What is Matcha Tea?
Do you know the difference between green tea, black tea, and oolong tea? All of these teas, which differ in taste and aroma, are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis tree. So while the raw material is the same, the difference between different kinds of tea is in the manufacturing process. You can create a completely new product out of the same base ingredient! Matcha is a further refined product made from tea leaves that have been treated to become green tea.
Green Tea Based
Green tea, which is widely grown in Japan, is made by heating fresh tea leaves immediately after harvesting. This treatment leaves a beautiful green color and a fresh aroma. Conversely, if the leaves are left to develop enzymes after harvesting, the color changes to brown, and the aroma content increases. In that case, it becomes oolong tea or black tea. So what is the difference between matcha, a type of green tea, and other green teas such as sencha and hojicha?
The main characteristic of green tea is that during the process of growing the leaves, they are covered from the elements. This prevents the production of bitter compounds (catechins), and theanine becomes the most important component of the tea.
Making Matcha of Green Tea
The tea leaves are first carefully cultivated in this way, and once they are harvested the leaves are steamed, dried, and then ground into a powder using a stone mortar. Matcha is more expensive than regular green tea because of the time and effort required to make it, but it is enjoyed as a high-quality tea with a strong flavor and sweetness. In addition, since the tea leaves are consumed whole, it is possible to ingest many healthy ingredients.
How to Drink Matcha Tea
Here is a brief description of how to enjoy Matcha tea the proper way.
- Fill a large tea bowl with 1 teaspoon of matcha powder and pour around 200 ml of hot water around 80 degrees Celcius/176 degrees Fahrenheit over the powder
- Mix thoroughly with a wooden tool called a ‘chasen’ (tea whisk). The trick is to whisk it with such a loose wrist movement that foam is created on top of the tea. Hold the bowl slightly skewed to achieve this
- Enjoy the tea right after whisking when it is still hot. Don’t forget to also eat a sweet to complement the slightly bitter flavor of the tea
In addition to serving matcha in this way, it can also be used for sweets, beverages, and cooking, taking advantage of its fragrance and bright color.
Recipes Using Matcha
Would you like some inspiration on how to cook with matcha? Check out these amazingly easy and healthy recipes!