Lumps, no froth (or too much froth), bitterness, and being too thick or two thin are just some of the issues plaguing matcha lovers. Yes, getting that matcha just right can be rather tricky. So, here are three sure-fire tips to help:
1 Matcha Mesh Matters
Buy 1000 mesh or greater grade. The 1,000 mesh designation is a powder diameter standard that means 1,000 tiny holes in the screen per square inch – about 0.013 milimeter per powder in diameter. The finer the powder, the better it will dissolve in the warm water.
2 Remember the Main Ingredient in Tea is Water!
Use pure water (but not distilled). Make sure it is fairly soft (not full of a lot of extra minerals that could taint the tea’s flavor). Heat the water to about 160-175°F (70°-80°C), fill the cup about one-third way to warm it, you may also want to let the whisk prongs sit in the cup while it’s warming.
3 The Wonders of the Whisk
Use only a bamboo whisk – not only traditional but also most effective since the prongs are flexible and will increase the motion generated during whisking. Use a cup or bowl that is large enough to fit the whisk with a bit of room to spare. After the cup/bowl has been pre-warmed, add in the matcha powder and whisk vigorously. There are two different whisking methods: Usucha where you whisk briskly in a “W” motion using your wrist (not arm) until the matcha has a thick froth on the surface, and Koicha that uses a slower kneading action from left to right, up and down, and a gentle 360° circular motion to make a thick consistency that is smooth and has no froth.
One thing is for sure with matcha as it is with other teas: there are lots of variables, any of which that could spoil the experience or raise it to new heights. Here’s hoping yours are the latter kind!
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