Making the best matcha green tea starts with using high quality green powder. Discover how to make this ceremonial beverage with or without a traditional bamboo whisk.
Billions of cups of tea and coffee are consumed around the world every day, and matcha green tea is seeing a rapid rise in popularity. Matcha tea not only tastes great, it’s also packed with amazing health benefits and is the perfect pick-me-up when you need an energy boost.
Matcha green tea powder is an amazingly versatile ingredient that can be used for making tea, latte, cakes, a keto smoothie, and even in your skincare routine. But, before we tell you how to make the best matcha green tea, it’ll help you to know a little about the product itself.
What is matcha?
Matcha is a superfood that’s made from whole green tea leaves which have been stone-ground into a fine powder. This green tea powder is then mixed with water, milk or added to sweet treats to enjoy all the health benefits.
So, when you consume matcha, you consume the entire tea leaf. And that’s why it contains so many more health benefits than a cup of standard green tea. Just one cup of matcha tea is the equivalent of antioxidants in over 10 cups of standard green tea!
This is one of the many reasons that people around the world are ditching their morning coffee for a cup of tasty matcha green tea instead.
The health benefits of matcha include:
- Increased metabolism (which can help with weight loss)
- Better memory and focus for 4-6 hours
- A high concentration of cancer-fighting antioxidants
- Support for your immune system
- Detoxifying properties
- Improved mood, less stress, and reduced anxiety
- Skin cleansing and protecting properties
How to spot good matcha powder
Before we tell you how to make the best matcha green tea, here are 8 things to look for when shopping for your powder:
- It should be from Japan – Japan has strict farming standards and produces the highest quality matcha in the world. Source your matcha from a supplier that works directly with Japanese farms. I like Evergreen Matcha as they source their matcha from sustainable farms from Uji in Kyoto, Japan.
- The color should be a vibrant green that looks fresh and bright. This indicates a high level of chlorophyll which is great for your body.
- The taste should be sweet with just a hint of bitterness. It’s the amino acid L-theanine which gives matcha its unique taste, and extreme bitterness indicates a lack of this antioxidant.
- The smell should be similar to the taste: sweet and a little grassy. Again, this is due to the L-theanine content.
- It should feel smooth in your mouth, not gritty. Higher quality matcha is finer, so it suspends itself in the water easily and feels less coarse when you drink it.
- Check that no ingredients such as sugar have been added. Any additional ingredients will reduce the purity of the matcha, and therefore the health benefits.
- The price should line up with the quality: you won’t get the top grade for a low price. Check our price guide below for an idea of what you should be paying.
- Packaging should limit light and air exposure as much as possible – if the enzymes oxidize, the quality degrades and the powder becomes dull, bitter, and less good for your health.
The different grades of matcha
Matcha powder is categorized by the position of the leaf on the plant and the blend that it’s been sorted into.
- Leaves from the top of the plant are freshest and youngest, and are used for higher quality blends.
- All green tea leaves are steamed once picked to preserve the enzymes, then they’re sorted into a blend based on color, aroma and flavor profile.
It’s important to note that there are no regulations in place to stop companies claiming that their product is a higher grade than it is, so familiarize yourself with matcha’s properties and buy from a supplier that you trust.
There are three main grades of matcha green tea:
- Ceremonial matcha – this is the highest grade and is made from the top leaves from the plants from the first harvest of the year. This matcha is mainly used for traditional Japanese tea ceremonies because of its high cost, but it’s also a good choice if you like strong tasting matcha. Expect to pay around $30 for 30 grams, or $45-$80 for 60 grams.
- Premium matcha – these leaves come from the second harvest of the year and have the highest health benefits of all three grades. Premium matcha makes the best matcha green tea for daily consumption as it has a lighter and naturally sweet taste. The price is affordable for regular use, often around $20 for 60 grams.
- Culinary matcha – leaves from the bottom of the tea plant are used for this grade. There are fewer health benefits found in this matcha because the concentration of antioxidants, chlorophyll and amino acids is much lower. The bitter flavor and coarse texture are better suited to baking rather than for regular use, otherwise you’ll miss out on all the great health properties.
How to make the best matcha green tea
Now you’ve chosen your matcha green tea powder, making the matcha tea is as very simple. With only two ingredients, matcha and water, it’s low carb, almost zero calorie and sugar free so is a perfect alternative to so many herbal teas that contain high levels of sugar.
This recipe uses matcha powder from Evergreen Matcha, as they source their matcha from sustainable farms in Japan. It’s premium grade so has the maximum health benefits, and a vibrant green colour and non-bitter taste.
You can prepare your matcha tea using either a bamboo whisk or just a teaspoon. A bamboo whisk is designed to suspend matcha particles in the water so you’ll get a much smoother drink with no sediment in the bottom of your cup. If you drink matcha regularly, a bamboo whisk is worth the investment, but if not you can begin with a teaspoon and then buy one later.
Without a bamboo whisk:
- In a cup, add ½ tsp of matcha powder to 1 tbsp of hot water (not boiling)
- Use a teaspoon to mix them together. Make sure the matcha is fully dissolved and there are no lumps.
- Top up with hot water and enjoy!
With a bamboo whisk
- Warm a small bowl by filling it one-third of the way with hot water
- Dip your whisk prongs in the hot water to soften them, then discard the water and dry the bowl with a clean cloth
- Sift ½ tsp of matcha powder into the bowl. Use the end of the whisk to break up any lumps, then add hot water (not boiling)
- Hold the bowl steady and whisk vigorously in a “W” motion until bubbles form and a thick froth appears.
- Pour into a mug and enjoy!
Best Matcha Green Tea
Making matcha green tea starts with using high quality powder. Discover how to make this hot beverage with or without a bamboo whisk.
Without a bamboo whisk:
In a cup, add ½ tsp of matcha powder to 1 tbsp of hot water (not boiling)
Use a teaspoon to mix them together. Make sure the matcha is fully dissolved and there are no lumps.
Top up with hot water and enjoy!
With a bamboo whisk"
Warm a small bowl by filling it one-third of the way with hot water
Dip your whisk prongs in the hot water to soften them, then discard the water and dry the bowl with a clean cloth
Sift ½ tsp of matcha powder into the bowl. Use the end of the whisk to break up any lumps, then add hot water (not boiling)
Hold the bowl steady and whisk vigorously in a “W” motion until bubbles form and a thick froth appears.
Pour into a mug and enjoy!
It's best to use premium grade matcha powder for the best results.