What is Matcha, and What does it taste like? We will address this question and a lot more in this article.
If you have never tried Matcha before, then this article will be beneficial for you and will clear up all your doubts.
What Is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of finely grounded powder and is made from processed green tea leaves.
Traditionally, Matcha was consumed in Southeast Asia but is now available worldwide.
The green tea plants used to make Matcha are shade-grown for 3 to 4 weeks before harvesting.
The veins and stems are removed from the leaves before they are processed.
Check out 5 Best Pastry Boards.
What Does Matcha Taste Like?
The flavor profile of Matcha is complex; it has a naturally sweet nuttiness, mellow vegetal taste, a few bitter notes, and a savory flavor.
The savory taste is Umami, which gives the Matcha is irresistible flavor.
How Is Matcha Made?
Here is how Matcha is made:
The green tea leaves go through a shading process, covered by rice straws or bamboo mats mounted on top.
The covers protect the leaves from sunlight, and they change the balance of the leaves’ flavanols, sugar, and caffeine.
This process kicks off approximately 2 to 3 weeks before the harvest.
This process increases the content of chlorophyll in the leaves and enables the antioxidants to rest on top of the leaves.
Matcha receives its bright green color from chlorophyll, and the amino acids in the leaves give it a strong Umami flavor.
The year’s first harvest usually occurs in spring or summer (Mid-April to Mid-May).
The farmers only pick the greenest and youngest tea leaves.
The tea leaves of the first harvest have the best quality, especially compared to the 2nd harvest, which takes place 40 to 45 days after the first one.
Air Dried And Steamed
Once the green tea leaves are harvested, they undergo a steaming process that can last for up to 20 seconds.
This procedure is done to prevent oxidization in the leaves.
The procedure also enables the green tea leaves to retain their nutritional components and amino acids.
Then, the green tea leaves will go through a blower to eliminate the moisture condensation.
The tea leaves are also crushed for de-stemming/sorting.
The raw materials produced after this are called Astencha, the precursor of the Matcha powder.
Graded And De-Stemmed
Before the leaves are crushed with the stone ground and turned into a powder, they are de-stemmed and de-veined to ensure the finest and best quality green tea leaves are grounded.
Tea processors will also sort the leaves according to their aroma, texture, and color and then add hot water to the tencha to check the quality of the leaves and grade them.
Once the grading of the leaves is done, the tea is given a label.
Lastly, the tea is stored in a refrigerated room, where its good quality is maintained.
This is the last step of the manufacturing process.
The green tea leaves are ground on an astonemill to achieve a smooth and consistent Matcha tea powder texture.
Then, the powder goes through vacuum packaging and will be stored until it is ready for shipping.
How Do You Cook Matcha?
Here is how you can make Matcha tea at home:
- Matcha Green Tea: ½ to 1 tsp.
- Distilled of Filtered Water: 1/8 Cup (Additional ½ cup for warming the bowl)
Gather all the tools and ingredients and bring 1 cup of water to the bowl.
Measure out the water to ¼ to ½ cup and reserve it for making the tea.
Fill up the Matcha bowl halfway with the remaining water.
In the water, gently move around the bamboo whisk to soak while the bowl is warmed by the water.
This process should not take more than 30 seconds.
Then, eliminate the water from the bowl, and with a clean towel, wipe the bowl dry.
Place a mesh strainer over the bowl’s mouth.
With the help of a bamboo scoop, sift 2 to 4 piles of Matcha in the bowl.
Sifting is necessary because it gives the powder a fluffy appearance, reduces the amount of whisk involved, and ensures the tea has no clumps.
After a few minutes, the reserved water will cool down to a temperature of about 175 Degrees Fahrenheit.
Pour 2 tbsps. Of the reserved water in the bowl and over the Matcha.
Hold the bamboo whisk with your dominant hand using your index finger and thumb.
Grasp the bowl with your hand, and whisk the contents gently until the clumps are eliminated, and the Matcha dissolves in the water.
Pour the remaining water into the bowl, and in a ‘W’ pattern, whisk until a foam begins to form on the surface with tiny bubbles.
When whisking the Matcha, the goal is to create a foam in which the tiny bubbles are barely visible.
While the foam may appear in just a few minutes, the technique requires practice.
You can pour the Matcha tea into a cup or drink it directly from the bowl.
Traditionally, Matcha tea is drunk immediately in 3 sips while holding the bowl with both hands.
What Do You Eat Matcha With?
Here are some delicious food pairings that go well with Matcha tea:
Keeping with the traditional tea ceremonies in Japan, dishes such as Kaiseki are served alongside the Matcha tea to the guests.
Along with Kaiseki, Wagashi is also served, which is a type of sweet dish.
Wagashi is a vegan dessert made from fruit, rice cakes, or bean paste.
Matcha and breakfast bowl pair well, and to make this combination, add fresh fruits, granola and nuts to the bowl and mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
You can pair a citrus salad with the Matcha tea for a refreshing and light meal.
You can also top the tea with a bit of lemon juice to boost its natural antioxidants.
This is another tasty food item that goes well with Matcha tea.
Avocado is a fruit and a complete protein rich in amino acids essential for the human body.
A healthy and irresistible combination is created when a pair of superfoods like Avocado and Matcha combine.
Is Matcha Good For You?
Here are some health benefits of Matcha :
Rich In Antioxidants
Matcha has a high content of Catechins, a category of plant compounds with antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants benefit the body and eliminate the dangerous free radicals, which can cause chronic disease and damage the cells.
When you make hot tea by adding hot water to Matcha powder, the tea gets a nutritional boost from the leaves.
If you include Matcha tea in your diet, your antioxidant intake will increase significantly, reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
Can Improve The Brain Function
Research shows that some components in Matcha can improve brain function.
Matcha also contains a higher caffeine content than green tea, and studies have proven that caffeine can improve brain function.
Related Questions About Matcha?
Is Matcha Tea Harmful?
While this is rare, sometimes, Matcha may contain toxic metals such as mercury and lead.
Too much lead can damage the lungs, kidneys, red blood cells, and the brain.
Should You Drink Matcha Tea Daily?
Consuming Matcha tea daily can positively impact your overall health and energy levels.
This article talks about Matcha in detail; we have discussed different aspects of Matcha, such as what does Matcha tastes like? Its health benefits, its manufacturing process, etc.
We have also addressed a few queries related to Matcha which will give you some much-needed clarity.
- Kitchen Accessory Buying Guides
- Kitchen Appliance Buying Guides
- Kitchen Cookbook Buying Guides
- Kitchen Cookware Buying Guides
- Kitchen Pantry Food Buying Guides
- Does Food Go Bad Articles
- Food Comparison Articles
- Foods That Start With Letter Articles
- How Long Can Food Sit Out Articles
- How To Defrost Food Articles
- How To Reheat Food Articles
- How To Soak Food Articles
- Popular Foods Articles
- What Does It Taste Like Articles