When it comes to matcha, there are some who don't like the froth, but for many others, it just isn't the same without it. If nothing else, the froth makes matcha even more pleasing to the eye, contrasting its vibrant green colour.
The froth on a cup of matcha is not simply from your vigorous whisking (though it does help), but rather from a compound in the matcha powder itself called saponin. Some matcha has higher saponin content than others, but all quality matcha should froth. If your cup of matcha isn't frothing the way you would like, the mistake may lie in the brewing process. Could you be making one of these three mistakes?
Not Sifting Your Matcha
Sifting seems like a superfluous step when it comes to matcha prep. I mean, does it really make a difference? If you want some good froth it does. As matcha is ground into a super-fine powder, the particles have a tendency to clump together and pack very easily. If your Chasen whisking skills are tea ceremony-grade, you may be able to whisk the lumps away in time, but for most home drinkers they don't completely dissolve.
If you want froth, sift your powder before adding water.
Is the Water Hot Enough?
You know the story. It's too early for even the birds to be up, but you need to get to work. So as soon as the kettle starts to even slightly whistle, you start pouring. However, if you are using was below 80 degrees C, your matcha may not froth correctly.
Consider cold brew matcha. It is brewed with ice cold water, shaken vigorously, but only has a little, if any, froth to it. Using water hotter than optimum temperature is fine (but definitely not boiling), but never use colder if you want some serious frothiness to that cup of morning matcha.
Is Your Water Ratio Right?
Contrary to the belief that more matcha powder means more froth, it actually just results in a less enjoyable cup of tea. You don't need a whole bowl of matcha powder to make an enjoyable drink, you simply need to get the ratio of powder to water right so that it doesn't end up too thick (unless you're preparing 'thick tea') or too weak . The ratio is typically 60 to 70 ml of water to 2 grams of matcha powder, which is about a 1/2 - 1 teaspoon. In a proper matcha bowl, this leaves plenty of room for the drink to swirl and expand while it is whisked so that it doesn't slosh over the sides. This room for movement is crucial to in order to create frothing.
There is a reason that brewing matcha in Japanese tea ceremony is an art. To make the perfect cup of matcha, it requires a dedication to the brewing process and the intricate skill that goes into it. Need help perfecting your matcha-making skills?Contact us to learn more.
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