September 27, 2012

This is an excerpt from the September/October issue of TEA MagazineTM

By DEl Tamborini

Matcha is a Japanese green tea made by grinding the leaves of a minimally processed tea called tencha into an extremely fine, bright green powder. One of the most delicious and purest expressions of tea, it is also among the least understood outside Japan.

Matcha traces its origin to the powdered tea brought back from China by Japanese monks in the 12th century for use as an aid in meditation. Upon its introduction to Japan, it became the tea of choice for the Emperor and the nobility and rituals surrounding its preparation became codified in the formal Japanese tea ceremony called chanoyu.

Easy steps for preparing great matcha (usucha method):

1. Preheat the chawan (tea bowl) by pouring very hot, but not boiling, water just  enough to fully cover the bottom, or about 1/4 the depth of the bowl. If desired, the chasen (tea whisk) may also be preheated by immersing the tips of the tines in the hot water as the bowl heats

2. When the bowl is warm to the touch, discard the water and dry the inside.

3. Holding a fine-mesh sieve over the tea bowl, use a chashaku (bamboo tea scoop) or a matcha teaspoon to place one to two moderately sized scoops

into the sieve.

4. Softly shake the sieve, allowing the matcha to fall into the bowl. Use the tea scoop to gently press any remaining matcha through the sieve and into the bowl.

5. Slowly add 2-3 oz. of 160-170 degree water to the matcha

6. Grasp the bowl with one hand to steady it, and with the other hand use the chasen to whisk quickly but lightly in an "M" shape for 10-20 seconds, eliminating larger bubbles as they appear. Be careful not to scrape the bottom of the bowl with the whisk. The goal is to create a uniform layer of extremely small, foam-like bubbles on the surface of the tea.

7. Admire the beautiful color and fragrance of the tea, sip, and enjoy!

September 27, 2012

Comments (5)

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This is a great article on helping all tea lovers understand Matcha. It also is a great guide for those adventurous new tea enthusiasts to understand and try Matcha

Marcella Farina 75 days ago


Del, I really like the way you explained matcha preparation! It is simple, straightforward and very easy to follow! Traditionally, a little sweet treat is served prior to drinking tea to complement the "bitterness" of matcha. Thank you for that informative and helpful article, I hope we can read more from you in the future!!

Soko Tea House more than 1 years ago

I do not own a Chasen to whisk the matcha.

I purchased some inexpensive Matcha Tea Powder from a Miso Market and a small wooden spoon to measure out the matcha. I made some the other day and it came out fine. I preheated my large mug and than took one scoop of the matcha powder and put this in my mug and I added the boiled water as I slowly stir it, forward and backward making something like a figure eight. I made sure the powder dissolved fully and whisk it until it was frothy and smooth. I enjoyed this drink immensely once done with ritual of making it just right. I hope to purchase the proper tools someday. Thank you for article.

Ainee Beland more than 1 years ago

Re: Preparing Great Matcha

Thank you so much for your kind comments, Stephanie! I'm thrilled you've found this method has helped your matcha preparation. I definitely agree that this method can create a tea that may taste a little strong until one becomes accustomed to it, and in retrospect I should probably have added a 'dilute to taste' caveat at the end, post-whisk. Thank you for reading, and happy tea drinking!

Del Tamborini more than 1 years ago

Preparing Great Matcha

This is great. I have found these steps to be very effective in creating a great bowl of matcha. I have also learned that if this is stronger than you'd like, that after step 6, you would carefully add more water to taste. Trying to whisk with anything more than 2 - 3 oz. initially proves difficult and does not create the creamy bubbles.

Stephanie Brown more than 1 years ago


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