Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Matcha Making With Maiko Tea

After learning about making Gyokuro tea (read my earlier post here), I was also able to learn how to make matcha.

And oh, the Maiko that I'm talking about is not a maiko who is a geiko apprentice lah, but rather the superior Japanese tea brand, Maiko Tea. 
Items needed for making matcha:
1. Matcha (of course)
2. Matchawan (matcha bowl)
3. Chasen (whisk)
4. Chasaku (wooden spoon)
5. Sweets to enjoy with the matcha (OK, this one not items to make tea but to enjoy tea with...)

Stand the chasen in the matchawan then pour hot water into the cup to warm up the cup and the chasen's bristles.
Discard the hot water and add matcha.

Use the chashaku to put the powdered matcha into the bowl, about two full drops or around 2g of matcha.

Of course, it also depends on our own preference.
When I tap my matchawan, I saw lumps forming in the powdered tea. It is important not topour hot water into the cup, since this might cause the lumps to stay that way.
Tea master Toshiya Nakabo showed us this cute utensil which is a whisk stand and measuring cup. It is used to cool down boiling water before we pour the water into our matchawan.
I poured hot water until the top line of the bamboo design, and then carefully poured the water into my matchawan.
Whisk it with the chasen until all the lumps are gone to make it look like this.
Pour hot water into the bowl. The amount of hot water used should be around 60-70 ml and the temperature of the water about 80-90 degrees celsius.

Then use the chasen to stir. The handle of the whisk should be held firmly with your hand while your wrist makes rapid, jerking movements back and forth. Move the whisk as if you are writing the letter "M" into the bowl. The tip of the whisk should never touch the bottom of the bowl. 

We were told that it was easier to whisk in a standing position so our arm is straight, rather than doing it while sitting down on a chair. But the traditional way would see us sitting down but our arm will be positioned straight anyway.
When the surface of the tea looks like a creamy broth with foam consisting of many tiny bubbles, it is ready to serve.
I enjoyed mine with matcha ball chocolate. Eating sweets with matcha sure enhances the experience.
The two hour session learning about making gyokuro and matcha with tea master Toshiya Nakabo was sure a fun and informative experience.

With what I learn that day, I can appreciate more the art of tea drinking in Japan.

Thank you to Maiko Tea for the session.

And oh, products of Maiko tea - selling all sorts of superior Japanese tea and also tea utensils and snacks are available at their website: MaikoTea Japan.
Alternatively, one can purchase it at Iloha Culture Centre at 21-1 Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur. It's very close to Bangsar Village.

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