From beginner to veteran
Some or most of you may be new to matcha and may be wondering just how the various grades differ and which is good for what purpose. Also you may be wondering about the accessories and what is necessary and what isn’t.
Matcha is really easy to start working with and though it has its roots in the highly formal Tea Ceremony, there is no need to feel daunted by 800 years of tradition. Matcha is there to be enjoyed in whatever way you choose. There are no rules or limits to what you can do with it so experiment until you find your favourite ways of preparing it.
Only our tinned products are suitable for drinking matcha as a straight tea. The higher the price the more of the youngest sweetest leaves have been included in the blending process. This means it will have a smoother mellower and sweeter taste than the lower grades. It also means a higher concentration of L-theanine, the amazing element of tea that destresses and focuses without making you drowsy. Its also excellent for battling psychological cravings like chocolate or cigarettes.
Our ingredient grades are full of antioxidants and energy boosting, but will not taste as smooth nor have quite the same mellow effect of our tinned teas. Our matcha latte mix is wonderful for those with a sweet tooth as it has a taste redolent of hot chocolate –sweet, creamy and indulgent. Its a wonderful choice for those who love lattes but know they should quit coffee.
For the complete Beginner
All our grades are excellent for energy boosting, detoxing and other health benefits. The Premium grade of tinned tea is for those who want the best tasting and most calming results, as well as those who may want to try matcha to help battle strong cravings . For those who wish to try and economise we recommend the Japanese matcha. For those who want a balance between price and power we recommend the ceremonial matcha. If you plan to add matcha to juices or smoothies only our ingredient grades are an excellent choice while the latte mix is wonderful for those who want something quick, easy and sweet.
For the Initiated
If you have already encountered matcha, why not experiment with the different grades and see how you experience them in terms of taste and health benefits. Many of our customers report big differences in terms of effect between the grades. If one type of matcha hasn’t the effect you were looking for, try moving up or down a grade, and try varying the amount used, or the frequency with which you consume it.
We recommend using only the ingredient matchas as they hold flavour better during the cooking process than the more delicate ceremonial teas. The Organic Ingredient is a higher grade of matcha compared to the regular ingredient matcha. These also lend themselves very well to beverages such as smoothies, shakes, juices and lattes.
Basically if it doesn’t come from a tin, don’t try and make usucha with it. If you want koicha, try our premium blend. You will most definitely need a bamboo whisk if you want the wonderful foamy effect of a great usucha, though you can get away without it by mixing the 1/2 tsp of matcha with 1tsp of water to make a smooth paste and then dilute further from there. We do think that if you are going to try this way of tea, the right accessories will add so much to your experience.
While not strictly necessary outside of Tea Ceremony teas, there is simply no implement as well designed to disperse the ultra-fine particles of matcha powder into suspension in water as these wonderfully crafted bamboo whisks. The higher the number of prongs, the better the dispersal. We are sure that if the aesthetic pleasure of regarding this implement doesn’t hook you, the wonderfully meditative process of whisking the matcha and water together will.
Useful in lattes and other blended beverages, though not quite as effective as bamboo whisks, this can be a handy way to mix up a quick matcha beverage. Because matcha is so fine, regular egg-beaters or forks are ineffective at mixing matcha and will result in a “lumpen gravy” effect. Make a paste with a small amount of water first and then dilute to avoid this.
A traditional implement used in Tea Ceremony, we think these are a fantastic way to make your matcha consumption special. Especially if you are going to buy our tinned matcha. 1 scoop of matcha is equal to about 1/4 of a teaspoon. You will be able to make matcha without it, but why would you want to?
Matcha Sieve (Furui)
Matcha like any powder can develop lumps and its a great idea, especially for Tea Ceremony Style, to sieve your matcha to break these up to give a smoother tea. Specially designed, these are finer than regular sieves because of matcha’s fineness as a powder. You won’t need it so much if you’re planning on making matcha for smoothies, but it’s an essential purchase for higher grade teas.
Matcha Canister (Natsume)
Used to hold the sieved matcha during tea ceremony. These can be beautiful items to have in your collection.
A vocation in itself, chawan are bowls especially designed for matcha drinking. Differing in glazes, design and shape according to style and area, chawan are at their highest, works of art. Some are now priceless artifacts imbued with the very essence of the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic. Even today, bowls by the best artisans can easily cost the price of a car, maybe even a small house. Our prices are not so heart stopping, but we have assembled a range of bowls which can really enhance your matcha experience and connect you to the essence of chanoyu.
Like chawan, there is a long and varied tradition of ceramic teapots in Japan. Specially designed to allow the tea leaves to circulate and steep perfectly, they also come with a built in sieve (ami) to trap the leaves. Generally speaking, the higher the grade of leaf tea, the smaller and more delicate the pot. See our Varieties section for more on which type of pot goes with which tea.