How to Make Matcha Tea & Starter Kit
At the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, the preparation of Matcha tea is the most important part.
The tea, made of pulverized green tea, has nowadays many fans all over the world.
Matcha is special: Before harvest, the tea bushes are shaded up to four weeks, leading to increased chlorophyll production, what intensifies the flavor. The leaves are then freed from the stalks, steamed, dried and pulverized to a fine powder in stone mills.
The Japanese tea ceremony involves many steps: To list them all would exceed the scope of that article. But I want to show the process of how Matcha tea is prepared, and then show two sets, which are well suited as a gift for Matcha beginners.
The most important auxiliaries for Matcha preparation are: The tea bowl (chawan 茶碗), the bamboo whisk (茶 筅 Chasen), the bamboo teaspoon (茶 杓 Chashaku). And, perhaps, a ceramic container to dry the Chasen, the Chasentate, could be useful: the bamboo whisk must be kept completely dry to prevent it from getting moldy.
How to Make Matcha Tea
Put two full bamboo matcha spoons in the tea cup. Moisten the Chasen and give a little cold water to tea powder. Stir into a paste.
Now you need about 70ml (2,5 oz) of 70°C - 80°C (160°F - 175°F) hot water. I have found that the water outlet my coffee provides the perfect temperature, which can of course be different depending on the machine. Try it. Helpful is also a kettle with temperature control.
Another method is to boil water and just wait a bit until it has reached the right temperature. Or, refill the boiling water in cold cups, until it is cooler.
Then pour in the water and foam up the tea with the Chasen in an S-shaped motion, as shon in the film:
Matcha Starter Kit & Gift Sets
A great gift idea for friends or relatives is a Matcha starter kit. On two sets I had a closer eye: One of Pure Tea and one of Maoci / Nibelungentee.
Maoci Matcha Gift Sets
The gift sets from Nibelungentee comes in a beautiful wooden box and consists of a 300 ml (10 oz) matcha bowl, whisk, bamboo scoop and broom holder. There is no tea itself beeing shipped with it, neither there is free space in the box for, however, it can be accommodated with a little modification of the matcha starter kit:
The set is currently available for € 44.90 plus shipping in various designs at Amazon Germany:
Matcha Gift Set Narita Dark
Matcha Starter Kit from Pure Tea
The set from Pure Tea comes in an elegant gift box made of cardboard, which is also pleasing to the eye: In addition, the cover can be replaced to make the box a personal gift. Inside you will find teacup, bamboo spoon and whisk. A brush holder is not included, but a box of 20g (0,7 oz) organic Matcha Uji Hikari.
For € 69.90 including shipping at Amazon Germany:
Matcha Gift Set of Pure Tea
In the end it is a matter of taste, which of the gift sets you prefer, the price is summed up more or less the same. The Maoci set comes with wooden box and broom holder, but you have to order the tea extra. There are other set designs to be found, or tea bowls of the same design.
The Pure Tea set impresses with its customizable presentation that makes it interesting for corporate gifts, but not only: you can eg take your own photograph, a drawing, or simply gift wrap clamped into the lid. Moreover, the tea shipped with the set.
Whether you are looking for one of the boxes as a gift, or for yourself as Matcha Starter Kit: Try it out, Matcha tea is an experience!