My first experience with matcha was…bad. A friend talked me into buying a cup of a lower grade of it, straight up from a local tea store. I told him I don’t like green tea that much, but he insisted it was to die for. OH GOD. Grassy, viciously bitter, probably overwhisked, just…nasty. I probably added half a bottle of honey to that cup in a desperate effort to save it, and nada. It was awful, and I pretended to drink it for the benefit of said friend, and then threw it in the trash. Tragic waste of five dollars. I totally wrote off matcha for months after that.
I was eventually persuaded to try it again, by a barista friend who worked for Teaopia/Teavana. He got me to drink a custom latte he’d whipped up, as a combo of another, fruity green tea and matcha. Wow, big difference. I have since gotten into drinking it, although generally not straight (although if it is a nice quality one straight, I will try it that way). Sometimes I use other teas (sweet, fruity herbals work well) to activate the matcha, and drink that combo, and sometimes I make homemade lattes with a little hand-held milk frother.
It is a good boost in the morning, and saves you any danger of a caffeine withdrawal headache! There is also something about matcha in particular that I find very centering. Hard to explain.
The difference between a premium and low grade matcha is day and night, hot and cold. I think as a rule of thumb the more vivid the green is, the better the quality is. Although I’m not a 100% sure on this.
So what I look for is this: bad quality has army green while good quality seems to have an almost fluro green color, if that makes sense ;)
I detest Matcha. Growing tea away from sunlight and then pulverizing it? Those poor leaves. And it takes just like Bermuda grass smells. Some producers add mango and other fruit flavouring to ease the pain but to me it draws more attention to the overall inadequacy of the powder. Not a fan.
Many people have already answered your questions so I will not reiterate what they have already said.
The beauty about Matcha green tea unlike other teas is that it can be consumed in various ways. While regular teas are generally consumed either hot or iced, Matcha can be used for; traditional tea, lattes, smoothies, with juices, hot chocolate, and not to mention cooking/baking.
Matcha may seem intimidating to make, but quite honestly it is very easy. You can easily whisk up a bowl quicker than it takes to steep a cup of tea.
Also you may have already had Matcha without even knowing it. If you ever had green tea ice cream, a green tea latte or frappe at a cafe, etc. then chances are you have tried Matcha without even knowing it.
One thing to keep in mind is that different grades of Matcha are used in different ways. If you plan to drink straight traditional tea then you want a high quality Matcha. Lower quality Matcha tend to be used as an ingredient when making drinks like lattes and smoothies or simply to cook and bake with. You can read about how to discern a high quality Matcha versus a low quality Matcha on our blog: http://www.aiya-america.com/matchablog/high-quality-matcha-vs-low-quality-matcha/
If anyone would like to try matcha for the first time redleaftea.com has amazing flavored matcha! If you use code AFM25 it will get you 50% off matcha for your first order (it will also get me some matcha as well). Thanks :-)
1 cup of Matcha = 15 cups of regular green tea.
By drinking the green tea powder instead of throwing the green leafs out, you get a lot more nutrients.
Well, at least I’m a little less afraid of it now. Maybe one of these weekends I’ll go the flavored route and see where it takes me. Anyone have any flavor suggestions for a first go?
The caramel is super popular with people if you’re in to that kind of flavour. I’d also suggest the robust flavouring or at least dinstinctive if you don’t know if you’ll like the vegetal taste from the matcha. If you like vanilla flavouring, that ones pretty good too esp if you like the thought of vanilla lattes. A better sense of what kinda of flavours you like would allow for other suggestions too :)
I love all of the fruit ones I have tried I just add them to a bottle of water and shake em up :-). So far pineapple is my favorite!
Personally, I’ll be starting with rose, jasmine,lavender and possibly be pollen, since I already love or use the flavors in other ways, and teas.
@ sil thanks for the heads up about flavoring. I was wondering how much the mid range choices interfered with the true matcha flavor.
Kasumi – i drink all my matcha with milk and i’ve never gone as low in flavouring as the basic choice. For fruits and STRONG flavours that i think could turn artificial tasting, i usually go with distinctive instead of robust until i try it and find out i can make the flavouring more intense. This is all with the basic matcha as well. I haven’t yet tried the higher grades of matcha through red leaf so that may make a difference as well.
I only have experience with plain matcha, which I have been using for years, and rarely add milk (only tried lattes when out 2x)
Caramel sounds good to me. I tend to like my teas on the sweet or spicy side. Caramel sounds safe :)
The same reasons everyone else said.
My favourite method to make flavoured matcha (I like the desert flavours), is to add some milk & ice into my metal cocktail shaker & mix. So yummy.
Since matcha has a higher content of caffeine and L-theanine, the combination of the two create relaxed concentration. Matcha is a great replacement for coffee as it gives you an energy boost without the crash. Additionally, it doesn’t stain your teeth like coffee does and has atleast 10 times the amount of antioxidants as normal green tea. I personally feel thinner from drinking 2 matchas day for 3 months. Hot matchas are more like expresso shots and iced matchas are more americano. After drinking matchas for a while now, my body loves the freshing taste of an iced matcha. Why not matcha is the real question.