So, you've heard how awesome matcha is and want to start using it in your everyday life. We can't blame you. It's packed with antioxidants, nutrients and stress-relieving benefits. It also gives you a natural boost of energy throughout the day, and helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels. However, not everyone knows how to drink matcha, and get the most out of this super green tea powder.
USING THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
Traditionally, matcha should be sipped from a bowl, instead of a mug or cup. This is how it is consumed in Asia where matcha originates from. Drinking matcha is seen as a sensory experience; not only does the drink itself help to calm you down, but the way it is drank should also be mindful.
You should cup the bowl with both hands and inhale the fumes as you drink. The bowl will allow more smells to emanate towards your nose and mouth, in a way that you can't get from other mugs/cups. If you aren't able to drink from a bowl, there's no hard-and-fast rule on this though.
You may also want to purchase a matcha 'chasen' or bamboo whisk. You'll find these available from a variety of places online, for not very much money. They're the traditional tool used for mixing your matcha with water or milk, and help to combine it together most effectively. The small bristles work the matcha much better than a large metal whisk is able to. Plus it'll feel far more authentic!
PREPARING THE MATCHA
There are a few different ways to prepare matcha for drinking. For a straight-up drink, simply add 1 to 2 teaspoons of matcha to whatever you want to drink from. You may want to sieve the powder in to get rid of any lumps. Next, add a splash of hot water (that has a temperature sightly less than boiled).
Using a whisk, vigorously stir the matcha and water together until it has become slightly frothy. If it becomes too thick and paste-like, add some more hot water. Once combined, top your drink up with some more hot water, plus cold water to make it drinkable. You can now enjoy your matcha tea, although may need to give it a stir every now and again if it starts to settle.
For unique flavours, many people will swap the water for nut milk that has been heated up. Whether it is coconut or almond, hazelnut or pecan, the milk helps to create a delicious frothy cappuccino style drink. It also naturally sweetens the flavour.
AVOIDING ADDED SUGAR
For some people, the flavour of matcha can be difficult to become accustomed to straight away. It can be quite bitter and malty, with a hint of vegetal flavours like seaweed or edamame. When you drink matcha tea in coffee shops, often they will add sugar and steamed milk to lighten this flavour and make it more palatable.
You want to try and avoid these drinks wherever possible; what they bring in matcha benefits will be lost in the unnecessary added sugar. Plus, where matcha helps to balance your blood sugar levels and give you sustained energy over several hours, sugar creates a rollercoaster of dips and crashes. This definitely won't see you motivated throughout the day.
It is best to make your own matcha drinks where possible, ensuring you know what ingredients have been used. You will also be able to focus more on the meditative aspect when you're not trying to drink matcha in a busy, crowded cafe with people bashing around and noises distracting you.
DRINKING YOUR MATCHA TEA
When you make matcha tea, there is the risk that the powder will start to settle after a while at the bottom. This makes it unpleasant to drink; you will find yourself getting less of the benefits throughout and a strong final swig at the end.
The idea of matcha is to drink it quickly. Given that it doesn't take long to actually prepare matcha tea, it can be a fast drink to consume. However, you should always aim to remain mindful throughout, thinking about the flavour, taste and how you feel.
To stock up on matcha for your next green tea drink, you can buy your 40g bag here.