New to matcha? Trying to figure it out? Let’s talk about some the basic tools & ingredients you need to make a good matcha drink.
- Matcha Powder
- Whisk & Bowl
- Cold water or hot water
Let’s start with…
You can buy matcha at many grocery stores… but I like to buy my matcha online because it’s cheaper and better quality. What should you look for and how much should you expect to pay?
If it’s a quality product with no other additive flavors or sweeteners, matcha is expensive. For pure matcha powder, costs range from $10 to $25 for 30g of culinary (everyday) matcha. Prices for ceremonial matcha (high quality matcha for tea ceremonies) can be much higher.
Be conscious of what you’re buying. For ultimate health, you want to avoid products that have added sugar. Be wary of anything that is super cheap compared to other matcha products. If it’s significantly cheaper, it likely has added sugar or flavorings. More sugar and less matcha means… more calories and less health benefits for you!
Check the ingredients! It’s a bit different looking for the ingredients online vs. on a package. Scroll down to find the ingredients and be on the lookout for these words to avoid:
- Avoid “Sweet” matcha – it usually has added cane sugar or other sugar varian
t. It may be a good intro to matcha, but it’s not the healthiest option. If you’re new to matcha, it will take a bit to acclimate to the flavor. (Remember your first sip of coffee?) You can always add your own sugar. I recommend that you buy the real stuff and sweeten to taste.
- Be wary of any flavored matcha product with notes such as ginger, yuzu (citrus), blueberry, raspberry, etc. These products usually have cane sugar or other sugar additive. In my opinion, the flavor subtracts from the quality of the product… gram for gram or ounce for ounce, it likely costs less than pure matcha powder, but don’t be fooled. The company is making bank off of the sugar/flavor that they’ve added to dilute the real product: matcha powder! Don’t get me wrong… sweetened/flavored matcha products can be a good intro to matcha. I still recommend that you buy pure matcha and sweeten/flavor to your own palate.
Here are some websites that offer some great quality tea & matcha products (watch for the sweetened/flavored products):
- Tenzo Matcha Premium
- Rishi Everyday Matcha
- MatchaBarNYC (if you like Dig Inn, they carrry Matchabar products)
- Republic of Tea
Whisk & bowl
Ok, so I first want you to check out some awesome tutorials on how to prepare matcha:
- Matcha iced tea from Tenzo (iced tea is easiest. A great intro to matcha!)
- Easy Matchaeologist video for iced or boiled (you want your water to come short of boiling, 160-180F)
Did you notice some tools used in these videos? A bamboo whisk and a bowl? That’s what you need to make matcha!
You can do matcha without these things, but the bamboo whisk and bowl (you can use a cereal bowl) make it much easier and more delicious. Without the whisk and proper bowl, the matcha powder can ball up and become chunky. Yuck! Chunky, chewy matcha is the worst!
The learning curve is just like making coffee… only easier, I swear! You don’t need to buy any fancy equipment. No espresso maker or Keurig. All you need to do is pour water (hot or cold) into a bowl, drop some matcha powder, and whisk, using circular motions. If you don’t want to buy a bamboo whisk yet, you can use a metal whisk or even a fork to start.
To make ice cold matcha tea, it’s easy! You can take water straight from the tap and make a delicious matcha drink. Make sure to pour the water in the bowl before you add the matcha powder. Otherwise, the powder will stick to the bottom of the bowl. If you do protein shakes… you’ll understand the pain of getting a glob of powder stuck to the bottom of your shaker. What a waste of expensive product! Water first, then powder.
Once you’ve whisked your matcha + water, you can pour it into a glass with ice and add some milk, non-dairy milk, or seltzer water depending on your taste! In the summer, I love citrus flavored seltzer paired with matcha (lime, lemon, or orange)!
If you want hot matcha, you should aim for below boiling, or 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit. Water that is too hot can ruin the taste of matcha and affect the antioxidant properties! I like to boil my water in a tea kettle, pour it into my matcha bowl, and then add some cold tap water to cool it down before scooping my matcha powder in. Whisk it up, pour it in a mug, and add milk or non-dairy milk to taste!
I prefer to use unsweetened vanilla almond milk to make iced or hot matcha. If you’re new to matcha, I recommend you add some sugar to taste, or purchase a sweetened non-dairy milk. It’s delicious!