a noob's wanderings with Matcha...

Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.


User avatar
Sep 10th, '16, 13:21
Posts: 8
Joined: Sep 3rd, '16, 11:05
Location: Boston

a noob's wanderings with Matcha...

by KrisM » Sep 10th, '16, 13:21

:lol: Decided a number of months ago that i wanted the health benefits of green tea(good for many things depending on where and what you read and believe!), and the powdered form seemed to offer so much more since it has the entire leaf. I had tried a bunch of leaf high end green direct from China (don't do this at home kiddies!), and then direct from Japan(very yum!) Found some powdered green tea from Taiwan (grayish in color) in the local Chinese market and tried that - it was okay, bitter, always left a sludge in the bottom of the cup, and didn't leave me lusting for more. But I drank it - went through maybe 6 of the 8 oz. And yes, I consumed most of the sludge...

Found some of this on ebay and thought I'd try that http://www.ebay.com/itm/250g-8-8oz-100- ... SwT6pVmyVp
The ad and the label sure read as if it's good but of course I have no idea what's in it!!! :lol: Also ordered a "vintage Japanese" Chawan(ebay), and Chasen and Chashaku(also ebay). The Chawan was clearly hot off someone's kiln (I checked at asianart.com forum) but it was pretty so I gave it a try. The new powder dissolved very quickly - no sieve(don't own one) - 2-3g and less than 10 sec with Chasen in 1/4 to 1/3 cup water, and tasted VERY sweet... hmmm Very good but very sweet... I grabbed a random old bowl from my cupboard and tried that - also very sweet... (that bowl was from Sardinia). I then tried a nice wide bowl/mug with handle that was glass(Indonesia) and still very good but almost no sweet... So I am eyeing lead free bowls from the likes of Hibiki-an and O-Cha, but that will have to wait for a month or 2. Tossed the Sardinia bowl and retired the Chawan. (by the by I did clorox soak the Chawan for a day and then rinsed it well and the tastes were more clear - only the super sweetness remained...).

I will use the glass bowl for now. No sieve, No bitterness, "vegetal" with slight sweet aftertaste, no residue, only little use of Chasen. Love it!!! Leaves me lusting for more! I have consumed most of the initial 8oz in about 10 days so I apparently have a big habit - 13g/day or so. The Chashaku is perfect for getting down in the bag and easily retrieving the 2-3g that I like - just like the form of it.

I have watched many tea ceremonies (Chanoyu) (youtube and the like - never in person) and though I will probably never do one, I do think/feel the Zen of it is very important(slowing down and reflecting) , and try to include a bit of that in my practice, such as pausing to reflect on the bubbles remaining in the bottom of the bowl. I view a Chasen to be the ideal stirring tool (having used a spoon for all my Taiwanese efforts) - mine is lasting well and I rinse it after use, shake it gently once to remove excess water, and dry it sitting on its base(the handle).

So I welcome comments but remember I am a noob and I really enjoy this!!!!!!! And yes I know I should be drinking $40/tin Matcha but with my current habit it would cost me a fortune, and I want to consume the amount to get the nutrients. must-hit-lottery !!! :mrgreen: I also tend to re-edit quickly for my usually many typos!

EDIT: I do not add anything to green tea or Matcha. I enjoy the green tastes! Also as a side note, I am very negatively sensitive to artificial sweeteners of any sort, and stevia - give me headaches and taste weird.

My avatar is copied from O-Cha.
Attachments
IMG_20160903_115900067.resized.jpg
new Matcha in kitty bowl
IMG_20160903_115900067.resized.jpg (36.22 KiB) Viewed 1324 times
IMG_20160830_171047281.resized.jpg
1st Chawan - aprox 4.5" across top. Stamp on bottom not identified and likely very modern.
IMG_20160830_171047281.resized.jpg (24.4 KiB) Viewed 1324 times
IMG_20160903_111836001.resized.jpg
new Matcha - in real it is slightly more green than the pic shows. It's definitely green but not the very bright green of high end Matcha. Sitting next to some baby Jade plants.
IMG_20160903_111836001.resized.jpg (25.94 KiB) Viewed 1324 times
Last edited by KrisM on Sep 16th, '16, 14:28, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Sep 11th, '16, 08:35
Posts: 401
Joined: Nov 8th, '08, 20:46
Location: NYC
Contact: chingwa

Re: a noob's wanderings with Matcha...

by chingwa » Sep 11th, '16, 08:35

Welcome to the world of green tea! It sounds like you're off to a running start and have already learned a few basic lessons (i.e. don't buy Matcha from China. Ever.) I think most tea-freaks on this forum would say that drinking Matcha for the "nutrients" is missing out on the whole point. Matcha can be a healthy addition to your diet, but it does contain caffeine and tannins (and possibly fertilizer and other chemicals depending on how it was grown). On top of this the health benefits of green tea in general are debatable... any product that is marketed that heavily and you have to take it with a grain of salt. :) In any case too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, you know? Most people here drink tea for the flavor/ceremony alone, and any additional health benefits are probably secondary. But it sounds like you're enjoying the flavor which is great!

I'm sure the Matcha you found on Ebay is much better than what you bought from China, but the fact is 8.8 oz at that price point is giving you the bottom of the barrel in terms of Matcha quality. It doesn't really matter what words they write on the label.... "pharmacutical grade" LOL... noone is going to sell actual high quality matcha at that price point or in that quantity.

I would highly recommend to cut back on your usage a bit and also buy a higher quality source of Matcha, which will taste better, be fresher, and probably have more nutrients and less contaminates. Buying through any of the sites talked about here on this forum (O-cha, Thes-du-japon, hibiki-an, maiko etc. etc.) will get you better quality than buying on a generalist site like Amazon or Ebay. Health and flavor wise you will be better served.

AND I would recommend to dry your Chasen propped up with the tines down, otherwise if you dry it sitting on the base it may crack over time (sooner than you think). I dry mine just sitting straight up in the dried matcha bowl after each session.

Enjoy!

User avatar
Sep 11th, '16, 12:44
Posts: 8
Joined: Sep 3rd, '16, 11:05
Location: Boston

Re: a noob's wanderings with Matcha...

by KrisM » Sep 11th, '16, 12:44

Hey! Thanks for your thoughts and your time! i will take your ideas to heart. But - question - how do you stand your Chasen up? on its tines? Mine won't rest straight up on its tines (with tines down) - falls a little to the side... Then there's Chasen stands but I would worry that it might deform the Chasen unless it were from the same manufacturer as the Chasen... But at least it holds it with tines down as you suggest...

And here it starts for me - there are many many things to learn about each tool, and each part of the ceremony. So many ideas! I find being a noob to be blissful!!!
Attachments
IMG_20160911_134303909.resized.jpg
My Chasen, partially bloomed.
IMG_20160911_134303909.resized.jpg (24.82 KiB) Viewed 1301 times
IMG_20160911_134248701.resized.jpg
My Chasen resting on tines in bowl.
IMG_20160911_134248701.resized.jpg (22.89 KiB) Viewed 1301 times
2011 11 07 003.resized.jpg
(not my) Chasen hanging on pegs in wall...
2011 11 07 003.resized.jpg (34.09 KiB) Viewed 1303 times

User avatar
Sep 11th, '16, 22:38
Posts: 401
Joined: Nov 8th, '08, 20:46
Location: NYC
Contact: chingwa

Re: a noob's wanderings with Matcha...

by chingwa » Sep 11th, '16, 22:38

Mine is able to stand up if I balance it carefully, though I imagine it just depends on the shape of your Chasen. I think leaning it to the side like you show in the picture would work fine. I've never seen a picture them being wall-mounted like that, pretty hilarious.

User avatar
Sep 12th, '16, 00:33
Posts: 8
Joined: Sep 3rd, '16, 11:05
Location: Boston

Re: a noob's wanderings with Matcha...

by KrisM » Sep 12th, '16, 00:33

chingwa wrote:Mine is able to stand up if I balance it carefully, though I imagine it just depends on the shape of your Chasen. I think leaning it to the side like you show in the picture would work fine. I've never seen a picture them being wall-mounted like that, pretty hilarious.
I am guessing that your intent, and theirs, is to keep the water away from the bamboo node as much as possible, so it will not swell and contract, eventually causing a crack. I do not like the idea of leaning it as I show in the picture because I feel it will cause my Chasen to become asymetrical. Mine refuses to balance on the tines. I did put a spike in the wall and have hung it there for now. Maybe sometime in the future I will connect with a stand. I thank you for bringing this to my attention.

That shows the bowl that I will use until I connect with a lead-free Chawan. Definitely not "artistic", but the taste of the tea is wonderful! Good size for the Chasen.

I spent some time today looking into the parts of a Japanese Tea Ceremony. Wonderful intricacy of attention to necessary detail. I found mention of a Youji
http://japanese-tea-ceremony.net/equipment_guest.html
which seems to be unique to that site - too bad as it seems a beautiful expression of form and function.

User avatar
Nov 3rd, '16, 19:14
Posts: 8
Joined: Sep 3rd, '16, 11:05
Location: Boston

Re: a noob's wanderings with Matcha...

by KrisM » Nov 3rd, '16, 19:14

clearly turned on a wheel and finished with a rising finger. tiny mark. Tastes great!

EDIT - I find I really love the sense/feel of the clay on this one. The more I use it, the more I really love it.
Attachments
IMG_0724a.JPG
name: tenmoku green tea bowl
IMG_0724a.JPG (34.01 KiB) Viewed 1151 times
IMG_0723a.JPG
tiny mark
IMG_0723a.JPG (66.96 KiB) Viewed 1151 times
y-5.jpg
y-5.jpg (33.08 KiB) Viewed 1152 times
Last edited by KrisM on Nov 6th, '16, 13:32, edited 2 times in total.

Nov 3rd, '16, 20:52
Posts: 223
Joined: Dec 22nd, '12, 14:05

Re: a noob's wanderings with Matcha...

by .m. » Nov 3rd, '16, 20:52

Congrats to your new chawan :)

Just a little warning regarding your original post: regular drinking of low end matcha, especially if you drink it on empty stomach, may quite destroy it in a way that even the good stuff will then give you stomach cramps. I'm talking from my experience. Of course that depends how sensitive your stomach is. There is a reason why matcha is meant for special occasions and not as a daily drinker.

User avatar
Nov 3rd, '16, 22:01
Posts: 8
Joined: Sep 3rd, '16, 11:05
Location: Boston

Re: a noob's wanderings with Matcha...

by KrisM » Nov 3rd, '16, 22:01

I have indeed cut way back on the amount I am consuming, though I probably still drink far more than you would recommend. No stomach probs for me - it does feel healing - body and spirit - only prob is minor insomnia if I drink too much after 6PM. LOL Only change for the future is that I will buy it in smaller quantities - I am working through a pound, and it is fine, but I will go for 1/2 pound or less next time. Fresher tastes better!

I do love the new Chawan - new toy, and such fun to use. Nice not to be using the glass cup!!! Though I suspect it is recent, it seems well made and the glaze is not overbearing, yet very complex. Not made by a beginner. I connected with it locally. Not retail. Someone simply didn't want it any more. It did not show signs of use and was clean.

As to that Matcha, I am guessing that it is probably one year old product from a reputable Japanese firm. I base this on comparing it to the Taiwanese stuff(blech), and to how well my body appreciates it. I do not get any of the bitterness that many folks trying inexpensive Matcha seem to complain about. If one can believe those reviews, that's what cheap junk does, and this is apparently a few levels up. And this has a definite bit of sweet aftertaste. I am sure at some point their source will change and I will start over from the beginning, though this time will probably order direct from Japan. I simply lucked out on this one.
Attachments
y-6.jpg
y-6.jpg (26.14 KiB) Viewed 1145 times
y-4.jpg
y-4.jpg (28.08 KiB) Viewed 1145 times

+ Post Reply