Matcha grinding


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Matcha grinding

Postby iGo » Oct 24th, '11, 16:21

Hi,

Is anyone familiar with milling tencha to create matcha?

I see that Samovar has a pricey mill on their site; I've also seen manual mills/griders by Kyocera on e-bay.

Any pointers greatly appreciated.

Cheers.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby AdamMY » Nov 2nd, '11, 21:42

I am not sure how many of us have ever tried grinding out own tencha to produce matcha. The idea personally does not appeal to me. For one very few places actually sell Tencha. Even then I am not sure that the Tencha that makes it to market is of similar quality to produce good matcha. (If it would create great matcha what is it doing being sold as tencha?)
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby Chip » Nov 2nd, '11, 21:46

I guess nobody is grinding their own. I personally would not bother since good tencha is hard to come by and is likely overpriced for the quality you get.

That and there is already tons of great matcha available.

However, doing it would be ... fascinating. :mrgreen:
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby iGo » Nov 2nd, '11, 23:12

I'm also a bit of a coffee fanatic and grinding freshly roasted beans just before brewing is critical. I guess that's what's piqued my curiosity about the matcha mill.

Thanks for your responses.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby zeto » Dec 3rd, '11, 21:47

I posted a while ago here: http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=16272&p=207437#p207437 asking a similar question.

There does not appear to be much interest in grinding your own powdered tea (from tencha or others,) and there doesn't seem to be much support for it in the industry.

Kyocera makes a small mill, however it's quite expensive for its parts, which amount to perhaps 5 dollars worth of material and they sell it for $60 and it might have to be shipped from japan.

Getting the most out of your tea requires grinding it, and I enjoy the extra flavors imparted by the more complete infusion.

I'm ultimately looking to spend $30, but I put a hard cap at $50. I think that should be completely reasonable for two tiny grinding stones, a hand crank, and casing.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby Dresden » Dec 3rd, '11, 22:25

I have purchased the little packs of powdered sencha to put in my water bottles at work from Den's in the past... I guess a you could powder your own if you have some sencha that's getting long in the tooth...

But that just seems like a lot of trouble when you could just as easily make some nice houjicha with it.

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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby zeto » Dec 5th, '11, 11:35

I personally don't feel there is a comparison to be had between simply grinding your tea for instant infusion and complete consumption versus 'a lot of trouble' to roast it and steeping under hot water (which may not be available)
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby Dresden » Dec 5th, '11, 18:39

zeto wrote:I personally don't feel there is a comparison to be had between simply grinding your tea for instant infusion and complete consumption versus 'a lot of trouble' to roast it and steeping under hot water (which may not be available)

Are you suggesting that a mill is more common than hot water? As far as roasting it being a lot of trouble, it takes about 30 seconds for a batch to finish.

BTW, nothing is consumed completely.

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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby edkrueger » Dec 5th, '11, 20:54

Its a misnomer that matcha doesn't get infused. You can disprove it by your self. Make some usucha and leave it sitting. The particles will concentrate on the bottom and one the top there will be green water. Water tempeture matters for making ground teas. Also you can see this by trying to make matcha with cold water.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby Dresden » Dec 5th, '11, 21:18

Ed is right in that there is an infusion with matcha. It stands to reason that tea leaves in hot water, regardless of what form they are in, should infuse.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby zeto » Dec 7th, '11, 00:10

While I'll preface this to say that I feel this has devolved into some weird juvenile commentary...

Matcha infuses much faster, and much more easily, because it's surface area has been increased exponentially (even in cool or room temp water which is all that is available in almost all workplaces.) Additionally, it allows you to consume the leaf portions that normally would not be... this gives powedered tea (matcha or otherwise) a particular taste, texture, and nutritional value that other forms lack.

You simply cannot, in any way, substitute the ability to grind tea with something else.

Back on topic: there is this http://shop.samovarlife.com/Matcha-Grinding-Mill-p/910321.htm but it's price point is totally absurd.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby Tead Off » Dec 7th, '11, 00:29

AdamMY wrote:I am not sure how many of us have ever tried grinding out own tencha to produce matcha. The idea personally does not appeal to me. For one very few places actually sell Tencha. Even then I am not sure that the Tencha that makes it to market is of similar quality to produce good matcha. (If it would create great matcha what is it doing being sold as tencha?)

This brings to mind coffee. If one takes the time roasting the bean, grinding in a proper mill, and brewing in a careful way, whether by drip or espresso or whatever one likes, you usually wind up with a very good cup. But, this process has almost no adherents when it comes to matcha and I wonder how many Japanese actually go through the motions buying the tencha, grinding, etc. It seems even the schools use prepared powder as I almost never read about someone or a group grinding their own. I wonder how easy it is to get high grade tencha in Japan and whether matcha grinding is more common than I think? Could it be that we have all become lazy? Matcha grinding must be much more economical in the long run.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby zeto » Dec 7th, '11, 10:01

From what I've seen, the cost difference is huge.

Once you open matcha, you must use it because the oxidation process is extremely fast. This is not 'as' true for leaf, so getting an equivalent quality ground tea (of any type) that you grind yourself is possible over a longer period of time, which means you can buy in larger bulk.

Matcha will tend to be 1.5-2.5x more expensive than an equivalent amount of leaf. A single grinder will cost, as I've seen, anywhere between $75-$350. I believe you'll make up that cost in less than 10-15 ounces of leaf.

Also if you want to buy ground sencha or white, good luck paying reasonable amounts for that.

That said, I doubt that many people that are actually in japan grind their own. Their shipping and packaging costs there are vastly lower and the from harvest to table time is vastly lower... I would expect them to pay significantly less for equivalent grade.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby Chajin » Dec 13th, '11, 14:12

Grinding your own matcha is traditional in Japanese tea ceremony (there's even a special tea ceremony that centres around grinding the first tea of the new year), but even in that world it's exceptionally rare because it's time-consuming and difficult and if not done properly produces less than ideal results.
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Re: Matcha grinding

Postby zeto » Dec 14th, '11, 22:12

I just purchased the Kyocera green tea mill. I will post again when I get it.

My plan is to refrigerate the grinder prior to use in order to keep the probability for burning low, and then grind up a gram or two and see how it goes.
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