Matcha first appeared in the 7th-10th centuries during the Tang Dynasty in China. However, the form of it was not the fine dissolvable powder matcha we have today. Instead, they made tea bricks for easy transportation of tea. It was made by roasting tea leaves and pounding the roasted leaves into a somewhat powdered form and turning it into a brick.
How it is made
Similar to pure tea, Matcha is made from the camellia sinensis plant. The plant's leaves can be made into green tea when steamed and dried (unfermented tea), black tea when is fully fermented or oolong tea when the leaves partially ferment. Matcha is made from processed full green tea leaves that have been ground into a delicate powder. The powder is then sifted and whisked with water.
There are two forms of Matcha: Usucha ("thin tea") and koicha (“thick tea”). Usucha is the most common preparation and generally is what coffee shops and restaurants serve. Koicha, requires about four grams (0.14 oz/ two teaspoons) of instant matcha, roughly four times more than the typical one-gram serving for usucha (0.04 oz). Beyond the difference in quantity of Matacha powder, koicha uses less water than usucha. It’s made with half the amount of water than used in usucha.
Unlike other types of instant tea, the tea is not quickly stirred but gently kneaded using the a bamboo whisk.
How to make Matcha at home
Sift 1/2 a teaspoon of matcha powder into a Chawan (a curved bamboo scoop). Then, gently pour in three ounces of 175°F water. Bear in mind that the boiling water temperature is about 212°F, so you should wait a bit after the water is boiled. Using a Chasen (bamboo brush matcha whisk), whisk rapidly in an MW/zig-zag motion until frothy. You goal is to get only small bubbles on the top surface while the Matcha is fully frothy.
You can also have your Matcha as cold brew. Pour 12-14 oz of iced water into a clear bottle, then add 1 rounded teaspoon of Matcha into the bottle and shake well for about 15 seconds and enjoy.
Watch this YouTube video to learn more about Matcha and how to make it.
Where else can you use matcha
The naturally sweet and grassy flavor of Matcha can be incorporated into many foods and drinks. For example: Infused into alcoholic cocktails, whipped into coffee lattes, dusted atop savory dishes, or mixed into sweets like macarons mochi, or cakes and doughnuts.