So I’ve been wanting to try matcha for along time.
I’m a newbie to it and have no idea where to start.
What should I look for when buying it? Which sweeteners should i add? Better hot or iced? Does it have a salty taste? Etc.
I’ll bombard you with questions!!
I enjoy Matcha immensely. I often drink it straight (with no sweetener or other additions other than hot water) and it has a creamy taste, often buttery, and vegetative. Not really salty. It sometimes has a bitter taste, depending upon the quality that you purchase because you’ll find once you enter into the market of Matcha, there are many different grades from which to choose. The top of the line Matcha, the best grades, they are seldom bitter and they really are my choice but they are very expensive so it’s not something I indulge in often. The everyday grades tend to be a little less vibrant in flavor, but they are still quite nice, smooth and buttery.
I find that it’s quite sweet on it’s own so you don’t really need sweetener although if you go for a Matcha latte in a place like Starbucks, you’ll find that they load those up with sugar. So it really is all a matter of personal taste. Some might prefer sugar or other sweetener in their matcha, others do not.
There are a lot of flavored matcha out there too. Red Leaf Tea used to have quite an expansive selection of flavored matcha – just about every flavor you can imagine and they’d even combine flavors for you if you wanted a custom blend. I think they now call themselves Matcha Outlet or something like that (perhaps someone can chime in and correct me if I’m wrong?) and I really don’t know what type of services they now provide as I prefer my Matcha unflavored.
I like it hot and I also like it iced. When I’m having it iced, I usually like it mixed with something – like juice. My favorite ways to drink it are with Watermelon water when I can find it (it’s called WTRMLN WTR) or Maple Water when I can find it. But it’s also quite lovely with coconut water if you like that.
I know that there are others on here who can offer you more and probably better information than I can, as I haven’t been writing tea reviews for several years now and I’m kind of out the loop of what’s what when it comes to Matcha these days.
Matcha is powder right?
I go to Lupicia often and they have matcha. Davidstea has flavored matcha. Might try it from them. Do I need that wooden measuring spoon/whisk?
What grade will I be looking for todrink everyday?
Yes, matcha is the whole tea leaf that’s been finely ground into powder.
You don’t need the bamboo measuring spoon or whisk – it does make it easier to mix the matcha and give the matcha a nice foamy froth but it isn’t necessary for the enjoyment of Matcha. You can use any bowl to drink it out of (or even a mug), you can use a regular spoon to scoop out the powder, and you can use that spoon to stir it.
In my earliest years of drinking Matcha, I found a small whisk in the utensil aisle of my local grocery store for a couple of bucks and I used that to whisk the matcha and it worked fine. While you’re there in the utensil aisle look for a small wire mesh strainer. You’ll want that to sift the powder to aerate it somewhat – it really makes a difference in the finished product. You can also use a bone-dry tea strainer if you have a wire mesh one, although you may find that if it’s too fine a strainer, it may prove difficult to sift the powder. Again, in my early days, I used a small bowl that I had in the cupboard to mix and drink my matcha. You don’t need the fancy equipment and you really shouldn’t invest in all that stuff until you actually taste the Matcha to make sure it’s something you enjoy. Matcha is not for everyone.
As far as “everyday grade” – in my opinion (and I could be wrong here, some of the Matcha experts here – which I certainly am not – can probably straighten me out with this) there doesn’t really seem to be a set standard for grades with Matcha and this has more to do with marketing, I believe. What would be best to do is to try the various grades and see which one you like best – and assuming it’s something that you can afford, then go with what you like. My motto is the best tea to drink every day is the one that you enjoy.
This maple water sounds interesting. The problem with adding maple syrup to matcha (as a sweetener) is that most maple syrup is too dark and heavy. They get a really heavy taste that covers over the matcha. The lightest maple syrup is the best grade.
By the way, I had some awesome maple syrup jelly beans. Great alongside tea
Maple water is much different than maple syrup – I wouldn’t recommend adding maple syrup to Matcha because you’re absolutely right – it’s a very heavy flavor and it would really obscure the delicate nuances of Matcha. Maple water is more like a very lightened version of maple syrup – very, very lightened. It’s difficult to find, although I have been fortunate to find it in Trader Joes on occasion. It’s a very light flavor and works nicely with the Matcha, I think – especially if I’m drinking cold Matcha.
And – those jelly beans DO sound awesome. I need to find those!!!
I’ve had maple syrup cotton candy, made from maple sugar – it’s amazing!