It's been on my list of things to try for awhile now, so when Tomoson enabled me to receive a tin of Midori Spring Organic Ceremonial Gold Class Matcha, I jumped on it!
Matcha tea comes from shade-grown green tea leaves which are ground into a fine powder. Unlike brewed green tea, the powder isn't merely steeped in water, but whisked into it until a froth develops - the powder itself is consumed rather than removed, and the resulting flavor is much more full-bodied and even creamy than steeped green tea is.
"Ceremonial" Matcha is the highest quality, and so-called because it is good enough to be used in a tea ceremony. This is the one you want if you plan to drink it the traditional way. In addition, there is also 'Culinary" grade - Midori Spring's Emerald Matcha is in this category. This is a slightly lower grade that is also a bit cheaper, and is a great choice if you plan to use Matcha in cooking or in smoothies.
So why do we want to be using Matcha? Because Matcha has all the benefits of steeped green tea, magnified!
Midori Springs lists the following benefits (and a short trip through Google will confirm these many times over):
|A bamboo matcha whisk is traditional, but an immersion blender works, too.|
- Energy boost without the jitters
- Reduces stress and improves mental alertness.
- Increases metabolism and aids with weight loss.
- Boosts immune system and reduces inflammation.
- Helps the body detox and cleanse harmful elements.
- Research has shown that by drinking Matcha can help prevent cardiovascular diseases, decrease the risk of cancer, reducing arthritis, and the list goes on.
The important question, though, is how does it taste? Especially if you, like me, tend to drink green tea more out of 'duty' for health reasons rather than it's taste.
This was my biggest surprise - in spite of not loving the taste of steeped green tea that much, I am finding I really love the taste and mouth-feel of the Matcha. It is full bodied and when it's whipped properly (a skill it took me a few times to get right), it even has a creamy note to it. The flavor is definitely green tea - grassy and with bitter undertones, but the Midori Spring Matcha also has a natural sweetness to it I wasn't expecting, and after a little experimentation I found I liked it better without any additional sweetener.
Midori Spring has excellent instructions in how to prepare a cup of Matcha the traditional way, as well as a very helpful video on the process:
A couple in expensive pieces of equipment and a little practice is all it took for me to make myself a lovely bright green cup of tea. Turns out that for me, a stronger cup of matcha is preferable to a small amount - I think I've discovered that it isn't the taste of steeped green tea I object to, it's the wimpiness of it!
In addition to drinking it hot, I have found that the fastest, easiest and most palatable way to get a daily serving is by putting it into my morning dish of yogurt!
I don't think I can exactly call this a recipe with a straight face but here it is anyway:
1 cup yogurt (plain, vanilla or lemon)
1 tsp. Midori Spring Gold matcha
honey to drizzle (optional)
Toppings as desired:
- fruit (berries, banana slices, diced apple, etc)
- nuts and seeds
- flaked coconut
- use your imagination!
Put the yogurt in your dish. Sprinkle with the matcha powder, and gently fold it in. Top with your desired toppings, and enjoy!
I really love the ability to start my day with good probiotics and anti-oxidants!
I haven't (yet) tried cooking with Matcha, but I definitely plan to experiment. This powdery goodness can be treated like any herb and will ramp up the flavor and nutrition of things I make already.
Midori Spring Organic Gold Ceremonial Matcha can be purchased from Amazon for $26.97 for a 1.06 oz tin. While this may seem like a lot, this little powerhouse goes a long way. I have thoroughly enjoyed my introduction into the world of Matcha tea, and if you haven't yet tried it, I think Midori Spring will be a pleasant way to begin!