I am currently reading up and teaching myself the traditional tea ceremony of Japan. Matcha comes in at least two varieties, one for summer and another for winter. The summer variety is usually light, though still thicker than other teas, and less concentrated with a little frothiness. I think that the ones sold on the market are this type.

Matcha is bitter, very bitter, which makes it a great companion with usually sweet Japanese desserts. Try drinking Matcha with azuki bean filled mochi, you’d find it very satsfying.

In contrast to the summer variety, the winter version of the tea is stronger, thicker, more bitter and foamier. Instead of matching it with desserts, it is usually accompanied by a several coursed meal, which is an inherent part of the traditional tea ceremony as well.

To prepare Matcha, it is not really necessary to be trained in tea ceremony. Tea ceremony is more or less the art of entertaining guests with tea. Usually, I would take the less stylistic approach when I want to drink this tea. I simply add the Matcha powder to hot water and use a little bamboo whisk to create the frothy appearance. I have also tried to mix it with bottled water. Give it a little shake and you can get Matcha to go. Matcha is also a flavor of ice cream. Try the green tea flavor of Maeda-en, I absolutely recommend it.

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