For centuries, Matcha has been an integral part of a Japanese tradition, the tea ceremony. The Matcha tea ceremony goes hand-in-hand with the central Zen practice of meditation and is considered to be a spiritual experience that promotes mindfulness, respect and social bonding while focussing on the now. The authentic tea ceremony is an art instilled in Japanese culture, it is a complex, specific cultural performance that can last up to four hours and changes with the seasons.
Although there are many customs before and after the tea drinking, the core of the ceremony is the preparation of the Matcha that takes only a few minutes. First, the host heats up a drinking bowl with hot water. Once it has been warmed and dried, a scoop of Matcha is sieved into the bowl where a small amount of hot, but not boiling, water is added. Using a traditional bamboo whisk, the mixture is vigorously whisked until a foam appears. The final step involves adding more hot water and whisking again in a zigzag movement to achieve the perfect consistency.
During the ceremony, the Premium grade Matcha is used to ensure deep flavours and natural sweetness. There are two primary ways to prepare ceremonial Matcha, usucha, a thin tea or koicha, a thick premium beverage that requires around three times more of the green gold.
While no one is expecting you to perform these rituals with every cup, the message to take from this is to be in the present and concentrate on the powerful sensations within your body. Matcha has the ability to offer you a special, peaceful moment every day if you choose to take the time to reflect, focus and be.
Having said that, Matcha can also be enjoyed in a variety of ways throughout the day, whether at home, in the office, pre-workout or on the go. In its simplest form Matcha tea is very quick to prepare while sweetened Matcha lattes and iced Matcha options are becoming increasingly popular. Chefs are constantly developing creative and inviting ways to enjoy Matcha, from sweet desserts to savoury dishes.Take me to Matcha!