Friday, 31 January 2014

Matcha!

Ello!

Happy Asian New Year to all! I hope you all had a nice relaxing day :D

Not much happened on my end. Lots of food today and the day before. Aaand I just had an awful jogging session today. That was fun. Then an interesting lecture on the proof of the cosine rule and the history of maths (Pythagoras, specifically) from Professor Swaggalot. Then lots of tea! Mostly matcha!

Now I can show you some photos of the tea itself :)

Bowl, whisk, can of matcha, sieve and wooden scoop (and sieving implement(?) underneath)

For those of you who do not know, it's basically powdered Japanese green tea leaves. Very concentrated, very potent. That also means it has loads of caffeine in it, so it's comparable to pu'erh in intensity. Also quite delicious if you're used to the likes of gyokuro, sencha and kabusecha. I still haven't had any gyokuro yet, so that's going to be on my to-buy list when the spring harvest begins all over Asia!

The matcha I have is the Organic Matcha from Hibiki-An. It seems pricey, but you only need a small amount of powder to make a strong bowl of tea, so the value/drink is not bad. However it does lose its freshness very quickly, so it must be consumed with relative rapidity. This is basically a matcha "starter kit" so the tea itself isn't top notch, but I will also try one of the pricier ones when the opportunity presents itself. That isn't to say this isn't a delicious brew, though I am curious as to what the difference is and whether I can detect it. The good stuff is supposed to have a strong umami taste. We shall see later :)

So if you want to brew matcha, what you'll want to do is measure out the powder then sieve it into the bowl so you won't get any clumps. And then the rest of the steps are determined by what you want to make...

There are two modes of matcha: usucha and koicha.


Usucha:
  • 1-2 heaped scoops of powder
  • ~70ml water at 70-80 degrees
  • Whisk vigorously until foam forms
  • Very light and pleasant savoury drink

You can get away with not sieving this one if you forget, since there's so much water and whisking going on.


Koicha:
  • 2-3 heaped scoops of powder
  • ~40ml water at 70-80 degrees
  • Whisk very slowly, no foam will form
  • Very thick - Looks like paint!
  • Leave a bit in the bowl and then pour more water in to make usucha! Bonus tea!

Definitely sieve this one or it will get clumpy.
Also, this option is definitely not for the uninitiated - strong tannins and sourness present!!!

Then whisk till you are satisfied with the consistency/foam :D



Verdict: I love it! It is definitely a refreshing departure from the usual routine for brewing tea, and I like both options very much. I encourage you to give matcha a try, whether you find it in a restaurant or in a nice online tea store.

-Rogiraffe-

1 comment:

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