Secrets of Japanese green tea: Keep a piece of Kyoto close to you

For centuries the Japanese green tea ceremony has been a defining element of the country’s culture and its people’s idiosyncrasy. The green tea, also called matcha, holds inside the very true essence of harmony, peace, respect, mindfulness and focus.

The matcha ceremony has been admired and studied worldwide, and by regularly drinking the green tea, many people have succeeded in bringing a tiny piece of Kyoto to their daily lives.

Why drink matcha?

Matcha is not just regular green tea. When preparing the tea leaves that will eventually become Japanese powdered matcha; the plantations are shaded twenty days before their harvest.

By depriving the plants of sunlight, the concentrations of theanine and alkaloid caffeine in the leaves increase. This practice leads not only to a change in flavor but also to a wide array of benefits for our health.
The matcha is above all, rich in antioxidants, which has significant health benefits, such as:

– Anti-aging qualities.
– The catechins in matcha will help you to regulate and boost your metabolism thus maintaining a healthy body weight.

-It will also help you to fight diseases by reducing the damage of foreign bodies to your white cells.

-The combination of caffeine and theanine will give you a sustainable energy boost throughout the day.

How to include matcha in your busy routine?

We modern humans don’t have time to host a traditional daily ceremony to drink matcha every day.

The good new are: we don’t need to!

We have put together a quick how-to guide so that you can start drinking green tea today! (Although we do recommend going to the occasional tea ceremony)
To prepare the light matcha, you will need the following elements:• Japanese green powered tea: Make sure that it’s pure and high-quality (preferably organic). Store it in a fresh place away from direct sunlight, and try to use it up within a month of opening the package (it’ll last six months though, so don’t worry if it takes longer to drink it all).

• A traditional tea bowl: Even though you can drink matcha in any teacup, we recommend using a Chawan (Kyoto’s traditional tea bowl) since their design will keep your tea warm and fresh while you drink it.

• Chasaku: the traditional measuring utensil for matcha, it is optional as well, you can use a tablespoon for measurement too.

• Chasen: The Chasen serves as a whisker, although you could whisk with practically any whisking element, you will get better, foamier results with a Chasen.

• A fine mesh strainer.

After you’ve gathered all the items,

follow these simple steps:

1. Pour boiling water in the bowl and stir it with the Chasen, this will soften the Chasen’s bamboo. After whisking for a minute, discard the water.

2. Scoop two tablespoons or one and a half Chasaku measurements of matcha into the strainer, and sift the tea into the dry, empty bowl to get rid of all potential bumps.

3. Pour boiling water into a regular teacup, let it cool down for a minute and add one-third of the cup to the bowl.

4. Using the Chasen, whisk the matcha with a fast wrist action. Try to draw an invisible “M” with your wrist, stop when the water and the matcha powder are well blended.

5. Pour the hot water into the bowl and fill it to a third of its capacity. Whisk again using a fast wrist movement until the tea has small bubbles forming on its surface. Keep whisking for 15 seconds in circles only on the surface of the drink for a foamier preparation.

All in all, the preparation shouldn’t last longer than 5 minutes. You can also see the preparation process in this video

Including the habit of drinking matcha in the morning will help you be more focused and balanced, and you will take one piece of Kyoto with you every day.

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