How to Blend Tea Part 2: Matcha!
T Tegan Woo

How to Blend Tea Part 2: Matcha!

Sep 23, 2018

Matcha blends are incredibly unique

In our previous article, we discussed how to blend loose leaf tea with common household ingredients. Like loose leaf tea, matcha can be blended. However, when you’re blending, there’s one substantial difference worth considering.

Why matcha is different

Most teas are made through an infusion process. This means that as tea leaves are steeped in hot water over a period of time, the chemical compounds in tea -- which create flavour -- are absorbed by the water before the leaves’ removal. When you drink typical tea, you are drinking the infused flavour of the leaves but not the leaves themselves

In contrast, matcha is not infused. Matcha, which means “fine powder tea” (抹茶) in Japanese, is made by stone-grinding shade grown green tea into minuscule specks of dust. Matcha is brewed by suspending this powder into hot water, and then whisking it to create a uniform consistency. Unlike typical tea, when you drink matcha, you are drinking the entirety of the leaves.

Because matcha is whisked in water, not infused, it typically has a stronger, more vivid favour than the average green tea. With matcha, just a couple grams go a long way. This is why matcha is incredibly popular as a food additive.

The matcha edge

If you’ve ever had green tea ice cream or green tea cake, there’s a high likelihood that matcha is the secret green tea ingredient. Matcha’s affinity for fat makes it great for baking, and can transform any drab dessert into tasty treat of tea-favored goodness (and it’s vibrant green color is a hit at dinner parties too!) in a range of liquids makes it easy to use for baking. Just add a little dab and -- presto! -- you got a memorable dessert.

But the matcha generally used for baking isn’t usually the highest quality. Indeed, this is the reason culinary-grade matcha is so inexpensive. If you want to make matcha as a blended drink, it’s better to go with premium-grade matcha which is sourced from the top of tea trees, and which therefore have more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Premium-grade matcha has a higher dynamic flavor range than culinary-grade, and is preferable for drinks because of its fresher taste.

Freshness is important because one great way for beginners to start blending with matcha is as a tea smoothie. Trust us, with smoothies, freshness makes all the difference.

blending matcha with adaptogens

Advanced matcha blending

Because matcha is so easy to absorb, it makes a great ingredient in a smoothie. Just add a few grams in a blender, mix it up with ingredients like banana, coconut, and kale -- now you have something to accompany your active lifestyle.

If you want to get more advanced, and enjoy a matcha blend as a hot tea or a latte, there’s other things to consider.

You can blend to play around with fun flavours or you can blend matcha to achieve various health benefits.

If you want to experiment with matcha and fun flavours, try some common kitchen powders like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, vanilla bean, cardamom, cacao, pumpkin spice blend or a gingerbread mix. Start with a little and work your way up. You’ll probably find these matcha blends work better as a latte than a straight up tea. You can also find fruit powders online that would work well if you want to drink your matcha with only hot water and no milk. Goji berry, mango, yuzu or lemon powder for example.

At Amoda, we blend our matcha with benefits in mind first. Matcha already gives you a clean energy and focus boost, antioxidants, detoxifying chlorophyll and can increase the rate you burn calories. What else would you like to enhance? Some common interests with examples: immunity (reishi), mental clarity and brain function (lion’s mane), skin (moringa), stress (ashwagandha), fatigue (siberian ginseng) and mood (cacao).

Taste every powder individually first. Put a very small amount of each powder on your tongue (or lick it off the back of your hand!) and see how strong the flavour is, what the texture is like and how it tastes. Is the flavour rich, bold, light or mellow? Is the texture smooth, creamy or chalky? Is it sweet, savoury, earthy, nutty, bitter, spicy or other flavours? Have a notebook where you jot down those brief notes.  

A good starting place is a 50/50 blend - ½ teaspoon of matcha (1 gram) and ½ teaspoon of your other powders or 1 teaspoon of matcha and 1 teaspoon of your other powders. Make your first attempts with single serving sizes. Once you find a blend that works for you, do some math and make a bigger batch to save time in your busy morning.

The best way to sweeten is when you make your actual latte. Ready to go? Start simple - matcha + 1 powder and go from there. Trust us, this is the best way to learn how to blend matcha.

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