Green Tea Recipes
Cooking With Matcha
Within these recipe pages you will samples from this book.
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Cooking With Matcha
Why cook with Matcha powder as apposed to other green teas? There are several reasons why cooking with Matcha is wonderful. First, you are using the entire pure leaf which includes all the rich and healthy nutrients including the fiber. These teas are undesirable for delicate recipes and beverages. This is not the case with infused loose leaf green tea. Matcha green tea powder also lowers cholesterol, is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Additionally, you consume protein and amino acids from green tea powder which the body can not produce on its own. Next, it saves time because all you have to do is stir the Matcha green tea powder into hot water or other liquids in the recipe. This saves about 3-4 minutes by eliminating steeping the tea required with loose leaf green teas. And lastly, it is delicious!
Before you read on, it is important to note that most other Chinese green tea powders are ground up stems with the leaves and this makes these type teas less tasty and dissolvable. Hence, they don't go through the rigorous and tedious fine process that Matcha does and won't mix well.
Matcha Processing - What Makes Matcha Green Tea Powder Unique
The young tea leaves are picked in early May and lightly steamed to prevent any fermentation. This allows the tea to retain its beautiful green color. Then the tea leaves are dried. Traditionally, at this point, the leaves would be stored in chatsubo/tea jars and allowed to season until November, at which time they can be stone-ground as needed. For consistency, the leaves from various varieties of tea plants are blended to produce the best flavor, color, and aroma. Before being stone-ground, the leaves are processed to obtain only the meat part of the leaf. The stems and veins are removed so that the tea will be very fine when ground. It takes one hour to grind somewhat less than 40g of matcha and in the end the final product is about 1/10th of the original harvest. Although clippers can be used to harvest the tea leaves, the leaves for koicha/thick tea are still picked by hand, one by one.
Matcha is the vibrant green powdered tea used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. It is made from the leaves of shade grown tea trees. When the leaves are harvested they are steamed, dried and then further processed to remove the veins, stems and impurities. Only about 10% of the original harvest remains, and this is called the "tencha". The tencha is then ground to a fine powder often in a stone mill. It takes about one hour to produce an ounce of matcha, because grinding any faster would result in a burnt tasting tea. Today the highest grades of matcha usually remain in Japan for use in their tea ceremonies and the price can be as high as $100 an ounce. The majority of matcha available in the general market today is now ground by sophisticated machines, which make it affordable to the average tea drinker. Regardless of the grinding technique used, the production of matcha requires a great deal of hand labor, skill and time.
Matcha is becoming increasingly popular in the Japanese and international beverage and food market because of its versatility and cooking with Matcha adds health benefits to your recipes. Matcha's flavor blends well in dairy-based recipes and its powder form makes it easy to work with. Matcha is being used in ice cream, cheese cakes, cream cheese spreads, white chocolate, latte beverages, hot chocolate etc. There is virtually no limit to the recipes that matcha can be added to.
If you want to make it easy and serve unique healthy recipes, I recommend you try sprinkling green tea powder on top of ice cream, salads, beverages soups, stews and other dishes. Don’t be afraid to experiment and watch others reactions, surprise or delight and become the talk of the town!
"A day without tea is a day without joy." - Chinese proverb
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