Matcha - A brief History and Recipe for the Perfect Latte
Matcha is essentially a powdered green tea. It originated in China and spread via buddhist monks to Japan where it gained popularity. In China, this powdered form of tea fell out of popularity, but had continued to be produced on a small scale. Deveining the leaves is an important step in quality matcha.
Our Matcha is a ceremonial grade. This qualification is based on how finely the green tea is milled (ours is 1200 mesh), that the leaves are deveined, and that the tea is high quality (grown in spring, shaded to increase potency, made using the right variety). Most Matcha used at coffee shops is either fake (not actual tea leaves) or baking quality (flat flavor and gritty texture).
Our Matcha is from Shaoxing Zhejiang, the birthplace of Matcha. It meets the EU standards for final product purity and is grown in an organic tea garden (the tea cannot be labeled organic certified as importing, handling, etc. is not certified).
Our pure matcha tea changes color after about 5 minutes. This is because there are no additives, preservatives, flavors, binders, etc. Matcha that does not change color after brewing is not real matcha. The additives in most Matcha personally give me terrible headaches every time I have them.
When making matcha lattes, we use 2 grams (half of a “bar” teaspoon) for a 12 ounce latte. Add milk, then matcha to the pitcher then steam. Do not add the matcha to the pitcher first. The latte should be foamed even more than cappuccinos and be fairly hot ~165F. These lattes are greatly enhanced by just a little sweetness. A single pump of a rich simple syrup is enough to bring out the fresh and sweet notes of a matcha latte, although you can always make them sweeter.
If you want to make an iced matcha latte, you must use a whisk with the milk. A bamboo whisk allows you to greatly foam the milk while mixing the matcha in very well. Use a simple back and forth motion quickly and you will get lots of foam.
Matcha is usually portrayed as only coming from Japan, people sometimes find it weird that it comes from China, however, the quality from China is equal to Japan's best if you have the right garden and manufacturer and the price is much less. I would take taste tests from any Matcha anywhere near our price point and believe that ours would win.
Matcha as just a tea... the powder and water, is not recommended. While our quality is certainly good enough to stand on its own, my experience is people who order matcha as just a tea are rare and impossible to please. If you do not froth the matcha enough, or if you do too much, or just a hair too much or too little tea, they will be very unhappy. To make the tea, you should buy a special matcha scoop and bowl and whisk the tea with 160F water.RECIPE FOR MATCHA LATTE
Directions: Whisk in Match Bowl: (8oz)
Tea Leaf: 2.5 grams (1/2 bar teaspoon)
Water Temp: 155°F – 175°F
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