Traditional matcha preparation
1. Preparation of hot water
One often overlooked key element when making matcha tea is the water. Using the softest water possible will produce the best results as it will least affect the taste of the matcha. Filtered bottled water is typically soft because of the low levels of calcium and magnesium. Tap water should be filtered in a water purifier. Bring the water to the boiling point at least once and then cooled to between 70°C and 80°C. An easy way to achieve this temperature is to pour boiling water over twice in another bowl or into a yuzamashi (a vessel designed specifically to adjust the water temperature.
2. Pre-warm matcha tea bowl
To pre-warm the matcha bowl, fill it about 1/3 full with hot water. Then place the tips of the chasen, a tea whisk, into the hot water (make sure to only wet the tips of the prongs). Once the bowl has been thoroughly preheated, pour out the water and dry the bowl completely with a cloth such as a chakin.
3. Sifting of matcha tea powder
Sifting matcha will allow it to dissolve more easily. Add the desired amount of matcha for one serving into the sifter. Use either a chashaku, a tea spoon used to measure out a serving of matcha powder, or a measuring spoon to press the tea through the net of the sifter into the pre-warmed dry bowl. We suggest using 1 gram of matcha for every 2 ounces of water (please adjust the amount of matcha based on your taste).
4. Whisking of matcha
Add hot water to the matcha bowl and mix with the chasen tea whisk. Raise the chasen a little from the bottom and whip vigorously back and forth with the wrist and arm (make a W or M pattern when whisking). When the tea is sufficiently aired and turned into a fine creamy foam, slow down and move the chasen on the surface to remove larger bubbles and to make an even smooth surface. Finally, turn the chasen slowly around the bowl and lift it carefully from the center to produce a little mound.
5. Serving match
Enjoy the warm matcha as either koicha (thick tea) or usucha (thin tea)
Or add ice cubes to to turn the warm matcha into a refreshing ice tea. Ensure to use soft water when making ice cubes to minimize altering the taste of the matcha.
Additionally, if less foam is desired, this can be achieved by whisking less vigorously and less thoroughly.