Matcha Tips and Advice needed!

I’ve really enjoyed Matcha the few times I had it iced at different stores. I’d like to get my own tools and start preparing hot myself. Would this set be a good purchase? I can get it at my local Davids Tea. http://www.davidstea.com/the-matcha-essentials

I’m also interested in trying some of the flavored Matcha from red leaf. Any recommendations?

Also, any tips for whisking properly? Thanks!

18 Replies

It looks like a decent purchase… not a bad price for all of those items.

For the flavored Matcha… gosh… the possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to Red Leaf Tea. Start with flavors that you like … favorite fruits or desserts… I really love the caramel and the cheesecake … but really, I’ve not encountered any that I’ve really disliked. The boysenberry is really awesome.

As far as whisking it properly… this has been discussed on here several times… here is what I do:

Measure the matcha into a sifter (I use a simple strainer, a small one that I found at the grocery store in the utensil aisle for like 2 bucks, but you could also just as easily use a fine mesh tea strainer. I think that my strainer is just a little bit better because the mesh isn’t quite so fine and there are small particles from the flavoring that may not make it through the superfine mesh of the tea strainer)… sift the matcha into your bowl, and then add the hot water, just enough to make a paste. This helps eliminate the possibility of clumps. Then add the desired amount of water and just whisk away. You should hold the whisk straight up and down (not at an angle like you would if you were whisking eggs), and move the whisk in a “W” shape… back and forth very quickly. You shouldn’t be scraping the bottom of the bowl with the whisk. This will put unnecessary wear and tear on your whisk. Whisk until all incorporated… as a beginner, I whisked about 45 seconds, now I’m down to about 20 seconds or so.

I hope this helps. :)

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Thanks! I’m definitely going to have to try the cheesecake one!

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darby select said

I just tried Cotton Candy and loved it. When drinking hot I tend to need sweetener. Definitely look up reviews here to help you. I think Azzrian has tried almost all of them! LOL
That set looks good. I got one from Teavana (you’ll only find it on ebay now) that had a nice chasen and clearish bowl.

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Azzrian said

LOL not even close darby OMG there are SO MANY of them but yeah I have had a lot of them :)
I want more even still!! :)
My matcha bowl was a total accident!
I tried buying it for a good cereal and soup bowl but it ended up being way too small but later became the PERFECT matcha bowl! http://fab.com/inspiration/yamagasumi-bowl
I LOVE IT!!!
:)
That package is a nice one … fair price although you COULD piece together a set for less.
I recently also got a whisk stand which I LOVE to keep my whisk in good condition – got it on amazon for 9 bucks. Was totally worth it.

darby select said

I’m am SHOCKED…yes, SHOCKED! I seriously thought you had tried them all! I did 3 reviews tonight and no one had ever tried them on steepster.

Azzrian said

LOL see I told you I had not tried them all! :)

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I’m really excited to try Matcha at home:) Does Red Leaf accept paypal?

Azzrian said

YES :)

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I really love DAVIDs, don’t get me wrong, but WTF at their matcha stuff. First, the set is kinda cute, but how well does that whisk actually work? Anybody know? And second, look at the price for their proper matcha whisk – $25 with tax! Holy crap! Are they on glue?! The set is barely more than the whisk alone! That kinda suggests to me that the baby whisk in the set will fall apart fast, and the MOST important tool for matcha is the whisk. Everything else is secondary, to be added whenever you have the money and inclination.

1) If you are ordering from Red Leaf, you can order a whisk that way which is probably even still cheaper with the shipping.
2) Alternatively, Teavana (if you are near one) is, um, way cheaper. They tend to sell out fast there though, you may want to call ahead.
3) Like I said, everything but the whisk is secondary. You don’t need a special bowl. Any bowl with a relatively wide bottom will do. And I’m sure you will find a prettier bowl at some point in your matcha explorations than plain white.
4) I’d be very curious to know how big that spoon is, given that DT’s “teaspoon” is actually 1.5 teaspoons. Does the matcha spoon run big as well? You shouldn’t be using more than about a half-teaspoon of matcha per 8oz. If the spoon they’re selling is actually bigger than that, seems like a good way to trick people into ripping through their matcha.

Also, for whisking: start off making very slow figure 8s, while touching the bottom of the bowl. That is to break up any big clumps on the bottom. Then start whisking in earnest (ideally not scraping the bottom, but that is hard to avoid at first). If you don’t do that first, it can be so much harder to whisk it all. And whisk VERY fast and for not much more than the 30-45 seconds LiberTEAS mentioned (or it will start to get super bitter – already made that mistake once). Basically go as fast as you think you should go, and then go a bit faster! If you’re not sure if you’ve whisked it properly, it’s still better to have a somewhat clumpy cup than a really, really bitter one. Less water makes it easier to whisk, so maybe start off with just enough water to whisk it in, and then add water to taste. That’s what I do, because I find that if I add the amount I want to drink first, whisking is infinitely harder.

Uniquity said

I purchased this set for myself about a month ago and am quite in love with it, as a matcha newbie (and with no intentions of starting a matcha a day habit). The whisk is smaller than others, but works perfectly fine. Since having a matcha specific whisk is optional to many people, or at least matcha newbies, it works great. EDIT: The DT matcha spoon is 1/2 teaspoon. (At least according to my measuring spoons :D)

Babble said

LOL @ “Are they on glue?”

@Uniquity – Eh, the whisk IS optional…in theory. I tried to prepare matcha without a bamboo whisk, and basically gave up in a day or so. A metal whisk just doesn’t cut it.

Good to hear the smaller whisk does actually work. Let us know how long it holds up!

Re: the spoon. How do you know? Did you measure this somehow? Like pour back and fourth between another quarter-teaspoon you have? I was in DT yesterday, and I bought the spoon. I asked them how much it is, and they argued for a while, then said a teaspoon. I was convinced it’s smaller, so I took it home and placed it inside a teaspoon and it looks about half the size to me, but I’m eyeballing it.

Uniquity said

I recall reading that it is 1/4 teaspoon, but then I read your comment and measured some flour into it with my measuring spoons and you’re right that it’s 1/2 teaspoon. That makes a lot more sense. I’ll go edit the first comment to add the correction so no-one is misinformed by my lack of checking things out, lol.

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KaiMatcha said

Great advice so far in this thread!

The small whisk they are providing is suspect. I can see it breaking down quite easily. You are better off getting a full size 100 prong whisk. Make sure you find out how big that measuring spoon is. 1/2 tsp is ideal for a nice, refreshing bowl of matcha.

Here at KaiMatcha we are working on putting together a “Starter Kit”. It will include a ceramic matcha bowl, bamboo whisk, ceramic whisk holder, measuring spoon, sifter, and a 30g can of KaiMatcha Premium. We are hoping to price it for less than $60. I think that is a great deal for beginner matcha drinkers. What do you guys think?

Also, if you are looking for some matcha preparation tips check out:
http://www.kaimatcha.com/directions

Azzrian said

I like that your kit will include the matcha whisk dryer / holder as well. I really over looked this item in the beginning but so happy to have mine now!

I’m looking for a kit myself and that sounds like an awesome option! If it were available now I’d probably buy one. I love that it comes with matcha and a sifter a lot of the ones I was looking at didn’t include those.

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@KaiMatcha: A starter kit is a fantastic idea!

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KaiMatcha said

^^^Thanks for the feedback everyone! I will keep you updated on our progress with the Starter Kit.

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