It is often said that “the proof in the pudding is in the eating”, which would be very true for anything we eat or even use. Till we actually have a feel of something either in taste in our mouths or by use in our hands we would not know how it would be. If we are to experience anything in life it would be important to do it the right and appropriate way so that we could get the better of it.
Preparation or brewing of any type of tea would depend largely on how we go about it. Unlike anything of recent descent, manufacture or cultivation, whatever has been in the public domain for centuries would have been tried and tested to get the best out. Traditions passed down through generations could help us in such endeavors ensuring that we just follow them without much hesitation as we could be rest assured that such methods would be the best and relevant to what is at hand.
The consumption of Tea
Tea has been consumed by man for centuries and has a history dating back to around the second century BC, originating in Southwest China, then moving across to Japan and then subsequently overwhelming the world. Tea has been consumed through the centuries and is today considered as the next most popular drink after water and that provides tea quite a position among the world populace.
The preparation and consumption of tea could be likened to a ritual of sorts and is today a beverage for social integration across many cultures. This is clearly explained in theas well. It is this intricate social order that tea has established to its name that we drink tea as a natural drink with many advantages to boost our body and mind.
The different types of teas have unique brewing methods which are not what has been introduced recently but which have been passed down through the generations. These brewing methods have been developed through a process of trial and error and have been employed for hundreds of years hence its effectiveness is without question.
Matchu green tea
The brewing of Matcha Tea which is one of the most pricey and healthy varieties of tea that is around has a very unique brewing method. The farming, harvesting and processing is also very special and when it is ready to be brewed and consumed it stands out among the rest of the teas green and black teas as unique. Matcha tea is made available in very fine talc like powder form. You would need to sift it again before brewing to ensure that it is the finest powder that you would use in the brewing process.
There are two distinct tried and tested methods to brew Matcha tea, one called the usucha which is a weaker and popular way and the other referred to as the koicha, the stronger and thicker method employed by those who would prefer how their tea to be.
In the brewing of usucha about a teaspoon of the powdered Matcha Tea should be placed in a bowl and about 70ml of hot water not boiling water should be poured gently onto it. If you prefer the koicha then you would need to place the same amount of Matcha tea but reduce the quantity of water to 50ml. The reason to avoid using water at boiling point is to ensure that none of the natural plant nutrients and the abundance of antioxidants are not destroyed in the brewing process. The hot water should not exceed 170 degrees Fahrenheit if you are to brew the most ideal and healthiest Matcha tea that you every taste whilst absorbing its total goodness inherent in it.
If the water is too hat and above 170 degrees Fahrenheit it would extract more of the catechins and caffeine bring an extraordinary bitterness to the brew. If the water is at the lower temperature it would extract more of the prevailing amino acids resulting in a flavor, which are popularly referred to as umami flavors.
After pouring the water using a traditional bamboo whisk which is available to prepare Matcha and other green teas, you would need to start at the bottom of the bowl in a circular action to pick up the fine powder. Then you should slowly lift the whisk and whisk at the middle of the bowl refraining from touching the bottom again. The circular motion should mix the fine powder into the water and also work up a pleasant frothy lather which would float on the water.
Once you have completed the brewing you bowl of Matcha tea has to be consumed within a period of three minutes to enjoy the real goodness and flavor in it. Failing to do so would separate the fine powder from the water and drop to the bottom of the bowl as a sediment.
Brewing other teas
The harvesting and processing of other teas would be different to Matcha tea as they would not be fine powdered as the latter and hence would need to be strained and separated after the brewing process. The water used to brew other green and black varieties of teas would be hotter and some at boiling point to extract the flavor and aroma. The leaves would be coarse and would have the stems and the veins but not in Matcha tea where these would have been removed before being ground and powdered.
There is a very distinct difference in many aspects when we compare good quality Matcha tea with other varieties of green and black tea. Green teas are gaining in popularity around the world because of the inherent goodness it would provide compared to black tea. Of all the green teas Matcha which is more expensive takes pride of place and is just what all discerning tea drinkers would look for when they would want the best of tea that they could consume.