Making matcha at home can seem daunting, but I guarantee it’s easy to do and the best way to enjoy quality matcha. Nowadays, matcha is everywhere, but not all matcha is good matcha. Yup! I said it. Growing up, I would drink matcha with my oba-chan (grandma, in Japanese), and you bet your bottom dollar she was drinking the good stuff.
You could say my standards are a little up there, but the contrast between a good and bad matcha is stark. In fact, I have a lot of friends who say they don’t like matcha, and I’m convinced they’ve had a poor quality, badly prepared matcha. I too, have had matcha lattes/drinks at cafes with a terrible flavour and clumps throughout. Oh and of course, the prices were incredibly steep.
Want to stop paying for cruddy matcha and start whisking your own? I’m going to walk you through the entire process of making matcha at home, including how to find quality matcha powder, and what tools you need. I’ll also include how-to’s for a matcha latte, both iced and hot. Spoiler alert: it’s easier than you think.
Matcha is a powder, made from finely ground green tea leaves. It differs from green tea in that you’re consuming the entirety of the leaves, versus steeping tea leaves. Tea leaves for matcha are also specifically grown in the shade, and grown seasonally too. The flavour is much more intense and varies greatly from green tea. Caffeine content is also higher in matcha than green tea, but still slightly lower than coffee on average (roughly 25-75mg of caffeine in an 8oz serving of matcha). One benefit to consuming matcha instead of coffee is the slow, sustained release of energy with no crash (thanks to L-theanine found in matcha!).
Drinking matcha is a ceremonial act in Japanese culture, with an emphasis on the preparation and serving of the matcha. It has historical ties to Zen Buddhism and spiritual practice, that still tie into tea ceremonies today. It is almost a meditative process, and I personally love the experience of making matcha at home. It’s a morning ritual I never get tired of.
Remember how I said not all matcha is equal? There are many properties of matcha that vary due to origin and growth, but there are 2 main varieties of matcha.
Culinary matcha is a lower end variety, typically dull, more yellow in colour and often bitter in flavour. It can be used to add to recipes, if you’re looking for less matcha flavour and something more affordable.
Ceremonial matcha is the highest grade of matcha, used in tea ceremonies, and intended to be enjoyed on its own. It’s bold in flavour, smooth in texture, and is the best to use to make drinks and lattes, in my opinion. While culinary matcha may seem like the matcha of choice for recipes, if you really want matcha flavour to shine through, ceremonial is the way to go.
I purchase the majority of my matcha from Ippodo tea, which is a traditional Japanese brand over 300 years old. The tea is grown in Kyoto, which is a region known for producing the best quality matcha. My oba-chan turned me onto Ippodo, and they have a great selection of different kinds of matcha. They also list their varieties from richer to lighter and taste notes for each type.
One more thing. Matcha powder should contain only one ingredient–matcha. Look out for powders with added corn starch or wonky ingredients.
To make matcha, the basic tools I recommend using are listed below. Ippodo carries a great selection of matcha tools as well, which are made to last, when cared for properly. I’ll also include a few fun items that are not necessities, but nice-to-haves.
Bamboo tea ladle – This will provide the perfect serving of matcha, and is a beautiful traditional tool. If you prefer, you can scoop matcha powder by the teaspoon as well (typically 1 tsp-1 1/2 tsp per serving).
Tea sifter – This tool is the first step to removing clumps from your matcha. Matcha powder does clump as it sits together, so breaking it up initially is key. If you don’t have a tea sifter, you can also dry whisk your matcha with the bamboo whisk to help remove clumps too. I did this when my tea sifter was broken and it works alright as a substitute.
Bamboo matcha whisk – A tool essential for whisking out clumps in matcha properly, and also adding froth to your drink. A whisk with a higher count will be more effective.
Whisk Stand – Personally, this is a tool I think is worth investing in. Bamboo whisks can mold if not dried properly, and crack or dry out of shape. To take proper care of your whisk, rinse and clean after use and then store on a stand to preserve shape as it dries.
Matcha bowl – You can use most bowls to whisk your matcha, but I recommend one with higher walls, so you can whisk without fear of spilling. I always like to use a bowl with a spout, to make pouring easier.
Portable Ceramic Tumbler – Not a necessity, but a staple item for me when drinking matcha out at cafes. Save on the single use cups and lids, and opt for this beautiful, zero waste ceramic cup. You can also use it to bring your homemade matchas with you on the go.
Electronic Frother – I still recommend whisking over this electronic tool, but this is a great way to add extra froth to lattes and is a good emergency tool if needed.
Matcha Sticks – Again, for emergency situations, these single serve matcha sticks are convenient for travel. What I love about this product is that although it’s a single serve pack, it doesn’t contain any added ingredients or starches, like most on the go matcha products do.
Almond Cow – If you’re really into homemade, you’ll love this plant mylk maker. I use it to make homemade pumpkin seed mylk, cashew mylk and more. I love adding homemade mylks to my matcha but this is totally a for-fun item!
Let’s get down to making matcha at home. Once you have a high quality matcha powder and tools to work with, the only thing left to do is just add water. Or mylk of choice if you want to latte it. Here’s the basic process for making matcha, including variations for lattes (iced and hot).
That’s it my friends–it’s really quite simple and once you have the basics down, you can start experimenting with adding flavours to create matcha drinks. For example, you can make matcha bubble tea, or a spiced latte.
If you try making matcha at home, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see what you whisk, and for a chance to be featured! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you found this guide helpful, please let me know!
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BY Remy • September 16, 2019
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Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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