What is Matcha
Matcha (sometimes spelled maccha) is a powered green tea used in the Japanese tea ceremony. Brought to Japan in 1191, matcha is a staple in Japanese tradition. Known for having high levels of antioxidants, catechins, and theanine, this powdered green tea has become globally recognized for its health benefits.
This guide will show you a simple way to make matcha, as well as explain which brewing utensils are necessary, and which can be replaced with household items.
(The information on basic teaware comes from the main article, Matcha Utensils: The Essential Basics.)
The chawan – or tea bowl – is a medium sized bowl around 5 inches in diameter, and 3 1/2 inches deep. Although the size and shape can vary, a common chawan will have rounded walls that swoop down to the middle of the bowl.
If you don’t have a chawan, you can make due with a similarly shaped cereal bowl.
A chashaku is a scoop made from bamboo. The curved end makes it ideal for scooping matcha, but a teaspoon can work as well.
In addition to these items, you will also need some paper towels handy, and a container to dispose of waste water.
Sifting the matcha is the most important pre-brewing step. You can accomplish this with any small, fine-meshed strainer. To learn more about sifting matcha, check out our comprehensive blog post, Sifting Matcha: The Key to a Great Brew.
Once your matcha is sifted, you can prepare to brew. Begin by preheating your teaware.
Pour hot water into your chawan. Then, whisk the water with your chasen. As the tines are brittle when they are dry, this will make them more flexible. Also take advantage of this moment to check the whisk for broken tines. If you spot any, simply pull them off.
Dispose of the water into your waste container, and dry the bowl with a paper towel. You are now ready to brew.
Using your chashasku, place two scoops of matcha in the bowl. In this example, Saya-no-Mukashi by Ippodo is being used.
Next, pour 70ml of water into the bowl. Although an exact temperature is not necessary, use water that is in the range of 80-85C (176-185F).
Begin whisking the matcha. With the chasen in your right hand and your left hand steadying the bowl, begin whisking in a linear, back-and-forth motion. It will take some practice to do this at a fast pace.
Once the matcha is mixed and starting to foam, switch to a “m” or “w” pattern. Slowly raise the chasen up so the tines no longer reach the bottom. This will help crush the large bubbles, and make a more consistent foam.
And that’s it! Enjoy your bowl of matcha.
Watch How to Make Matcha