I’ve talked with you all a ton about my switch from drinking 2 or more cups of coffee per day to enjoying matcha quite a bit and have never looked back. Matcha energizes me in a natural way that lasts for hours without any jitters. Switching to it also helped me heal my acne by leaving my skin more hydrated and boosting my antioxidants. This whole leaf tea has been a huge force on the wellness scene, but making it correctly can seem a bit daunting. I wanted to share with you my no-fail method for making both plain hot matcha teas and matcha lattes.
Making a matcha tea can be done using a blender, which is something I do when I’m in a rush but I honestly savor the meditation of making my matcha by hand the traditional way. This is 5 minutes of quiet in the morning before I check my email, work out or do whatever I have on my agenda. When I’m whisking my matcha, I’m just whisking my matcha, nothing else. I’m not thinking except this beautiful little ritual in my day and it is absolutely a form of mediation for me. Personally, I love doing about 10 minutes of meditation in the morning while I hold my hot cup of matcha in my hands. The Headspace app is amazing if you’re interested in incorporating this practice into your own life.
The biggest mistake that people make when they first try making matcha at home is treating it like any other soluble powder, such as hot cocoa. Matcha is delicate and should be treated that way. What separates matcha from other culinary powders is its super-fine particle grade. Ceremonial-quality matcha is extremely fine - thinner than a strand of hair - and therefore needs to be prepared with care. Be sure to never overheat your matcha and instead prepare hot matcha with water or hot plant milk brought to about 175*F. The way you mix your matcha is also super important for a great cup of tea. Matcha won’t mix well just by stirring with a spoon.
The most effective (and traditional) way to make matcha is with a bamboo whisk called a chasen. This unique tool, when used correctly, spreads the matcha evenly throughout the liquid to which it’s added. I got mine from Setsugekka in New York City, but fortunately, matcha whisks are available all over the web and in many natural food stores.
Whisking your matcha also gives it that signature frothiness that makes the tea a true Japanese delicacy. Simply add your desired amounts of matcha (about 1.5g) and about ¼ cup warm water to a wide mug or small bowl and move the whisk in an “M” shape as fast as possible without spilling. Whisk the matcha from the base of the bowl or mug so the tea becomes suspended in the water and frothy bubbles start to form on the tea’s surface. The process takes some time - about 30-60 seconds or so, depending on the matcha/water ratio - but it's a traditional method that the Japanese have used to make perfect matcha for over 500 years. The ritual emphasizes the beauty of mindfulness; every deliberate zig and zag will improve the quality of the final product and give you that natural, invigorating boost you need.
Next, you can either create a matcha latte by adding hot frothed plant milk or complete your matcha tea by adding about 1 cup of hot water.