Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

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Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby beforewisdom » Feb 21st, '13, 09:16

I have a matcha bowl and brush. I watched a youtube video on how to mix it up. It still tastes like boiled lawn clippings to me. I hate to waste money so I want to finish the can. Is there anything I can do to make it taste better aside from using a sweetener or a "milk" ( cow's, soy, almond, etc)?

Right now I am using 1/3 of teaspoon in a tall glass mug. I stir it a lot, but it doesn't stay mixed.

Thanks in advance for any tips

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby Suutej_Tsaj » Feb 21st, '13, 10:57

Why are you using a glass mug when you have a matcha bowl? It's not a necessity, but proper equipment makes it easier to make good tea (provided that you know what to do, that is).
Apart from that, it's possible that the video you watched gave you misleading instructions. Here's what I usually do:
- Preheat the bowl with boiling water and then dry it completely. Not a big deal, but it's still freaking cold here and teawares tend to cool down too fast;
- Put 1 1/2 bamboo spoon of matcha in the bowl, sifting it through a strainer. With a regular teaspoon, half of it should be enough;
- Cool down water in another cup. O-Cha and others suggest to have it at 80°C but I'm a bit paranoid about pouring hot water on green tea, so I let it cool down to 60°C;
- Pour water and immediately whisk the mix with the bamboo whisk. This is perhaps the most crucial part of the lot. Whisk it energically for at least a minute and try to make it froth.
I'm new to matcha myself, so don't take these words as Gospel truth. Teachat veterans may suggest you better.

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby Poohblah » Feb 21st, '13, 14:26

Also make sure you start with a decent matcha.

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby chingwa » Feb 21st, '13, 14:55

If it isn't good quality matcha, as Poohblah said, it doesn't matter how you make it. Worst case, you could always use it in a milkshake or sprinkle it on top of vanilla ice cream :)

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby Running for Tea » Feb 21st, '13, 22:07

Poohblah wrote:Also make sure you start with a decent matcha.

+1

I've had decent matcha (nothing expensive yet), and for some reason I recently decided to be economical and purchase some cheap matcha... BAD idea. It is bland and has an overall lack of taste.

The difference between cheap and decent is so noticable, it really makes me curious about the experience of good matcha

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby entropyembrace » Feb 22nd, '13, 00:41

What matcha did you buy that you dislike so much?

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby beforewisdom » Feb 22nd, '13, 09:22

I bought matcha from the brand "The Republic of Tea"

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby Chip » Feb 22nd, '13, 09:25

beforewisdom wrote:I bought matcha from the brand "The Republic of Tea"

Citizens of the "Republic" should revolt!

Hopefully lesson learned! :wink: :mrgreen:

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby blairswhitaker » Feb 22nd, '13, 10:20

beforewisdom wrote:I bought matcha from the brand "The Republic of Tea"


this is your problem right here, as far as I am concerned that is a TERRIBLE tasting matcha. I have had a tin of it once and it was miserable I got maybe two bowls out of it before I tossed it. It tastes like culinary grade matcha at best. Don't give up on matcha as this does not represent what its all about.

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby blairswhitaker » Feb 22nd, '13, 10:24

also good matcha does not get bitter with very hot water, and great matcha does not get bitter even with boiling water. I study cha no yu and the kettle stays on the heating source the entire time, that water is VERY hot and it does not make the matcha taste bad in any way.

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby beforewisdom » Feb 22nd, '13, 11:19

blairswhitaker wrote:
beforewisdom wrote:I bought matcha from the brand "The Republic of Tea"


this is your problem right here, as far as I am concerned that is a TERRIBLE tasting matcha. I have had a tin of it once and it was miserable I got maybe two bowls out of it before I tossed it. It tastes like culinary grade matcha at best. Don't give up on matcha as this does not represent what its all about.


Thanks for posting. I value your opinion that you also tried this brand of matcha. Can you recommend a brand?

Did you also think it tasted like boiled grass?

Did you also notice that it didn't stay mixed?

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby Buzz Fledderjohn » Feb 22nd, '13, 12:30

Matcha is never going to "stay mixed". Since matcha is the tea leaf itself, it will never dissolve in water. The reason you whisk matcha is to suspend the particles in the water prior to drinking. Matcha is not meant for long term sipping.

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby Poohblah » Feb 22nd, '13, 12:34

Try some of this forum's standby favorite vendors:

Ippodo
Maiko
Hibiki-An
Zencha
O-Cha
Yuuki-Cha

Or if you want a USA-based distributor:
Den's

Heck, even Rishi probably has ok matcha, certainly better than republic of tea, and you can find Rishi in grocery stores. Whole Foods carries Rishi, sometimes other grocery stores do too.

republic of tea, as far as I've sampled, doesn't even taste like there's tea in their products... it's pretty bad. Just a lot of marketing fluff

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby BioHorn » Feb 22nd, '13, 13:24

blairswhitaker wrote:also good matcha does not get bitter with very hot water, and great matcha does not get bitter even with boiling water. I study cha no yu and the kettle stays on the heating source the entire time, that water is VERY hot and it does not make the matcha taste bad in any way.

Interesting. I was taught to use water at a full boil during recent visit from a japanese friend. The matcha I was gifted tastes quite nice with full boil water.

Many videos have shown using a holding vessel to partially cool the water (+-180F?)

But then again, I am a total matcha noob.

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Re: Matcha - Better Way To Make It?

Postby edkrueger » Feb 22nd, '13, 13:35

In chanoyu, no cooling vessel is used. I think sometimes a bit of water is added from the mizusashi to the chagama right before the matcha is made. Someone who knows more will probably have more information.

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