How to Make the Best Matcha at Home, According to an NYC Tea House
Including what tools are a must-have!
Matcha, the finely ground powder created from green tea leaves, has become widely accessible at coffee shops across the country. While it’s traditionally used for Japanese tea ceremonies and enjoyed with wagashi, Japanese confections, it has been adopted to more causal varieties and can even be easily recreated at home. Each tool in a traditional tea set used in Japanese tea ceremonies has its own name and specific function, including the optimal whisk, scoop and bowl to create the best matcha. We chatted with Cha-An Teahouse, located in New York, to find out how to bring teahouse quality matcha into our kitchens.
1: How Much Matcha Do You Need?
A typical serving of matcha will require about two teaspoons of the tea. Unlike drinking most teas, where you drink the water made from steeping leaves, you’re actually consuming the leaves through the powder.
2: Make Sure You Choose the Right Type of Matcha
Ceremonial matcha is made from younger leaves and is made for drinking. It’s a bit more expensive than culinary matcha, which is used as an ingredient in dishes.
3: Grab the (Right) Spoon
In order to preserve the freshness of the powder, you want to keep the spoon dry during use to prevent moisture from getting in. While this scoop is great for portioning out the right amount of matcha, a small measuring spoon does the trick as well.
4: Sift Well
You’ll want to thoroughly sift the matcha powder while adding it to the bowl so that there are no lumps and it fully dissolves.
5: Have the Right Chawan (Bowl)
It is important to have a wide bowl so there is enough space to whisk properly. Boil the water, reaching a temperature of about 80 degrees F, and add 2 to 3 fluid ounces to the bowl.
6: Start off Strong
The water’s temperature can affect the taste and strength of tea, so be sure to adhere to the suggested temperature for the best possible quality.
7: Work that Whisk
Whisk for about 20 seconds, depending on how much tea you’re making, until the powder is dissolved and foam forms.
8: The Proper Way to Whisk
While you can opt for a milk frother or other methods to properly whisk your matcha, it's worth adding a chasen to your cart to ensure smoothly whisked matcha at home. First, mix the tea slowly to disperse the matcha at the bottom of the bowl. Then raise the whisk and slightly shake your wrist firmly back and forth. When the foam begins to rise, raise the whisk to the surface of the foam and move it slowly to reduce the thickness.
Traditionally, matcha is drunk in a few sips and finished with a slurp (although you can choose to quietly enjoy it). Cha-An Teahouse sources their matcha from Ujitawara Town, a place known for green tea cultivation.