Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tea lovers and ones that should be, let's talk about one of my favorite kinds of tea this week...MATCHA!! I love it!! Now I know I say that about all of my favorite teas, and yes, there are many, but matcha is so versatile. It enhances vanilla ice cream's flavor (and obviously changes its color to a beautiful mint or emerald green), it tastes great cold or hot, it tastes great lightly sprinkled on cold fruit, oh the possibilities are almost endless! At the end of this post, I'll give you a website to go to where you can order some of the best matcha (although there are many companies out there that probably sell a great product) and get great recipes for it. Google matcha recipes too. You'll find many great ideas that sound so delicious.
So, you want me to explain matcha a little more? Sure. I hope I give you reasons to try it. "Matcha, or powdered green tea, has a wonderful aroma, silky froth, and rich, mellow taste. High quality Matcha such as ours (the company Hibiki-An, where I get most of my Japanese green tea), is not bitter but smooth and mellow. As one moves up the scale toward the top grade of Matcha, the color becomes a more vivid green and the flavor becomes even more noble, smooth and mellow.Matcha is made from new tea leaves that have been carefully grown under diffused sunlight for 20 to 30 days before they are harvested, steamed and dried. Much Theanine, which is the source of its sweet mellow taste and noble aroma, is created in tea leaves by diffused sunlight. The dried leaves are then ground with a traditional stone mortar and pestle, called a Hikiusu.Unlike tea leaves, where one drinks an infusion made from the leaves, Matcha is consumed in its entirety, so you can directly ingest the whole beneficial constituents of Matcha."
I've mentioned this website before, but I will give you the link again here (I don't get any free tea, incentives, or anything for mentioning these people. I just love them and their tea is some of the best. I like to recommend quality products when I come across them. Their prices are reasonable too.). Go to http://www.hibiki-an.com/. Click on "matcha" in the list of tabs on the left side of the screen. Also click on "recipes" to find many delicious recipes for not only matcha, but other kinds of tea also. Tea isn't just great alone in the cup. It goes pretty far. You can get really creative.
If you've had matcha before, tell me how you like it and what other ways you've tried it, if any, besides just smooth and frothy from the cup. If you have never tried it, comment and tell me if you think you'd like to and in what way. I think that matcha is a neat way to start trying green tea, especially if you're one who has tried it from the bag or loose leaf and have decided that you really don't care much for it. Its powder form will allow you to make it as strong or mild as you'd like, it has a rich flavor, you can add milk and cinnamon and/or vanilla or whatever you'd like to make it appealing. Like I said before, the possibilities are almost endless.
Have a great rest of the week. Delight in your tea breaks or start having one!