Posted by Eric Gower on 9th Feb 2017
The thicker you make matcha, the more intense the inherent flavors and qualities of that tea become. So if you're using truly excellent tea, making it in the ultrathick style can be a sublime experience; there is nothing on earth quite like this warm, viscous, brothy, vegetal concoction.
This is especially true if consumed while other stars are aligned, meaning it might taste even better if you're completely relaxed, in a comfortable part of your house. You might be sharing it with someone you really like, or you might be tasting solo. Maybe you've made a commitment to opt for better, more nutrient-dense foods in your life. Maybe it's part of your 10-minute meditation practice, and maybe you enjoy your personal ritual of preparing it, and preparing it suited precisely to your palate.
Sadly, the converse is also true: if you use not-so-excellent matcha, the odds of ultrathick sub-par matcha being a disgusting experience are high -- imagine downing the muck that's settled at the bottom of a pond on a warm summer's day.
And, of course, all of this on a spectrum. We go from the truly unpotable to the sublime, from, say, zero to a hundred.
And the best way to find out what's what is to make ultrathick servings.
What's an ultrathick serving? A minimum of four grams and two to three ounces of water. There are thicker versions. Along with some other hardcore matcha fans, I occasionally enjoy what some of our clients call "defcon" matcha: 8 to 10 grams of matcha per two to three ounces of water. I have had 15g bowls of matcha, and even a jumbo 30g bowl of matcha, shared with a few others (though those bowls had more water in them).
Generally speaking, you make ultrathick matcha by sieving/sifting it into a creamer/tumbler and adding very little hot water and frothing it briefly (about five seconds). Add more hot water, a little at a time, and froth again in short bursts until it reaches the consistency/ viscosity you like best. Swirl it vigorously, like wine. Then pour it into your favorite (ideally preheated) cup/tumbler/bowl. You can always add more hot water at the very end, after it's in your cup/tumbler/bowl. You can add it a drop at a time and create cool little barista-style patterns, or you can swirl some in for whorl-like effects. If you put a long-necked funnel in your bowl, so that the tip touches the bottom, and pour some hot water into the funnel, you can create crazy "blooms" of matcha that are super-satisfying to make.
The problem, of course, is cost. Since many hyperpremium matcha can cost several dollars (and up) per gram, an ultrathick bowl can get spendy, but, then again, it's important to frame it appropriately: No one blinks twice at spending $15 on a cocktail (or even buying a round of them) that more or less does the opposite of what matcha does (inebriates versus clarifies, toxifies versus detoxes), so spending a similar amount on a cup of obsessively handcrafted matcha and its long list of health-giving goodness might not feel like a waste of money. You might even feel the opposite, that it's actually kind of bargain when you consider how it's made, how good it tastes, and how good it makes you feel afterward.
It's not surprising that we'd feel this way, considering that we are surrounded daily by large quantities of extra-special matcha and can "go defcon" anytime we like, but do give it a try if you haven't yet. You might like it, you might not, but, if you do, a whole new world of insanely great pleasure awaits you!
Can joy be consciously and reliably summoned, almost at will? What if it turned out that feeling joy on a regular basis strengthens the immune system? Would that be a reason to try to cultivate it daily? What if joy also was key to developing healthy relationships with people? Does it boost fortitude and resilience? Is it even a [...]
I've had a long personal history with the practice of meditation. The very first efforts were self-guided attempts in my early teens, spurred on by my rapt readings (for better or worse!) of people like Jack Kerouac, Tom Wolfe, Henry Miller, Kurt Vonegut, and many more. Just a formal closing of the eyes and rather self-consciously [...]
When Daphne was a toddler, she loved to scream, DAPHNE WABI-SABI GOWER!! and laugh herself into a frenzy on the floor. I think I must have been re-reading Leonard Koren’s magnificent book, Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets, and Philosophers, for the umpteenth time during her toddlerhood. Now six, Daphne is doing her best to continue to introduce the [...]
While we enjoy quality matcha primarily for the incredible epicurean delights it gives us, it’s a truly happy coincidence that it happens to be good for you in lots of different ways. Here are what we feel are the top eight reasons why it makes sense to incorporate matcha, in whatever form (hyperpremium, coldbrew, or culinary), [...]
Hardcore matcha drinkers in Quincy, Illinois? The town is on fire with matcha drinkers, and their leader is Michele Wilkerson. Michele is the dynamo behind Grown-n-Gathered, a thriving storefront, yoga studio, and farmers market rolled into one. She has done an astounding job introducing concepts concerning wellness to the community of Quincy, mainly through sourcing and [...]
I first met Jonathan Braun about 12 years ago while he was playing hauntingly beautiful classical guitar at a friend’s house. Soon afterward I saw some examples of his exquisite finish carpentry and prowess with all things mechanical, including some shockingly beautiful copper handrails that have become rather coveted and appreciated here in Marin County. [...]
Matcha is one of those beverages that invites lingering of all sorts. If it’s good, the taste lingers on the palate for 30, 60, even 120 seconds and beyond. The longer the finish, the better the quality. But matcha also invites a less-literal lingering. It’s almost impossible to be in a rush when you’re sipping good matcha, [...]
It’s no secret that we–like many of you–adore really I was interviewed by the wonderful folks from Tea People about matcha. As part of the same podcast they also interviewed Tom Decker, a Berkeley-based ceramicist, ceramics instructor, and tea lover, who said a lot of interesting and, to me, deeply true things about the nature [...]
A number of people have recently asked me why we refer to our matcha as “blends.” What, exactly, is blended? First, there is nothing in any of our matcha except matcha green tea. No fillers, no sweeteners, no additives of any kind. It’s 100 percent green tea, and nothing else. So what’s blended? We find and develop relationships [...]