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How to Make Matcha

In ancient times, Monks performing day-long chants at ritual ceremonies in Japan noticed that if they ground up green tea leaves and drank them mixed with warm water beforehand, it gave them wonderful powers of concentration and steady focus throughout the day. This is the origin of the matcha we now drink today, and which gives us these same benefits of concentration and calm alertness.

Learn Traditional and Modern Ways to Prepare Matcha

In the Japanese tea ceremony, there are two ways to prepare matcha, either thick (koicha) or thin (usucha).

Depending on the tea school's philosophy, the thin style might have a peaked foam with very few bubbles or virtually no foam at all.

Most people prefer thin matcha with a frothy head as the thick style has a pudding consistency and is often much too strong to enjoy as a drink. 

Here are some tips to ensure the best results whichever method you choose, followed by the two traditional methods and then some modern techniques.

  • As with all matcha preparation, it’s vital to sift the powder to avoid clumping and to ensure the microparticles suspend in the water.

  • A matcha furui is a professional tool that makes it easy to accurately sift the matcha.

  • If the matcha isn’t sifted, it will have a gritty texture and much of the matcha will remain in the bottom of your bowl or cup.

matcha furui sieve

FURUI MATCHA SIFTER

Sift your matcha the professional way with this specialized tool

£69.95 GBP

chasen bamboo matcha whisk

CHASEN MATCHA WHISK

The traditional matcha whisk made from bamboo. Get a frothy foamy top with a chasen bamboo whisk

From £18.75 GBP

 

  • Next ensure your chawan or matcha preparation bowl (try using a yuzamashi - also designed for cooling water for steeped tea) is heated with boiling water, while at the same time, place the bamboo whisk (chasen) in the bowl to relax the tines to avoid breakage.

  • Set the relaxed whisk aside, pour out the water, and fully dry the bowl. If the bowl is not thoroughly dried, the sifted matcha will stick to the bottom and can’t be whisked.

yuzamashi matcha mixing bowl side view
SPECIAL OFFER

YUZAMASHI MIXING BOWL

Achieve matcha perfection with this special preparation bowl.

From £44.75 GBP

large yuzamashi for mixing matcha

YUZAMASHI MIXING BOWL (LARGE)

Pouring lips on both sides make this the perfect matcha making bowl for the ambidextrous !

£29.95 GBP

Now you are ready to whisk usucha, koicha, or make a modern matcha drink...

1. Usucha

The following method is the most popular style which produces a heady foam that peaks in the middle of the bowl and contains as few bubbles as possible... 

  • Start the process with a high-quality ceremonial grade matcha - our Silk, Lush or Halo are ideal!

  • Using a chashaku (bamboo matcha scoop), place two scoops or one teaspoon (approximately 2 grams) of sifted powder into the heated and fully dried bowl. Immediately replace the matcha canister lid to avoid oxidation.

  • Gently pour 80ml or 2.75 ounces of water at 80°C or 176°F into the bowl, trying not to splash the matcha.

  • With a bamboo chasen, slowly start to whisk in a straight line or a zig-zag (representing different schools of philosophy) for 3 to 5 seconds and then speed up as fast as you can without hitting the bottom or sides of the bowl. Continue whisking until a heady froth builds up. This could take more time than you think. 

  • When the foam starts to have a subtle white hue, slow down the whisking but do not stop suddenly, then slowly circle the chasen around the bowl to burst any large bubbles. 

  • Pull the chasen straight out from the center of the bowl and DO NOT tap it on the side of the bowl to release any foam on the whisk.

  • Pour the matcha into a chawan or your drinking vessel of choice!

 

Here is a video demonstration of the method, filmed at our matcha green tea cafe in Japan...

 

2. Koicha

The most important aspect of this style is the quality of matcha. Only attempt this with the best available quality due to the intensity of the experience. This is not a tea for first time matcha drinkers! You will also want to prep your palate with a sweet before consuming koicha.

  • Using a bamboo chashaku, place 6 - 8 scoops (3-4 teaspoons) of sifted matcha into the heated and dried bowl. 

  • Gently pour 45ml or 1.5 ounces of water at 80°C or 176°F into the bowl, trying not to splash the matcha. Have extra heated water at hand.

In contrast to usucha, this style does not want any foam but rather a paste will form.

  • In a circular motion, using the heated bamboo chasen, start slowly kneading the contents until a paste forms, adding any extra heated water as needed until you have a thick pudding-like drink.

3. Matcha shot

A modern take on the traditional usucha. This was a big hit at our Matcha Bar in Kobe, Japan.

  • Heat your bamboo whisk (chasen) and your preparation bowl -  or Yuzamashi, which has a pour spout.  Heating opens up the flavour and aroma of your Matcha, and prevents the tines on your whisk from breaking.

  • Thoroughly dry the inside of your bowl to prevent the Matcha from sticking to it.

  • Using a Matcha Furui or tea strainer, sift 2-4 grams of Matcha into your bowl. Sifting prevents lumps from forming and helps produce that luxuriously creamy cap.

  • Gently pour 100ml (3 oz) of fresh water at 75-80˚C (167-176°F) close to the edge of the bowl, not directly on the sifted Matcha. This prevents the powder from flying up to the rim of the bowl so you can't whisk it. 

  • Using your heated chasen, slowly start whisking back and forth in a straight line and speed up as fast as you can go without hitting the sides of the bowl. The motion is similar to scrubbing a potato, not beating an egg. It helps to raise your elbow and keep your wrist straight so the power comes from your arm. Some tea ceremony schools say to whisk in a W or an M but we prefer back-and-forth, Yabunouchi style. 

  • Just as you slow down the frothing motion, slowly drag the chasen through the foam to break any large bubbles. Then lift the chasen straight out of the Matcha. 

  • Pour it into a tiny cup or sip it straight from your bowl and enjoy! Matcha is designed to be sipped quickly. It's 3 to 5 sips in a tea ceremony. Lingering simply makes it separate...and subtly tells your host you don't like it!

 

4. Matcha Latte

Here we'll show you how to make the best matcha latte you'll ever experience! 

In our cafe this was our signature drink, the Chiki Tea Matchaccino

 

  • Pour boiling water into a mug to heat it. 

  • Pour out the water and add 15 ml or a tablespoon of vanilla-flavored syrup (not essence). Substitute a dash of vanilla extract and sugar or stevia if required.

  • If steaming milk with a Nespresso frother or other similar electric device, add milk and start it the moment you start to whisk. When the frothing is complete, so will the whisking. If you are steaming milk by hand with an espresso machine, complete the whisking, then steam the milk.

  • In a heated and dried preparation bowl (yuzamashi), add 3 grams of sifted matcha. Immediately replace the matcha canister lid to avoid oxidation.

    • We use 1.5g each of Muse and Lush.

    • By blending the two, we have found the perfect matcha balance to stand above the milk and elevate the experience.

  • Gently pour 60ml (2 oz) of water at 80°C or 176°F into the bowl, trying not to splash the matcha. If you have a bamboo hishaku water scoop, use one scoop.

  • With a bamboo chasen slowly start to whisk the Matcha for 3 to 5 seconds and then speed up to as fast as you can without hitting the bottom or sides of the bowl. Continue whisking until a heady froth builds up or the Nespresso machine turns off. 

  • Remove the chasen and set it aside on its handle. DO NOT tap it on the side of the bowl. 

  • Forcefully pour the whisked matcha into the mug so the vanilla syrup and matcha mix together. Then add the frothed milk immediately to maintain the correct frothy consistency. If you wait too long, the froth reduces. Get fancy and make a heart on top!

 

5. Iced Matcha

This modern style is quick to grasp and prepare as the only tool required is a cocktail shaker or something like a mason jar with a tight sealing lid. Because the water is ice cold, the matcha will have a mellow and sweet taste, releasing any bitterness.

  • Place 3 grams of sifted matcha into the shaker. 

  • Add 4 large ice cubes and 250ml (approx 8 oz) of cold water. 

  • Seal the lid tightly and shake as vigorously as possible for about 15 to 20 seconds to produce a foam. 

  • Pour into a chilled glass and top with ice if needed.

For a variation on this technique, see our friend Alex, shake it up good...

iced matcha

Matcha Making Kit For Beginners

If you are feeling ill-equipped to make a delicious matcha drink, fear not as we have put together the essentials in our Chiki Tea SILK Matcha Starter Kit.

This includes:

  • 40g canister of SILK (our very best matcha),
  • yuzamashi preparation bowl,
  • chasen whisk,
  • chasen whisk stand ( we just added this for free! )
  • chashaku matcha scoop.

silk matcha deluxe set

Buy Here

 

 

 

 

There's lots more to discover about matcha on these pages...

> Amazing Matcha Recipes: Make our cafe best-selling Matcha Smoothie!

> How to Find The Best Matcha To Buy: Don't Be Fooled By Dropshippers!

> Matcha Grades & Quality: What Qualifies As Ceremonial Grade Matcha?

> Matcha Health Benefits: The Truth About All The Health Claims Uncovered

> Matcha Making Equipment: All You Really Need To Make Matcha

> Storing Matcha Correctly: Why You Should Always Buy Matcha That's Sold In A Can!

 

 

Our Chiki Tea online store offers a wide selection of premium quality Japanese Green Teas, including award-winning Gyokuro and matcha from Yame, as well as a variety of personally selected loose leaf teas. We work closely with our farmers and suppliers to bring you the best quality teas we can find, most of which are never normally sold outside Japan. We also have a range of specially selected tea-ware including tea-pots (kyusu), cups (yunomi), whisks (chasen) and other equipment such as preparation bowls (yuzamashi) and tea-caddies (chazutsu). Please read our guides on preparing Japanese Green Tea, how to find the best green tea, and the many health benefits from drinking matcha and green tea. We ship worldwide, including USA, and we accept payments in US dollars and UK pounds via credit card or Paypal money transfer. We hope you can find something for yourself, or to send as a gift using our complimentary gift-wrapping service. We also offer Gift-Cards in USD and GBP. Just click the button below to get started.


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