Matcha, a very special and labor-intensive-to-make green tea from Japan (mostly), seems to be all the rage these days. So a posting on Facebook by the friendly and very tea knowledgeable folks at Yunomi.us (of a magazine article listing various recipes) grabbed my interest. And here is that list of recipes:
Most matcha recipes are desserts, with the rest being drinks and things like pancakes and yogurt flavored with matcha. The intense flavor of matcha also usually means that a small amount is used, so the high price of matcha shouldn’t scare you – that little bit you can afford will go a long way! [One caution: matcha will give a bright green cast to whatever you add it to, so just warn guests that no, the food is not nuclear nor will it “Hulk out” on them!]
- Matcha Pancakes – from Dianeabroad.com
- Matcha Yogurt Breakfast Bowl – from Kelliesfoodtoglow.com
- Matcha Coconut Latté – from Loveandlemons.com
- Matchamisu (Matcha in Tiramisu) – from Ohhowcivilized.com’s Blog
- Matcha Truffles – from Ohhowcivilized.com’s Blog
- Matcha Mochi Cupcakes – from Tinyurbankitchen.com
- Matcha Mochi Yogurt Pops – from Mynameisyeh.com
- Brownies with Matcha Glaze – from Mynameisyeh.com
- Matcha Swirl Shortbread Cookies – from Tworedbowls.com
- Keroppi Matcha Macaron – from Bentomonsters.com
- Green Tea Soufflé – from Justonecookbook.com
Matcha is a Japanese green tea made of finely ground gyokuro leaves. The processing, a key determiner in the final product, is different from making gyokuro in that the leaves are not rolled. They are steamed as usual to halt oxidation and then thoroughly dried, creating what is called “tencha.” These green dry leaves are then ground to a powder that is the consistency of talc and are then called “matcha” (sometimes spelled “mattcha”). This processing also preserves the flavor and health-enhancing properties in this tea.
You should use 2g (1/2 level teaspoon) for 120 to 180cc (4 to 6 ounces) of hot water. A bamboo whisk (chasen) is often used in matcha preparation as the most efficient way to mix the powder thoroughly with the hot water and to create a froth.
Matcha is the highest grade of Japanese tea, according to their grading system:
- Kukicha — (lowest) made from twigs and stems of the tea plant and historically given to children and seniors.
- Bancha — rather low in quality and usually not sold by specialty tea companies.
- Sencha — growing in popularity so there is now a very wide range from superb Japanese sencha to Chinese and Vietnamese versions that have uneven results.
- Gyokuro — a wonderful, labor-intensive tea made from leaves that are shade-grown for part of the year. It is only produced in small quantities each year, relative to other teas.
- Matcha — The highest grade and used during the famous Japanese Tea Ceremony.
Give it a go!
The British have an expression (lots of them, actually): “Let’s give it a go!” It’s that spirit of adventure, of experimentation. And when it comes to matcha, the results will very likely be quite tasty! And don’t forget that pot of hot tea to sip while you dine.
© 2015 A.C. Cargill photos and text