Steps for making The Perfect ‘Dose’ Of Matcha At Home
Matcha is made from the whole ground leaves of tencha green tea. Hand picked from new spring leaves, it is steamed, dried, and then ground into a fine powder. The bright green color is indicative of its antioxidant content, and the combination of caffeine with L-theanine creates a focused, relaxed alertness. Matcha can be enjoyed in drinks or desserts, but is more traditionally enjoyed by itself, whisked into a froth with hot water (think tiny bubbles, like the crema on espresso) and savored mindfully.
Because of its therapeutic nature, zen buddhist monks referred to a portion of matcha as a ‘dose.’ Read on below for the steps of making the perfect dose of matcha at home.
You will need: Bowl or cup for drinking matcha, matcha powder, hot water, matcha whisk (or hand-held electric frother), small strainer (optional)
1. Select your vessel
Select the bowl or wide mug you would like to drink your matcha out of. A traditional matcha bowl is approximately 12-15cm in diameter and 8cm in height, with a wider mouth for the summer, and a more narrow mouth for the winter (to retain the heat in the tea). The exact size isn’t important, as long as there is enough room for whisking and creating that delicate froth.
2. Prepare your water
Use non-chlorinated water, at a temperature of approximately 80 degrees C. An easy way to do this if you don’t have a temperature controlled kettle is to let water boil (100 degrees C) and then let cool for a minute or two before making your matcha.
3. Warm your bowl and whisk
Pour the heated water into your matcha bowl to warm it. Also gently dip your matcha whisk in the bowl several times (if using), to soften the bamboo.
4. Measure out tea and water
Discard the water used to heat the bowl and measure out 1 teaspoon (2g) of matcha powder. If using a strainer, sift matcha powder directly into the bowl, to break up any clumps. Pour 70ml (~⅓ cup) of hot water (80 degrees C) over the matcha.
Start by slowly whisking the matcha to incorporate it with the hot water. Then, holding the edge of the bowl with one hand, vigorously whisk with the other hand in an “M” or “W” shape. The whisk should not be in constant contact with the bottom of the bowl, but rather just above the bottom of the bowl - this will prolong the life of your bamboo. Once you have aerated the tea and produced a good amount of bubbles, raise the whisk to the surface of the matcha and gently whisk to break up any larger bubbles. Finally, make a circle around the perimeter of the bowl with your whisk, ending up in the center. This will create a slightly higher ‘mountain’ of foam in the center of the bowl. If you do not have a matcha whisk, use an electric frother to incorporate the matcha together with the hot water.
6. Sip, smile, and appreciate
Sip your matcha mindfully, enjoying the flavor & temperature of the tea, the feel & appearance of the bowl, and observing your inner thoughts & outer surroundings.
Clean your bowl and whisk (with cold or hot water, no soap), and set your matcha whisk to dry with the tines facing up, or on a special matcha whisk stand. To prevent mold from developing, and to preserve the life of your whisk, do not put the whisk back into an enclosed container while it is still wet.
That’s it, you’ve made the perfect dose of matcha. Let the relaxing alpha brainwave boosting effects of L-theanine combine with the stimulating effects of caffeine (and the mindfulness with which you sipped your tea) carry you through your day!
By Kaia Harper. Plant-Based Food, Travel, Nature, Design, Photography.
Founder of Culinary Plant-Based Travel.