Matcha beginner


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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby rdl » Apr 26th, '12, 12:16

Kevangogh wrote:You can take it to the bank that the guy in the video knows what he is doing, he takes weekly lessons from a teacher who also instructs the Maiko and Geisha in Kyoto...

i never meant to imply otherwise. i was just stating that in the matcha preparation i have seen in japan and things from the internet, i recall only once seeing (on youtube) a japanese monk whisking for close to that amount of time. it had a bit of the large paper & brush caligraphy feel to it - which i quite enjoyed watching.
as it seems a 20 second or so whisking is sufficient, my thought is what it feels like, meditatively, to whisk so long.
- when i wrote excessive in my last post, i meant for a casual matcha drinker. this gentleman, as you state, is steeped in tradition, pun intended.
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby Seeker » Apr 26th, '12, 14:07

I agree with much of the wisdom imparted previously.
In my experience the main factors relevant to the creation of a good foam are: quality of the matcha, ratio of matcha to water (I agree that 200ml is too much water for ~1.5t of matcha - I probably use 100ml per 2 healthy chashaku), temperature of water, sifting the matcha (tho I find this isn't absolutely necessary - I just don't like even a little matcha 'mud' at the end of my session), and whisking tool & technique. I don't know that it has anything to do with the quality of the foam, but it is also traditional, and I always do it, and that is to pre-warm both the chawan (bowl) and the chasen (whisk) - then dry the bowl, then sift the matcha into the bowl, add water, and whisk vigorously making W or zig zag motions across the width the bowl. Depending on the matcha - I typically use 180* plus/minus 5.
I wish you the best of luck with your matcha!
ps - A good matcha to try that is available on line from Den's is their matcha miyabi. It's not one I use regularly (I like matcha from yuuki and ippodo, but these are more expensive) - but I like it, the price isn't crazy high, and it is quality matcha imho.
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby blackbird » Apr 27th, '12, 08:57

Thanks for all the advice! I realised that while I'd started off with much less water, I'd upped the quantities once I'd pretty much given up on getting a nice foam and hadn't paid much attention!

On the matcha itself - the stuff I'm using (from the link above) was a free sample, so I'm not stuck with 200g as the site might suggest! I've been looking at the O-cha site and plan to try either the Uji Matcha Kiri no Mori or the Uji Matcha Kyou Mukashi - each has good reviews on the site, but does anyone here have an opinion?

This morning I came much closer than ever before...I've been warming and drying the bowl, sifting the powder and then adding slightly-cooler-than-boiling water. Here's what I managed this morning - it's not great but much better than I have been getting!
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby blackbird » Apr 27th, '12, 08:58

Oops. Clearly something went wrong with my photo resizing. Apologies for the monster pic!
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby Seeker » Apr 27th, '12, 13:02

Congratulations on your good progress bb!
Well done!
May you experience an abundance of goodness on your matcha journey.
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby Chip » Apr 27th, '12, 13:55

+1

That is looking pretty good! Enjoy ...
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby teaisme » May 4th, '12, 17:12

I'm also a beginner of matcha, and am enjoying it the more I brew

It seems like depending on bowl size I use predominantly finger muscles on small ones, wrist on medium ones, and forearm on bigger ones. Is it advisable to use wrist no matter the size of bowl?

Here is some visual reference for those who want to be more specific on grams/water
http://everyonestea.blogspot.com/2011/0 ... r-and.html
http://everyonestea.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... atcha.html

After watching that vid from o-cha I can see I need some practice :mrgreen:
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby Xell » May 6th, '12, 10:19

Usually my foam looks something like this. It's usucha grade, quite cheap, but made for drinking. I wonder if foam is worse with cooking grade, not talking about taste.

I forgot to change location of flash and color of matcha became almost white, it's more green of course :)
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby sherubtse » May 7th, '12, 09:43

Here is a nice summary of the production of tencha, and the making of matcha:

http://www.marukyu-koyamaen.co.jp/engli ... ess01.html

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby Kevangogh » May 8th, '12, 03:31

Made this video last season:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_7XCs9Lhpw
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby teaisme » May 8th, '12, 13:36

great vid thanks for sharing

that farmer/producer in the vid is absolutely beaming with a certain kindness/gentleness, that smile at 3:54 warmed my heart
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby Kevangogh » May 8th, '12, 14:33

Guy gave me a big ol' bag of tencha afterwards, it was awesome too!
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby robbie_olive » May 12th, '12, 17:47

i was surprised as well that in the video he is whisking for 1 minute, as i noticed on the progress bar. i know different schools and experts have their tradition, but it seems excessive to me.


I haven't seen the video, but in my tea school, we only whisk usucha 30 times, and that should give a nice frothy layer on top of the tea. Anymore, than you are going to cool the tea down too much and destroy the flavour.
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby rdl » May 12th, '12, 23:29

robbie_olive wrote:
i was surprised as well that in the video he is whisking for 1 minute, as i noticed on the progress bar. i know different schools and experts have their tradition, but it seems excessive to me.


I haven't seen the video, but in my tea school, we only whisk usucha 30 times, and that should give a nice frothy layer on top of the tea. Anymore, than you are going to cool the tea down too much and destroy the flavour.

robbie_olive
i am unschooled but 30 times seems to match, as i mentioned above, my knowledge. but i wanted to ask if you care to share which tea school/tradition you are studying? you've posted in the koicha topic also but you didn't mention there either. however the reply may not fit well under this "matcha beginner" topic :lol:
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Re: Matcha beginner

Postby robbie_olive » May 13th, '12, 03:24

Hi rdl,

The tea school that I follow is the Ueda Soko tea school, which has its headquarters in Hiroshima. It's a smaller tea school, formed by the samurai warrior Ueda Soko (1563-1650), who learned chanoyu from Sen no Rikyu and Furata Oribe. In terms of tea schools, even though it is smaller and lesser known than say Urasenke or Omotesenke, it is however a higher class tea school, that is, the samurai class were regarded as the highest class, followed by the peasant/famers, artisans, and then lastly merchant classes, which is where Urasenke and Omotesenke were formed (or so I've been told). Merchants were ostracized as "parasites" who profited from the labor of the more productive peasant and artisan classes. Not only did merchants live in a separate section of each city, but the higher classes were forbidden to mix with them except on business.

There are quite a few differences between the schools, which of course have evolved over the years, depending on the master at the time changing to suit their requirements, as it is an ever-evolving art.

Some interesting facts: only Uransenke usually call the Way of Tea 'CHADO', whereas all other tea schools say 'SADO'. When preparing koicha, Omotesenke are the only school that uses an usucha chasen, instead of the usual koicha chasen, which is used by all the other schools, which have thicker and therefore a lesser number of tines than the usucha chasen. IMHO, ALWAYS use a koicha chasen for making koicha! They may cost more, but they produce the desired result. Furthermore, when making koicha, (in our school anyway), if you're looking down into the chawan, you're whisking from 1 o'clock to 5 o'clock (For one person, 3 1/3 chashaku scoops and whisking 50 times).

I hope that sheds a little more light on koicha, tea schools, and how it evoled. Happy to answer any other questions people may have.

Cheers!
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