Matcha grinding


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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby debunix » Dec 18th, '11, 16:25

zeto wrote:First, I do not have ready access to hot water at work...


Several options immediately come to mind: for the one office I work in a few days a month in which I do not have enough space to brew tea, I bring a thermos* of hot tea prepared at home. My 1 quart thermos will get me entirely through on most days, but sometimes I want a little more. If I'm anticipating a really long day I might bring a plain bottle with some plain tea and let it steep in room-temperature water for drinking when the hot tea runs out. All the prep is done at home.

*technically, it's a Stanley Vacuum Bottle, and does come in a 2 quart size for larger tea-appetites, although this listing clearly depicts the 1 quart bottle.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby zeto » Dec 18th, '11, 16:43

Yeah I seriously considered a double walled vacuum thermos/french press. I still can do that, however I did want the capability of grinding my own tea (I want to try powdered whites as well.)

I also have a very limited amount of time in the morning. I prepare meals ahead of time, but cannot do that with tea; and while I could spend the time to make a large amount of hot water, brew the tea, and then throw it in a thermos... I usually am not up for the task.

As a final constraint, I work in an environment where I cannot have liquids... and the only storage options are either in a communal refrigerator or perhaps out in a general room on the counter. (I have access to either room temperature or cold water.)

So for me, utilizing ground tea is a huge convenience solver. I feel that my biggest issues after this step will be mixing it, as clumping is a huge issue with ground tea/matcha. To solve this I'm thinking about getting a protein mix shaker (essentially a thermos with a whisking ball inside)
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby entropyembrace » Dec 18th, '11, 18:17

debunix wrote:*technically, it's a Stanley Vacuum Bottle, and does come in a 2 quart size for larger tea-appetites, although this listing clearly depicts the 1 quart bottle.


I have one of these and can´t stand it...it makes anything I put in it taste and smell like plastic monomers :evil:

Maybe yours is older than mine, I´ve heard they´ve declined a lot in quality recently...but I wouldn´t recomend anyone buy one now :?
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby debunix » Dec 18th, '11, 18:34

I have several, and some bought quite recently, and while drinking from the lid-cup is never my favorite thing, the main flask does not noticeably alter the taste of the tea I store in it, beyond what I expect from it sitting, stored in any kind of vessel, after brewing.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby zeto » Dec 18th, '11, 18:52

I've never been able to brew my tea in any sort of plastic container.

I bought a hamilton beach double walled boiler that is all stainless except for the top... I had to remove the top permanently because it made the boiled water stink like plastic.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby zeto » Jan 15th, '12, 01:46

I got the Kyocera Green Tea grinder from Japan.

I find that it produces a grind that is large compared to commercial grinding, however is smaller than a coffee grinder's smallest setting. The particles are small enough that the texture of leaf in the brew is not irritating and feels smooth to the tongue.

I attempted to make silver needle powder, however I ran into the slight annoyance that silver needle is inherently sort of sticky due to the hairs, and a significantly larger leaf size which caused some grinding issues and squeaking.

The build quality in general is good, albeit I grind on the absolute tightest setting, which is set by a plastic? screw on the bottom. I'm sure that over time this will either break or warp enough that a super tight grind is no longer possible.

For the price, I don't think there is anything out there that can compete. It WILL produce an instant-brew tea with near-matcha quality from ANY leaf type you might have (if it works on silver needle I believe it'll work on anything.)

If I had more money to burn I would certainly buy a much larger tabletop stone mill, which I believe would produce a consistently finer grind for potentially decades.

If I get really bored I'll take a sample to my lab microscope and quantify the particle size to compare it directly to matcha.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby Tead Off » Jan 15th, '12, 02:02

But, how is the taste compared to pre-ground matcha? Is it worth going through all that trouble?
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby zeto » Jan 15th, '12, 17:11

It's going to taste like a very strong version of the tea that you ground. The thing with the grinder is, I can grind any tea I get.

Matcha tastes like a strong version of Tencha, which also depends on the year and region that the Tencha was grown.

I'm not sure that it's possible to compare tastes as that is not the primary goal of this grinder imo. The goal of this grinder is to be able to create a suitably small particle size powder from the tea that you do have, and in that endeavor this grinder is completely worth it.

If you already have Tencha and are looking for a fresher alternative to commercial Matcha by grinding it yourself, you will not get the same quality out of this grinder, but it will be drinkable and probably still better than oxidized commercial Matcha (eg. the loose Matcha they carry at Teavana.)

Bottom line for grinding with the Kyocera Green Tea Mill:

Pros:
1. can produce reasonable quality powder or lesser for cooking
2. can use any type of tea leaf
3. is portable
4. creates instant brew tea that does not require heated water
5. Ground tea is super fresh, and better than bulk Matcha
6. Inexpensive alternative to super expensive stone mills
7. healthier than regular brewing

Cons:
1. cannot produce commercial grade Matcha
2. It's probably not worth the effort to find the elusive Tencha needed for traditional Matcha, if you specifically want Tencha only

So, I think it's a great purchase, but for reasons that differ from specifically making traditional Matcha. I put some tea in it and take it to work... I then grind it and throw it into some water, and it's great for half the cost or less of using Matcha.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby Tead Off » Jan 16th, '12, 06:43

Is this just to save some money? I'm not sure why you are doing this. Most people here are interested in a quality product, the tea. From your description, I would never buy one of these if it didn't give me a near equal powder to what I can buy online. So you must be doing this for another reason.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby Drax » Jan 16th, '12, 09:44

This thread is really interesting to re-read from the beginning.

In the end, all I can really say is thanks to zeto for sharing some actual information on the results of using a mill -- it's the first I've seen from anybody who's actually done it (non-industrial). So again, thanks!

If you ever find anything that meets your desires, please pass it along!
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby zeto » Jan 23rd, '12, 02:36

Tead Off wrote:Is this just to save some money? I'm not sure why you are doing this. Most people here are interested in a quality product, the tea. From your description, I would never buy one of these if it didn't give me a near equal powder to what I can buy online. So you must be doing this for another reason.


I feel that the way that you see this forum (this is the teaware and accessories section) and its users is a bit constrained. This is not some elitist group, but rather a mixed group of people...

Some are rich and only buy the best teas and teaware. Some are eclectic and only buy the most interesting and unique. Some are poor and come here to avoid making purchasing mistakes or to find reasonable compromises. Some are innovative and wish to try something out of the box.

While I love tea, I have no desire to spend thousands of dollars (which is what it would take) to get a perfect grind, when this grinder produces 90%+ quality grind for only $60 shipped (which is closer to what the vast majority of people could spend on widening their tea repertoire.)

As there are really no other users who have used these things and reported about their experience, at the very least I'm providing a useful review to everyone. At the very most, as I've extensively outlined previously, I've given others a way to go if they would like the benefits of owning their own grinder.

It's clearly not for you, but it would be suitable for many others including my purposes. I currently use it to grind Sencha and it makes an awesome infusion at work.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby Tead Off » Jan 23rd, '12, 12:54

You're right. My comments were not criticizing you for wanting to experiment and cut costs. Sorry if you took it that way. I'm happy you posted the info on the machine you bought. But, it also sounds like something I would not buy for the reasons both of us stated. Happy grinding. :D
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby Chip » Jan 23rd, '12, 12:58

TeaExperiments continue. :idea: :!: :arrow: Power to you.

Tradition is great, but so is experimenting with new ideas and methods. I am glad we are not done ...

Enjoy.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby entropyembrace » Jan 23rd, '12, 21:40

debunix wrote:I have several, and some bought quite recently, and while drinking from the lid-cup is never my favorite thing, the main flask does not noticeably alter the taste of the tea I store in it, beyond what I expect from it sitting, stored in any kind of vessel, after brewing.


It´s been suggested to me that maybe it´s the steel I´m tasting...would make sense since there´s MUCH more contact with the steel than the tiny bit of plastic in the lid that can touch the liquid inside. In that case any kind of insulated steel flask wouldn´t work for me. :?

I do heat water in the steel kettle but that´s a lot less contact time...
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby zeto » Jan 23rd, '12, 23:48

entropyembrace wrote:
debunix wrote:I have several, and some bought quite recently, and while drinking from the lid-cup is never my favorite thing, the main flask does not noticeably alter the taste of the tea I store in it, beyond what I expect from it sitting, stored in any kind of vessel, after brewing.


It´s been suggested to me that maybe it´s the steel I´m tasting...would make sense since there´s MUCH more contact with the steel than the tiny bit of plastic in the lid that can touch the liquid inside. In that case any kind of insulated steel flask wouldn´t work for me. :?

I do heat water in the steel kettle but that´s a lot less contact time...


I'd try putting it in the container without the lid and then trying it later... vs. having the lid on.

Some plastics, even tiny bits that aren't even directly touching the water, can totally destroy tea because they stink so much. If the container smells fine pre-brew, and the tea tastes fine without the top ever being on it... it's the plastic stink from the top. Theoretically stainless could change the flavor profile as well, but I'd check the plastic first.
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