BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO MATCHA TEA

Published on 26 July 2016

vibrant green and packed with antioxidants, here's why you should be drinking matcha tea.

Ever taken a look at matcha and wondered, “Is it tea? Is it coffee? And why is it so bright green?” If you’re mystified by what exactly matcha is and why it’s considered the new ‘It’ beverage, then this is the tea guide for you. Here’s our breakdown of everything you need to know about matcha, plus we asked the tea experts, T2 to show us how to make the perfect brew.

what is matcha tea?

The newer, richer form of green tea, matcha is basically powdered tea made from specially grown and processed green tea leaves. Rather than infusing tea leaves in hot water like you would with green tea, the matcha version involves dissolving the powder directly into the water, and then whisking it with a bamboo whisk until it froths, creating a crema-like layer similar to coffee.

Matcha has a deeper, more full-bodied flavour than traditional green tea, and it all comes down to the way it’s prepared. Before the tea leaves for matcha are harvested, the tea plant is covered with shade cloths – the reduced amount of sunlight results in a higher level of chlorophyll in the leaves, which is where the vibrant green colour comes from. The leaves are then hand selected, briefly steamed to stop fermentation, and then dried and aged in cold storage before being stone-ground into a fine powder.

health benefits

People have been drinking green tea for centuries due to its numerous health benefits. With matcha, which is made from an even higher quality tea, you’ll be receiving even more nutrients since your body will be ingesting the whole leaves. Aside from the minerals and vitamins hit – such as vitamin C, zinc and magnesium to name a few – matcha is also packed with antioxidants which assist in protecting your body against heart disease and cancer, while reducing your blood pressure and helping to control your blood sugar levels. And let’s not forget how it boosts metabolism and has an anti-ageing effect.

how to make it

Matcha has quite a strong, sharp flavour followed by a lingering sweetness, which is grass or spinach-like. If you’re a newbie to matcha tea and want to ease into its unique taste, T2’s limited edition Matcha blends offer the perfect flavour twist on the traditional, with chocolate, mint and cinnamon blended with matcha.

To make matcha tea, you’ll need to kit yourself with the right tools:

  • T2 Matcha
  • Matcha bowl
  • Bamboo scoop
  • Bamboo whisk

t2's step-by-step guide

  1. Heat your matcha bowl the same way you’d heat your teapot (swirl hot water around the sides while cupping the bowl in your hands).
  2. Take a scoop of matcha powder (use a matcha scoop to get the proportions right) and place in the bowl. Note: the bigger the scoop, the stronger the brew.
  3. Fill your bowl with the equivalent of three mouthfuls (approximately 150ml) of 80°C water.
  4. Use a matcha whisk to gently tap the mixture to break up any lumps.
  5. Hold your wrist vertically above the bowl and whisk the mixture in a W or M shape until you start to see froth.
  6. Pop any large bubbles that can be seen in the froth, and cup the bowl in your hands before bringing to your mouth to sip.