In the recent years, Matcha has become a popular type of tea used for drinking and also for baking by people of all ages and backgrounds.
So what is Matcha? How is it different to regular Japanese tea?
Matcha is simply tea leaves which are steamed, dried, ground and processed to become tea powder.
According to domatcha.com, "it was in the 11th century that the Zen priest Esai initiated the cultivation of tea in Japan. His famous book about tea opens with the sentence: “Tea is the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete.” In saying that, Esai was referring to Matcha, later to become Japan’s most treasured kind of green tea and the only tea to be used in the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony (Sadō)."
Not only does it taste good; green tea has great benefits like:
Tea Tasting w/ Yunomi
Last week, my friend Charles (my Japanese Tea Mentor) and I had a mini tea tasting session / ceremony. We had the tea which was delivered by yunomi, which is a Japanese Tea online store which delivers high grade tea directly from Japan to countries like the US. Not only do they sell tea - they also sell Japanese sweets to pair with your tea and provide users with information and knowledge about Japanese tea.They sell all kinds of Matcha powder so have your pick!
On our tea tasting day, Charles brought some of his tea equipment for the ultimate Japanese tea experience. For this Matcha tea tasting he used a mini-sift, chasen (the bamboo sift), chashaku (the tea scooper) and tea pot to drink from.
The Process and Experience
The way he used all the equipment with the tea powder was beautiful. He started off carefully scooping out the matcha powder and sifting it. By sifting the powder, you can get rid of lumps which leads to a better texture. He then poured a little bit of hot water into the pot with the powder and whisked it with the chasen. You may want to check out the video above to see this yourself. After whisking a small amount, he added a little more water and whisked again. He then said that we were then ready to enjoy the tea. We skipped the ceremonial "Sa-do" steps at this time :)
The tea was super rich, bitter, but also sweet at the same time. The soothing vegetal smell made me feel comfortable - almost like I was just about to end my yoga session.
Charles drinks tea on a regular basis - he said that it gives him a different kind of buzz compared to when he has coffee. I personally have decided to incorporate quiet tea sessions at home for relaxation purposes after this day :) Thank you Charles and Yunomi.us!
Don't forget to check out these Matcha recipes!
Special thanks to:
Yunomi.us (Use code "JPINSIDER" to get 20% OFF!)
Charles, my Japanese Tea Mentor!
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