Contrary to the popular belief that matcha derives from Japan, matcha originally emerged during the Song Dynasty in China. Matcha is made from a shade-grown green tea, known as Gyokuro, which is carefully steamed and meticulously dried. After the steaming process, the leaves are separated from the stems. The leaves alone, called tencha, are ground into a powder called matcha. The art of producing, preparing and consuming this powdered tea became a ritual performed by Zen Buddhists in China. In 1191, a Zen monk by the name of Eisai traveled to Japan and introduced matcha. As the popularity of matcha lessened in China during the Ming Dynasty, it was conversely embraced by the Japanese culture. Matcha eventually became an important part of rituals in Zen monasteries in Japan and was elevated to the level of high culture and skill in the Japanese Tea Ceremony, which is still the case today.
Matcha is an elegant and inviting tea and offers up a lush and smooth feel on the palate with a refreshing grassy taste that leaves behind a deep, lingering finish.
Preheat the tea bowl with boiling water. Discard and moisten the chasen (tea whisk).
Scoop 2 grams* of powdered green tea (matcha) and add approximately one teacup of hot water.
Hold the bowl firmly with one hand and whisk with the chasen from left to right to form frothy bubbles. Whisk the Matcha well and break up any small lumps with the tip of your whisk. This assures the most optimal flavor and a smooth and creamy texture.
Hold the chasen in the middle of your foam, and allow the liquid in the chasen to draw off, and gently remove the whisk.