Matcha tea

(grassy, fresh, springlike and green}

Matcha2

It’s safe to say that of all the teas from all of the tea growing regions of the world, there is only one that is powdered so finely that you actually are eating the tea in the brewed beverage. And that special tea is called matcha, a highly prized traditional beverage in Japan, and increasingly available and appreciated here in the US. Thanks to a wider distribution nationwide and the popularization by some of the larger coffee vendors (Starbuck’s, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, among others, who have taken the tea in a different direction entirely and use it as a flavoring in smoothies and lattes), matcha is becoming better known outside of its homeland. But be aware that the best quality matcha doesn’t come cheap. There is kitchen grade (made from the older leaves below the top leaf and bud on the plant and used for cooking or everyday casual drinking) and the more expensive tea ceremony grade (made just from the top leaf and bud along with the tender stems on the leaf and used for a stylized service of the tea with proper accouterments and a reverence for tradition). As its name implies, kitchen grade is suitable for cooking so look for it when stocking your pantry. (Matchasource.com is a great website for all things matcha).

Beyond the china cup, matcha also works well in savory dishes such as broths or in sweet applications such as sponge cakes, mousses, ice creams and custards. (Check out my posts at tching.com for more ideas and recipes).

One Response to “Matcha tea”

  1. Hector Lozano says:

    Hello Chef. This is Hector from your Professional Baking class 2011. Congratulations on this wonderful website. Best of luck with it. Sincerely, Hector Lozano

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