Matcha, the espresso of the tea world has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies for many years. This super concentrated form of green tea grown in the shade of the tea gardens is actual tea leaves carefully grown then stone ground into a fine vibrant green powder.
Tea farms cover the green tea plants slated for matcha production with large tarp type shades to prevent direct sunlight while the plants are growing. Less sunlight increases chlorophyll production in the leaves and increases its naturally healthy antioxidants and amino acids in particular L-theanine, which is responsible for matcha’s soothing, uplifting energy. Matcha has exceptionally high levels of L-theanine, an amino acid that famously promotes mental relaxation and alertness, helps the body deal with stress, and creates a focused sense of calm.
Matcha’s rise in popularity is due in part to its impressive health benefits. When drinking matcha, the tea leaf is ingested rather than simply steeping the leaves in water, which intensifies the flavor and delivers the maximum potency of catchins, chlorophyll, and antioxidants.
To make a cup of matcha tea use a bamboo whisk and a tea bowl:
- Sift 1 to 2 teaspoons Octavia Organic Matcha Japanese Green Tea into a cup or small tea bowl using a small sifter.
- Add 1/4 cup hot water. For best results use water just under a boil.
- Quickly whisk using a zig-zag motion till the tea is frothy.
- Matcha tea should be enjoyed from a tea bowl.
The result is a savory, creamy, full-bodied cup with bittersweet vegetal and rich umami notes. Octavia’s matcha offers a full palate with a pleasant bittersweet intensity, lightened with notes of lush grass and sweet snow peas, that mellows into a smooth, creamy finish.
Use Matcha when baking for a beautifully green, tasty treat. Matcha shortbread, Matcha muffins but, especially Matcha ice cream….YUM! The bright green of the matcha blend stays in the finished product and gives your baked goods an interestingly different look and taste for your tea tray. Check my Pinterest board for Matcha recipes for all these and more tasty treats. The matcha ice cream recipe below works well without an ice cream freezer. Just freeze the mixture overnight in the freezer section of your refrigerator for an amazingly wonderful end to a summer meal. I do love it all year long but especially in the heat of the summer.
Matcha Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Octavia Organic Matcha Japanese Green Tea
- 3 tablespoons hot water, 175F
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk, chilled in refrigerator at least 2 hours
- Before starting chill the bowl and wire whisk of a stand mixer, the heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk for at least 2 hours in refrigerator. Keeping everything cold helps the cream whip better and the sweetened condensed milk mix better with the whipped cream without deflating the whipped cream.
- Stir together the matcha powder and the hot water in a small bowl. Let it cool.
- In the chilled bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cold heavy cream on high until stiff peak form (about 5 minutes).
- In a small bowl, mix the matcha and the sweetened condensed milk together, blending well.
- Fold the tea mixture into the whipped cream; folding carefully with a spatula until combined.
- Pour the Matcha ice cream mixture into a freezer-safe container (I like to use a glass loaf pan) and cover with plastic wrap then foil to ensure air tight seal. No one wants their ice cream to taste like everything that’s in your freezer.
- Place in freezer section of refrigerator for at least 5 to 6 hours; overnight is best.
Above all, make sure you pay attention to the type of Matcha you use. Octavia Tea’s Matcha, organically grown and processed far surpasses other cheaper brands on the market. Remember when using matcha, you ingest the entire tea leaf not just the steeped brew. So always choose a matcha that is grown responsibly; organic for the best health results.
This post is part of an A-2-Z Writing Challenge for the month of April where you write everyday except Sundays with the next letter of the alphabet.