Matcha is a Japanese green tea powder
It’s made from the best teas. For example, from the Gyokuro. They are also called shade or half shade tea because the bushes are covered with straw mats or nets a few weeks before the harvest (in Japanese: Kabuse). The plants produce more chlorophyll and caffeine, but only a few bitter substances. Matured in this way you get a soft, not very bitter tea. These are very valuable and expensive teas. Matcha is made from the leaves, without the leaf veins, and is the most valuable of all powder teas. It is used in Japan as a tea for ceremonies.
There is also a different tea powder, called Kabusecha, but unlike Matcha it is ground from leaves with veins, which makes it less valuable and therefore less expensive.
Nowadays, powdered tea is also used for cooking
E.g. for panna cotta or Matcha milk, cake, Matcha pavlova, biscuits or ice cream. The cheaper version is ideal for cooking.
Powdered tea is very sensitive and is the only tea that can be stored in a hermetically sealed container in the fridge or freezer.
Powdered tea is a Chinese invention
During the Song Dynasty there were even competitions in foaming it. Whoever produced the densest foam, won the competition. Later in China the tea preparation with loose tea leaves became established, in Japan however the powdered tea still belongs to the tradition.
How can I prepare a good cup of Matcha?
To prepare a good cup of Matcha tea you need a tea bowl (Chawan) for about 150 ml of water, about 2-3 g Matcha powder and a Matcha whisk made of bamboo (Chasen).
First pour the tea powder into the tea bowl, then pour 150 ml of 70-80°C hot water over it. With the bamboo whisk you beat it nice and foamy, only then you enjoy it.
This tea is very strong and stimulating, so better not drink it in the evening ?
But here is a recipe for a Matcha Pavlova (yes, it’s still spring and I still have egg whites leftover from the asparagus dishes ?)
- 5 egg whites
- 230 g sugar
- 1 tsp light vinegar
- 2-3 tsp of powdered tea Matcha
- 2.5 dl cream or half-fat cream
- 1 tsp sugar
- Fruit according to season and taste
- Beat the egg white until stiff, then let the sugar trickle in and beat vigorously again until the mixture is shiny and very dense. Then add the vinegar and the Matcha and beat again until fine-pored.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake ring and then remove the mixture from the ring with a spatula and carefully lift off the ring. If you do not have a cake ring, you can shape the cake yourself.
- After preheating to 200°C, reduce the heat to 150°C, bake the cake on the lowest groove for 15 minutes, keeping the door slightly open with a wooden stick. The cake should now be slightly brown on the outside. Reduce the heat to 120°C and allow to dry for another 1 1/2 hours. Now the cake is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Remove Pavlova from the oven and let it cool down.
- Whip cream with the sugar until stiff, spread over the meringues cake and decorate with fruit.
- If you want, you can also add 1-2 tsp Matcha powder to the cream, it will turn a nice shade of green! In this case I recommend to add 1 tsp sugar, but that's a matter of taste.
Do you like Matcha?