Matcha's popularity has seen a huge uptick lately. You've probably heard of this powdered green tea by now, but have you tried it yet?
What Is Matcha, Exactly?
Don't just lob matcha in the green tea bucket — it's so much more than that! Matcha is a type of high-quality Japanese green tea that's been steamed, dried, and ground into a fine powder. While other types of green tea can be grown in many parts of the world, matcha is unique to Japan.
Matcha is typically divided into two categories: thin (usucha) and thick (koicha). The difference is in the grade and style of the tea. And while matcha does have caffeine, it's considerably less than a cup of coffee.
Matcha has a unique taste. When made well, it has a smooth blend of bitter and sweet, fragrant flavors with the characteristic greenness associated with green tea.
Read more: Will Matcha Become the New Espresso?
Buying and Storing Matcha
While the main places to find good matcha powder used to be reserved for tea shops and the internet, it's becoming more and more widely available. Look for matcha at Japanese markets, organic markets, and grocery stores like Whole Foods. If it's not in your local market just yet, give it a little more time — there's a good chance it will show up soon.
Store matcha powder in the refrigerator in a sealed, airtight container. Once opened, matcha is best used within a few weeks.
How to Use Matcha
Of course you can brew matcha into a simple tea or even a latte, but why stop there? Blend matcha powder into ice cream, pudding, shakes, and smoothies. Bake it into cookies, cakes, muffins, and bread. Try it in a marinade or sauce. Get creative — there's no limit to all the ways you should be drinking (and eating!) matcha.
Great Ways to Use Matcha
Have you ever tried matcha? What's you favorite way to enjoy it?