TRADITIONAL MATCHA RECIPE
So you’ve tried matcha at cafes and experimented with shaking iced matcha at home. You may be ready to take your next step in your matcha journey and start making traditional hot matcha by hand. We can step you through the process.
Now lets talk about the tools you will need. First and foremost, you’ll need a whisk. In Japan this is called a chasen and is traditionally made of bamboo though you can now see versions made of plastic or metal. With chasen, the more more tines, the better and given that you’re dealing with a natural material fine chasen are often hand made. We work to import batches of a chasen that are of a fine quality and a reasonable price. Check our accessories section to see what we have available.
If you buy a chasen, you should buy a chasen stand, which is called as chasen tate. Chasen tate allow for the bristles of the chasen to dangle and dry out. In addition, I think they do a nice job of protecting the chasen from being damaged. Chasen tate are often ceramic, but glass metal or most stones would word just as well. Just remember that it’s a surface for drying so water shouldn’t be an issue. If it doesn’t come with your chasen you can buy one for $10-$15 that easily does the job.
Sieve - Sifter
This is the most critical and overlooked tool in the process. It is neither steeped in Japanese lore, nor easily found in western kitchens. A small sieve or sifter is critical to not having powder clots in your matcha. The bad news is that you probably don’t have one that fits your chawan or bowl, but the good news is that they can be found on Amazon for $5-$10.
You’ve picked out a matcha whisk, whisk stand, and bowl. If you’ve come this far, you are probably interested in the bamboo scoop that matcha connoisseurs use. They provide 2 benefits to the process that will probably appeal to two different people. #1. They complete the authentic look. That said, their second benefit is arguably both overlooked and more important. Relative to other tools, they are more useful for getting your expensive matcha flaky enough to fall through your sieve. It’s great to have a tool to do this that is already dirty from scooping the matcha to begin with. That said, if you aren’t interested in buying a chashaku, that’s OK. From a scooping perspective, it functionally is no different from simply using a teaspoon.
Chawan - (Bowl)
Finally it all gets mixed together in a chawan bowl. The upside to buying a dedicated chawan is that they are beautiful, and are super useful for anything you want to drink hot, in a larger format, directly from the bowl. We enjoy using it for other teas, hot cocoa, or even our homemade matcha ice cream.
We don’t sell chawan because they vary widely, and are unique to personal taste. We prefer buying them in person, as they are often hand made, with every bowl telling a unique story. If you don’t want to buy a bowl, anything that comes close to being roughly 5 inches across the bottom, with 3-4 insides should work. Larger bowls are more ideal if you are doubling or tripling the recipe.
When you get and master the tools, you may be relieved to find out that traditional handmade matcha is made with just matcha powder and water. Notes on these two ingredients below.
- The amounts in the recipe are for a single serving of matcha. If you want to make 2x or 4x this recipe because you are serving multiple people or want a larger glass there is no reason why you can’t experiment with this. Results will really depend on the size of bowl, Chasen or Whisk, and whisking effort.
- Matcha comes in ceremonial and culinary grade. Though the term ceremonial may seem too expensive or pretentious, it isn’t. The really key here is to think of the term “culinary” to be equivalent to the “cooking” in cooking wine. Ceremonial grade is what you’ll want to use if you making traditional matcha.
- The final ingredient is the water. Distilled is probably better, but to be honest we like our water so don’t bother with this. The big stickler here is temperature. With matcha, our target is 180 F or 80 C. Ideally you have a water kettle that tells you the temp and you can set it and forget it. The next best is to have a water kettle that just “clicks” when it hits it’s decent temp. Though not ideal, you won’t be super wrong using one of these kettles. Short of having either of these kettles or a a thermometer, you should heat the water until it has very large bubbles, but not so hot such that the bubbles are replaced quickly by other bubbles from below. I realize it sounds crazy, you really need to experiment with your water and heat source.
- Sift 1 teaspoon (2g) using a small sieve or sifter.
- Pour 2oz/60ml, 180ºF/80ºC of hot water into the matcha bowl.
- Move the matcha whisk (chasen) in “M” motion until the surface froths, about 15 second. If you are unsure on method, we have demonstrated this in an Instagram video.
Tip※: Pour the hot water into the empty bowl and throw the water away before you put matcha powder. This way, it is easier to whisk.