Thursday, March 31, 2016


Matcha is said to be one of the best and healthiest teas rich in antioxidants and flavorful. Matcha is a fine ground green tea powder. It has a sweet, strong, earthy and "green" flavor. It is traditionally served with a "frothy" top not unlike the crema atop a freshly pulled shot of espresso. It is prepared by whisking in with water to blend the finely ground powder as well as to form this frothy top. Unlike other teas, the infusion is not strained off the tea is the actual tea leaves ground and blended with the water.

My first experience with Matcha was at a very popular coffee shop. I can't say that it was a very favorable experience. And it left me really not liking Matcha at all. I opted for a Matcha Latte. Now, I should have known by the way their other beverages are prepared that it would be way too sweet for my liking. Well, it was. They prepare their Matcha Latte by adding a couple pumps of Vanilla syrup as well as a sweetener (according to the barista) and then steam the milk right along with the tea. I'm unclear as to how the tea was prepared prior to the addition of the milk. But it was sickening sweet and I could not even drink the entire drink. The earthiness and "green" flavor was way too strong for my liking as well. I was pretty much turned off from ever wanting to try Matcha again.

Now with the upcoming opening of the Tea & Coffee bar in the store I knew I would have to eventually try Matcha again. And I'd have to make it for customers. So one of the companies that we have been sampling (The Tea Spot) sent a sample of their Matcha. I finally decided to give it a try for myself. What a HUGE difference. This time I prepared it as I had seen on many youtube videos (yes, I youtubed it LOL) and as it had been described to me by other Matcha drinkers. The difference is that I did not have an actual Matcha bowl and whisk so I had to improvise. I prepared it as follows: I added 3/4 tsp of the Matcha to the cup and wet it just enough to make a paste. Then added 8 ounces of hot water and whisked it to blend and create the frothy top. I tasted this mixture without any added sweetener so I'd have an idea of what it truly tastes like. To my surprise, I liked it. So I decided to take it a little further and make a Latte out of it. So I steamed up about 4 ounces of milk with the steaming wand on the espresso machine. Poured that frothed and steamed milk into the cup of Matcha. Tasted once again without sweetener. Very smooth. Very nice flavor. I then added a touch of local honey for a little added sweetness. Liked it even more. So the last step was I added a spot of whipped cream and drizzled with caramel. REALLY loved it then. Yes, I know, I just took this wonderfully healthy beverage and added sugar to it. LOL But it didn't ruin it. It is a delightfully, gently sweetened Matcha Latte.

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