The preparation of Matcha itself is an important preface to its enjoyment. Fine tuned over centuries of tradition, there are two ways to prepare Matcha for consumption as a tea. The most commonly enjoyed form and easiest to prepare is Usucha.
Some special tools are used in the preparation of Matcha: traditionally, a small and sturdy bowl, known as a Chawan, and a fine bamboo whisk known as a Chasen are implemented. Also, a small, scoop-like bamboo rod called a Chashaku is used for measuring out Matcha powder. These tools may be hard to come by outside of Japan, so we recommend the following in substitution.
For a Chawan, any small, preferably ceramic bowl may be used. In lieu of a Chashaku, a teaspoon will do. Unfortunately, the Chasen is a most particular tool, being optimized in design for Matcha creation, and we cannot recommend a suitable substitution. Chasen can be purchased from Rishouen Tea for 3,000 yen.
Matcha is always prepared for one person each, in the same cup in which it is to be served.
For the preparation of Usucha, our Fine Matcha and Extra-Fine Matcha are particularly suitable, though any quality of Matcha may be used. However, we cannot recommend using Matcha for Cooking for making tea. Typically, the higher the rank of the Matcha, the more powder can be used.
1.5~1.7g (roughly one teaspoon) Matcha / 70ml (2.4fl oz) water
Bring water to a boil, and let cool until 167°F~176°F (75°C~80°C). It is recommended that one sifts the Matcha powder into the bowl, so that it may dissolve easily. Soften the Chasen by soaking it for about 30 seconds in warm water before using. Once sifted, add the water. Immediately use the Chasen to slowly and firmly scrape the bottom of the bowl 4 or 5 times, then vigorously whisk by flicking the wrist to create an “M” shaped back-and-forth motion. When sufficiently mixed (30 seconds of rapid whisking should be plenty) gently move the Chasen around the surface of the tea, to pop any larger bubbles that may have formed, leaving only a creamy foam. (Throughout different periods of Japanese history, Matcha served with foam went in and out of fashion. Furthermore, different schools of tea preparation teach different methods. Here at Rishouen Tea, our tea-master likes a plentiful head served with his Matcha! But to fully experience the flavor, it is better not to create a great surplus of foam.) Finally, slightly swirl the tea to create a small mound of foam in the center. Serve immediately.
For a visual demonstration of Matcha preparation, please see our Gallery page! For more tips on preparing and serving tea, please click here.