Matcha is here to stay, I hope, just as hummus arrived and never plans to leave.
Matcha, also known as finely ground young green tea leaves, is a dissolvable tea versus a steeped tea, with a wide range of earthiness hailing from Japan. Not all matcha is created equal, ceremonial grade denotes quality and flavor. With any trend, fakes will arrive. The ceremony of matcha and tea drinking in general is a treat to be savored, so go for the good stuff and enjoy.
When I first began traveling to Tokyo I participated in matcha tastings the team I was working with to open Max Brenner in Tokyo. The team from Transit General Office were in the know and operationally savvy, still to this day my favorite group that I have worked with overseas.
Before matcha lattes were at your local 711, we decided that we needed to create a new beverage, which was the matcha white hot chocolate. LIghter than our regular hot chocolates, I love this as a treat matcha drink to this day.
Trying over 24 types of matcha, I settled on a beautiful and earthy tea that balanced out the signature Barry Callebaut of Belgium white chocolate. I learned a very interesting fact: that some matchas are treated with chlorophyll and not all matcha that is delicious is in fact super bright green. In terms of the United States and matcha? Nothing that I have seen imported is anything but bright green as I am sensing the American consumer would not oblige.
I have found myself loving matcha to this day, but as over-saturation goes, my appreciation may not be the same. In comes genmaicha. Green tea with puffed brown rice that offers a nutty flavor to your typical green tea experience. I have had genmaicha before, as it is a variety of brewed green tea. Once considered a poor mans tea, as the brown rice extended the precious tea leaves. The difference in flavor between brewed green tea and matcha is stark, almost unrelated. A hybrid does exist! I was lucky enough to try Nodoka genmiacha tea. Finely ground and dissolvable, this has changed my experience of genmaicha. Iced, hot, in a smoothie or a bowl, I love the rich flavor of genmaicha.
Genmaicha Smoothie Bowl
1/4 - 1/2 avocado
1 tsp Nodoka Genmaicha
1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
1/2 cup frozen spinach
2 tablespoons Collagen Peptides
1 tablespoon Pistachios
1/4 - 1/2 cup Water
1. Blend the above together using a ladle or blender plunger until smooth.
2. Pour into a chilled bowl and top with the below treats:
1/2 tsp Organic Rose Petals
1/2 tsp Organic Blue Cornflowers
1 Tablespoon Coconut Shreds
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup Wild Blueberries
White Chocolate Matcha or Genmaicha
1 tbsp White Chocolate, finely chopped
60 ml/ 2 ounces Whole Milk (or non dairy milk)
180 ml / 6 ounces Boiling Water
1/2 tsp Matcha Powder
1. Combine the above ingredients in a blender, reserving the matcha.
2. Blend on high for 30 seconds, add matcha.
3. Blend on high for 10 seconds, pour into a mug and serve.
Iced: Blend the above ingredients and chill. Shake with ice and serve!
*the matcha is added after the milk and chocolate is blended to prevent the burning of tea leaves from the boiling water.