Monday, 10 January 2011


Matcha (抹茶) is a type of green tea powder used in tea ceremonies. It's properly high quality, with only the finest tips of specially grown tea (which is given a strict regime of rationed light and dark) picked by hand, and then the stems and veins of the leaves are removed. The remaining leaves are dried and then powdered.

Picture by
The powder is then stirred into hot (not boiling) water using a whisk, like the one pictured here. Of course, it's possible to use a mug and a teaspoon, but to fully appreciate the wabi-sabi aesthetic that's intrinsic to the tea ceremony, and the tea itself, it's better to use the right kit. Because with matcha you're consuming the actual leaf, rather than just water steeped in the leaf, it's also incredibly good for you.

Picture by Amato Neko
Matcha can be used in cooking, too, and as a flavour in ice cream, cakes, and wagashi (traditional confectionary) such as Yokan. It's perfect for this because not only is it delicious, but it also imparts a wonderful vivid green colour.


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