9 Things You Can Make With Matcha
It’s always been a huge part of Japanese culture, but before 2000, most people in North America only knew about matcha from sushi restaurants or Asian supermarkets. Even then, they probably wouldn’t have connected those tasty soba noodles with the word matcha, or known how important the tea is in Japan.
Matcha is one of the most expensive teas on the market, and a small tin of lower quality powder can regularly run at least $20 or $30.
This is because the plants that are used to make matcha are only grown in the shade, and the finest, tea-grade matcha is then hand-picked before being dried and stone-ground. Matcha is divided into tea-grade and culinary-grade powders. Anything categorized as tea-grade is used only for drinking in Japanese tea ceremony, known as chanoyu or sado.
The matcha tea ceremony in Japan is also known as The Way of Tea. A formal tea ceremony can last up to four hours, and involves guests observing a master tea practitioner turn the powdery matcha into either a thick or thin tea following a strictly prescribed set of movements. The tea is then served along with sweets.
The tea ceremony is usually quite formal, and ends with the guests carefully inspecting the tea utensils that belong to the practitioner, as they’re often priceless antiques. However, regular matcha tea can also be made with similar (but much less valuable) utensils at home.
Energy drinks and shakes
If you want to drink matcha, don’t be put off by the elaborate preparation methods that tea practitioners use. Making matcha tea can be tough, but you can also throw the powder into cold water and shake it up for a quick pick-me-up. It also tastes amazing mixed into a milkshake, or for a healthier option, throw a few teaspoons into your morning smoothie. You don’t need to add much for a strong green tea taste.
Many recipes include both matcha and coconut milk, as the flavors really complement each other, and help ensure that the smoothie is both smooth and drinkable.