Matcha – The actual Green Tea of Green Teas.

For many, the idea of drinking a dark green beverage that’s been mixed from the powder-like substance and tastes somewhat fishy, isn’t particularly appealing. However in fact, matcha is becoming one of many new trends for not only medical and beauty-conscious, in the typical market as well matcha latte. Its appearance such popular cafes as Starbucks, with the new Matcha Latte, is further proof its increasing popularity. Tea bags be careful, there’s a new means of drinking the green antioxidant beverage and it doesn’t involve steeping.

Green Tea Latte 抹茶ラテ • Just One Cookbook

Matcha has its origins in ancient Japan, being the most popular drink of the famous geisha tea houses. The original serving of matcha is a learned art of the geisha culture and tourists in cities such as Kyoto can pay costly amounts to go to shows where they watch these beautiful, doll-like women serve the tea in its traditional ceremony. Or they are able to spend even more to really go to a traditional tea houses and be served a cup of matcha with some sweet traditional Japanese pastries.

So just what is matcha and why all the fuss? In other words, matcha is the green tea extract of green teas. It’s the earliest harvesting of the young green tea extract leaves and the pulverizing of these into a fine green powder which can be then stored in small tins and sold in the fine tea shops around Japan. A little bit of this powder is then mixed (using a particular wooden mixer which somewhat resembles a tiny egg beater) with a little bit of warm (but certainly not boiling as this destroys the properties of the tea) in a tiny bowl, until creating almost a frothy liquid. The mixture is then included with the remainder of tepid to warm water and voila– matcha!

Traditionally the tea isn’t served with sugar, but along with a sweet treat or chocolate. It might result quite bitter and almost fishy to some first-timers, since the taste is definitely an acquired pleasure. Adding to some foreigners’ shock may be the round, white sweet bean-filled pastries traditionally served with matcha in Kyoto. But, in fact, matcha should indeed be a developed pleasure and after having a few servings, the flavor definitely is acquired

In Japan, matcha is really as common a quality as chocolate or strawberry. In supermarkets it’s common to start to see the dark green powder as a topping or flavor for sets from ice cream to cakes to chocolate bars (ever try a matcha flavored Kit Kat bar?) In Japanese Starbucks, it’s common to see young girls drinking Matcha Frappuchinos or businessmen ordering a matcha latte. But will the remaining portion of the world be susceptible to the powdery green tea extract?

To find out the clear answer, check out one of the local tea and coffee specialty stores. Chances are they already have tins of matcha on their shelves. And chances are they’re top sellers, regardless of the high cost (even in Japan these little tins are not cheap, about five times the cost of green tea extract sold in bags). And for more proof, browse the web sites which can be dedicated to the sales of matcha overseas…there are many! What is it about matcha that’s foreigners scooping it into their mugs as well?

Perhaps it’s the truth that matcha has some double the antioxidants of green tea extract in bags. Or the truth that Japanese women swear by its skin-rejuvenating powers. Or just the trendiness of drinking tea out of a charming little metallic tin with a floral Japanese design on it. Regardless of the reason, little paper tea bag beware…there’s a new tea in town.

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