I’ve fallen victim to the craze that is matcha tea. I’ve been aware of matcha for a while but I’ve never been interested in trying it until recently. It’s maybe because I am drinking more speciality coffee. I like to refine my pallete by exploring new flavors when I can.
Matcha is a tea. It is not a coffee. I decided to get into matcha because preparing matcha has a ritual, just like coffee. It takes me around ten to fifteen minutes to make a cup of coffee with my Aeropress. I enjoy the process of preparing the equipment. I like brewing the coffee. Matcha requires similar diligence as brewing a cup of coffee. I have to follow a process. I have to focus on the brew in front of me.
Prepare for Matcha
I ordered matcha tea from PureChimp. PureChimp sells ceremony-grade matcha tea, which is the best kind on the market. I did not want my experience to be marred by a subprime matcha so I made sure that I done my research before I bought any tea. Some companies sold their matcha at a significant premium. PureChimp’s matcha was reasonably priced.
What attracted me most to PureChimp is its branding. Unlike other matcha tea companies which are somewhat minimalist, PureChimp had a playful vibe. They donate 5% of their profits to charity. They lean in heavily to the chimp branding. On their website, PureChimp has plenty of recipes. I found that everything I needed to brew a cup of matcha was available on their site.
The Brewing Process
My matcha tea arrived yesterday. I did not want to wait until the weekend to brew a cup so I substituted my afternoon coffee for a matcha tea. I do not believe I shall do this again. I’ll tell you why later in the article.
The brewing process started with me finding a vessel in which to brew my matcha. I didn’t want to use my Starbucks cup in case the matcha harmed the mug. I’ve never had matcha before and I was not sure how much of an impression, if any, it would leave on the mug in which it was brewed. It turns out that I don’t have to worry about matcha staining my mugs. But if I didn’t clean my mug, it may be a different story.
I chose my secondary coffee mug for brewing my coffee. The mug was not ideal because the top half of the mug is narrower than the bottom half. Matcha has to be stirred and I ran into a few issues with stirring. The mug worked well for brewing a simple cup of matcha. I may try a different mug next time.
I boiled the water for the matcha in my kettle. I tried to boil the water just past half-way, or until the point where steam came out of the kettle. I did not want the water to boil. I have read that fully-boiled water can have an adverse effect on the taste of matcha tea.
I put half a teaspoon of matcha into a mug and poured some hot water over the matcha. I stirred for a little while using a bamboo whisk that I also ordered from PureChimp. Stirring the coffee is supposed to take out any lumps in the matcha. My sachet of PureChimp tea was already very granular but I thought I’d follow the recipe I had. I stirred the coffee until some bubbles appeared at the sides of the cup. I probably should have stirred more but this was my first cup of matcha and I’m still learning the process.
After stirring for a while, I filled up the cup so that there were 140mls of water. Then I added 60mls of coconut milk. I did have almond milk on hand but I am down to my last coconut milk and I thought I’d use it up now. I prefer almond milk over coconut milk, although both are delicious. Once I had added the coconut milk, I had a matcha latte ready to drink.
I’ve had green tea before although not for a long time. Matcha did remind me of green tea. The big difference was that matcha does not have the hashness of a traditional green tea. The fact I added milk will have impacted the strength of the matcha but I could not detect any bitterness. It was a smooth brew.
I am unsure whether I’ll buy more matcha once I have used the sachet I bought. I find that when I drink coffee it takes me a few cups to really get a sense of what the coffee is about. I suspect I will be the same with matcha. I did like the taste but I’d much prefer a cup of coffee. Next time, I’d like to try my matcha black, without any milk. I wonder what pure matcha tastes like.