Making matcha may appear daunting to beginners, but actually it is not that difficult. Once you have made it a few times, you might wonder why you brought yourself so late to this tea party!
Also make sure you are using "ceremonial grade" matcha. The other grade of matcha is "culinary grade" which is a lower quality used for cooking or making sugar-laden lattes and shakes. Our matcha is not only ceremonial grade, but is also certified Organic. When you are ingesting whole tea leaves, which is the case when you drink matcha, you better be sure the source is very "clean."
The first thing you need to do is make warm water. After the water has come to a boil, pour out around 3 fl oz of it into a separate dish and wait for 3 minutes or so to cool it off. The ideal temperature for making matcha is 170F to 155F. Cooler water makes for a more delicious cup. If the water is too hot it can make the cup bitter.
While the water is cooling wet the chasen with hot water. Make sure there are no broken tines.
Using the chasaku take two scoops of matcha and bring to the sifter.
Using the chasaku gently sift the matcha. The idea is to break the clumps that might be present in the tea. By the way, after you have made your tea wipe the chasaku with a dry paper towel or napkin. Do not use water for cleaning the chasaku.
The result should be a fine powder in your bowl.
Pour the warm water into the bowl. For a normal bowl size the water level comes to about 1/4 of it.
Now use the chasen to whisk the matcha. Keeping your wrist loose, vigorously draw a M back and forth for about 30 seconds. Do not apply any downward pressure on the chasaku otherwise the tines might snap.
A frothy surface will emerge in the bowl.
Now put your chasen away and get ready to enjoy your bowl of matcha! Good matcha has a nutty flavor and a sweet aftertaste. The texture is very creamy. It is best to store matcha powder in the freezer.
The tradition of drinking powdered green tea started in China during the Song Dynasty (960 AD - 1269 AD). Although the practice died after the collapse of the said dynasty, matcha was brought to Japan by zen monks who took it to their island nation and refined the tradition to a high art form.