What is matcha and how to use it best at home?

Good question! So what is matcha green tea exactly and which one should you buy?

You have probably heard of matcha green tea before. But what is matcha green tea exactly and how do you use it at home?

Pretty sure you have heard of matcha green tea before.

But what is matcha green tea exactly and how to use it at home?

Which type of matcha green tea should you buy to start with?

What is matcha tea?

Chances are that you have come across matcha in a recipe before.

Or seen it on TV or read about it in a culinary magazine.

But what is matcha tea?

Matcha green tea consists of Japanese tea leaves that are steamed, dried and finely ground after picking them.

Because the tea plants are shielded from direct sunlight three weeks before picking, the tender leaves can fully develop their full color. This is what gives matcha green tea powder its typical bright green color.

This Japanese green tea is not exactly cheap because the production of it is very labor intensive to process and make.

In addition, you will also notice a price difference in the tea shops between different matcha green tea powders and that has to do with their quality.

What is matcha tea, which one should you buy and how to use it?

You will mainly find 2 types of matcha green tea in the shop: the cheaper culinary green tea and the expensive ceremonial green tea.

Ceremonial tea

Top quality matcha green tea powder is only used to make tea.

In Japan, matcha green tea is prepared during a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, where the matcha green powder is carefully stirred in a bowl with hot water using a bamboo brush until it is frothy. You probably have seen that before.

The type of matcha green tea that is used in such a ceremony is the most expensive because it is made from the youngest tea leaf sprouts that are harvested first, so they do not have time to become bitter.

Before grinding, the tougher stems and leaf veins are first removed. This gives ceremonial matcha green tea its characteristic ultra fine texture.

Ceremonial matcha green tea has a light grassy flavor with a subtle hint of lime.

Culinary uses

What is matcha tea used in as well?

Culinary matcha green tea is best used in the kitchen.

Add it to hot preparations and desserts such as panna cotta, ice cream or a batter to make matcha green tea cakes, pancakes and waffles.

Dissolve the matcha first in a little warm milk, otherwise the green tea powder will stick together in one lump and it will be hard to use.

Matcha is also often used in fish dishes, including in herb crusts or sauces.

What is matcha for cooking and why is it cheaper?

For this variety, the older leaves are picked and they are slightly more bitter. This makes them unsuitable for ceremonial matcha green tea.

Making a matcha latte or a smoothie? Better use this culinary matcha green tea that is able to stand up to extra flavors.

Culinary matcha green tea has a slightly more robust and less refined grassy flavor with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

What is matcha tea used in?

Give my easy matcha green tea pan cotta below a try!

What is matcha good for?

What is matcha good for?

The health benefits of matcha green tea are numerous.

It is high in antioxidants, gives your metabolism a boost and burns calories. Matcha green tea may help to prevent heart disease and lowers high blood pressure

It is also good for your skin.

Storage

Oxygen, light and heat are components that will have an effect on the subtle flavor of matcha green tea once you open the package.

Keep matcha green tea powder in an airtight container in a dry and cool place.

What is matcha tea?

Now you know!

Easy matcha green tea panna cotta

Are you familiar with green tea?

What is matcha green tea and what do you know about it? I am sure that matcha rings a bell somehow. Maybe you have tried a matcha latte before?

What is matcha tea used in? What do you think of my matcha green tea panna cotta below?

A few weeks ago I received an email from a tea shop asking if I would like to try out their premium Uji matcha and also create a few recipes with it.

A few days later a package arrived, containing 2 containers of matcha tea.

I love matcha green tea.

Especially after visiting Japan a few years back. I fell hard for their matcha latte. And I think it is also fair to say that I probably had one every single day of our trip.

You wouldn’t even believe how many foods and dishes I have come across that contained matcha! What is matcha tea used in? In sorbet, cake, pastries, soups, candy, waffles, pasta…

Matcha desserts

And yes, I have tasted them all.

But I never cooked with matcha before to be honest. I like a good culinary challenge so roll up your sleeves and learn! What is matcha tea used in? The very first recipe idea that popped into my mind was one of my classic desserts: panna cotta!

So matcha green tea panna cotta it is.

Let’s get cracking.

I received 2 packages of matcha.

One matcha for drinks and the other one is a culinary grade for cooking. Needless to say that I used the culinary grade matcha to make my matcha green tea panna cotta.

My panna cotta recipe below is very easy.

It contains very simple ingredients.

You have probably heard of matcha green tea before. But what is matcha green tea exactly and how do you use it at home?

Preparation

First of all: sift the matcha.

If you then add the matcha all in one go to the cream, you will end up with little green lumps, no matter how well you whisk it. That is why you have to dissolve the matcha in a little bit of warm milk and then add this back to the pan.

Do you still end up with little green specks?

Mixer

Give your warm matcha cream one last firm blitz treatment using an electric mixer – right before you add the gelatine. By doing that your panna cotta will have this impeccable pale green color, just like the one in my picture.

I let the matcha green tea panna cotta chill in the fridge overnight.

The next day the hubs and I tasted it. Holy mackerel. The flavor was absolutely to die for! It is creamy, smooth, flavorful, light and refreshing.

Taste test

Spectacular.

What wowed me the most though was the subtle zesty taste that the panna cotta had in the end. I didn’t add any lemon or lime juice to it so it could only be the matcha that adds that fresh and herby edge.

Delicious!

How to serve panna cotta

Serve the green tea panna cotta in its ramekin, or flip it over and serve it on a plate.

Here is how you can do that best: run a sharp knife around the edge of the set panna cotta to loosen it a little. Then warm a little water in a saucepan and place the ramekins in it for just a couple of seconds.

Warm water

If you leave it in the warm water for too long, your green tea panna cotta will become runny again.

Place a plate on top of the ramekin and flip it over. If the panna cotta isn’t moving, put it in the warm water again for just a handful of seconds and then try again.

Finish your matcha green tea panna cotta with a light sprinkle of sifted matcha.

I couldn’t be more happy with the way the matcha green tea panna cotta turned out!

Premium uji matcha

Now I am looking for more recipes with matcha.

I will be doing a latte this weekend with the latte grade matcha! What is matcha tea used in? I am thinking of making a cake, a quick mug cake or matcha pancakes.

And how about making salmon with a matcha crust?

Enjoy!

Easy Matcha Green Tea Panna Cotta Recipe

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 5 min
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp matcha green tea (culinary grade), sifted
  • 4,5 oz cream (125 ml)
  • ¼ cup whole milk (60 ml)
  • 3 oz unsweetened yogurt (90 g)
  • 1 oz icing sugar (28 g), sifted
  • 1 sheet gelatin (or ¼ envelope or ¼ tbsp granulated gelatin)
  • vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. What is matcha tea used in? Combine the cream and milk in a small saucepan. Place it for about 6 minutes over medium-low heat until simmering.
  2. Stir regularly. In the meantime soak the sheet of gelatin in cold water for a few minutes. If you are using granulated gelatin, then skip this step! The gelatin will become soft after 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the warm cream and milk mixture from the heat.
  4. Add 3 tbsp of the warm cream mixture to a small cup and quickly stir in the matcha green tea.
  5. Then return the matcha mixture back to the pan. Also add the sifted sugar.
  6. Stir well to avoid any lumps. Also add the soaked gelatin (or granulated gelatin) and yogurt.
  7. Stir the cream well. Now pour the warm panna cotta into lightly oiled glasses or ramekins.
  8. Chill the panna cotta for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight) in the fridge until set fully. Serve the panna cotta in its ramekin or flip it over on a plate.
  9. Finish with a light sprinkle of sifted matcha green tea.
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Little Cooking Tips
Little Cooking Tips

We have bought recently some matcha green tea. Not the ceremonial one, since it’s very hard to find here in Greece, but the one sold in small pouches in the super markets. Well… we didn’t exactly favor its flavor! We though we were drinking seafood. 😀 Is this how it normally tastes?
After reading this post though we are willing to give it another chance 😉 Thank you guys! You are doing an amazing job!

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