, amount of matcha powder used, or whisking methods. As current food trends are demonstrating, matcha is quite versatile, so have fun and play around with it!
By: Jen Coate