What is matcha tea, is it just another type of matcha drink?
Matcha tea just refers to a category of matcha drinks made with matcha and water. When we say matcha tea in this recipe, we mean our version of matcha tea. So this means that within the category of “matcha tea”, there are several types:
- Cold brew matcha
- Matcha shot
- Matcha tea, Naoki Matcha style
This recipe teaches you how to make our version of matcha tea. If you want to make traditional matcha tea in the form of usucha or koicha instead, click here.
Note: Some of you may ask why not call it matcha water? It’s true that matcha water is quite accurate because our version of matcha tea is milder and much less concentrated. However, we learnt that “matcha water” was briefly trending some years ago as a way for people to trick Starbucks into serving them matcha tea for less than a dollar. These people would order scoops of matcha powder and water, then insist they be charged only for each scoop of matcha powder (each scoop is usually charged at 60 cents as an add-on). Also, the term “matcha water” just sounds unappealing.
Is there a difference between matcha tea and regular green tea?
Matcha is a type of green tea that goes through a different cultivation method compared to regular green tea. The tea leaves used to make matcha are shade grown for about 3-4 weeks before harvest. This causes the tea plants to produce more chlorophyll and amino acids, which results in matchas’ complex flavor profiles.
When you drink regular green tea, it often taste light and floral. For matcha, the way you prepare your matcha drink can greatly affect its taste because it can taste anywhere from floral and sweet, buttery smooth, nutty, rich umami or all of them. If you’re new to matcha, making matcha tea the traditional Japanese way in the form of usucha (thin tea) or koicha (thick tea) may be a little intense.
Matcha tea is a great introduction to matcha for newbies
As a matcha drink, our version of matcha tea recipe is very easily enjoyable for people who have never experienced matcha or Japanese tea. Especially if you compare it with the traditional types of matcha tea (usucha and koicha).
If you try researching matcha tea recipes online, you may see that usucha is translated as “thin tea”. However, you should also understand that the specifications for usucha require about a teaspoon of matcha powder and only 2.5 oz (80 ml) of water.
In our experience, many people who have never tried Japanese tea still find usucha much too concentrated to be enjoyable. That is why we have always argued that the category of “matcha tea” should be expanded so that there are more pathways for people to try and enjoy matcha.
What does our version of matcha tea taste like?
- Our matcha tea is a thinner and lighter matcha drink.
- It tends to taste more like an intense green tea than matcha because the taste is much less concentrated.
- In terms of flavor, you can expect a milder, refreshing taste. If you use higher quality matcha powder to make this matcha tea, you should also expect a rich umami flavor with a hint of sweetness.
How much caffeine does matcha tea contain?
Our matcha tea will have approximately 70mg of caffeine. This is because it uses the same amount of matcha powder as other types of matcha beverages. However, this teaspoon of matcha is mixed into a larger volume of water. For the sake of comparison, a cup of drip filtered coffee will have about 95 mg of caffeine.
The key difference between coffee and matcha is that the caffeine in matcha will be released slowly thanks to the presence of L-theanine. Unlike coffee, which will only keep you energized for about an hour, your caffeine boost will last for about 4 hours with our matcha tea.
What kind of matcha powder should you use to make matcha tea?
- Any of our ceremonial grade matcha is suitable for matcha tea made in this manner.
- A standard serving is 1 tsp, or 2 grams of matcha.
- Our favourite matcha to make this style of matcha tea is our Fragrant Yame Ceremonial Matcha. It’s unique flavors can still be felt even at a reduced concentration.
What tools do you need to make matcha tea?
Unlike traditional matcha tea, no bamboo whisk is required to make our matcha tea. All you will need is a jar or drinking flask with a lid that can be closed.
How to make matcha tea, Naoki Matcha style
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- 12 oz/350 ml water at a temperature of 175F (80C)
1. Measure out 1 tsp of matcha and 12 oz/350 ml of 175F (80C) water. Ensure that the water is not boiling. If it is freshly boiled, let the water cool for 5 minutes.
2. Pour the water into the glass bottle.
3. Add the matcha and close the glass bottle.
4. Shake it vigorously for about 30 seconds If there are still some visible clumps, keep shaking until the clumps are completely dissolved.
5. Pour your matcha tea into a glass and enjoy.