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Tea Blog — Matcha

Matcha Mousse Cake

Matcha Mousse Cake

All about Matcha

 

Matcha is processed green tea leaves that have been stone-ground into a delicate powder. The powder is then sifted and whisked with hot water. Matcha has become popular, particularly in the health and beauty sectors, because green tea is believed to be high in antioxidants. Regular steeped green tea is considered healthy because of the leaves' properties, but you are only consuming a fraction of the leaf. In the case of matcha, one consumes the entire leaf, making it exponentially more healthful. One serving of matcha tea is the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea.

Matcha tea is specially grown. The matcha bushes are covered for up to 20 days prior to harvest to shade the leaves from direct sunlight to boost the plants' chlorophyll levels. Doing so increases the production of L-Theanine, an amino acid that occurs naturally in the tea plant. It's L-Theanine that gives the tea the tendency to both calm and stimulate at the same time.

Workers only pick the best buds. The leaves that are rolled out flat before drying become Tencha, which is the leaf used for making matcha. Once the leaf is de-veined, de-stemmed, and stone-ground, it becomes the fine powder known as matcha.

 

All About Mousse

 

Mousse is a sweetened dessert with whipped cream as a base. A bunch of tasty and wonderful things can be added to the base, such as melted chocolate (for chocolate mousse), puréed fruit, fruit curd, or a prepared custard (like pudding or crème anglaise, a "vanilla sauce" of dairy base and thickened with egg yolks made on the stovetop. Aerators, such as whipped cream, meringue (which is egg whites and sugar), pâte à bombe (whole eggs and/or egg yolks plus sugar), or a combination are folded into the base to make it light and fluffy. Gelatin is used as a stabilizer. The mix is then chilled in a mold.

Hint: while there aren't a lot of ingredients here and the recipe is straightforward, everything is time- and temperature-sensitive. Be prepared and be exact. 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. gelatin powder
  • 4 tbsp. water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. matcha green tea powder
  • 3 tbsp. warm water

Steps to Make It:

  1. Dissolve the gelatin powder in 4 tbsp. of water and set aside.
  2. Mix the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Heat the milk in a pan and dissolve the gelatin in the milk.
  4. Gradually add the milk to the egg mixture.
  5. Dissolve green tea powder in 3 tbsp. of warm water.
  6. Add the green tea in the egg and milk mixture and stir well, cooling the bowl in ice water.
  7. Add whipped heavy cream to the mixture.
  8. Pour the mixture into cups or glasses and chill them for up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

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Matcha Cheese Chiffon Cake

Matcha Cheese Chiffon Cake

 

Ingredients:

Chiffon Cake:

4 oz. (115 g) cake flour (low-gluten)

2.8 oz. cream cheese

2 tsp. baking powder

1/3 tsp. salt

2 tsp. Japanese matcha powder

1/3 cup. sugar

3 egg yolks

1/3 cup water

4 egg whites

1 cup whipped cream.

 

Cream top:

5 oz. milk

1.2oz. sugar

1oz. cream cheese

0.4oz. cornstarch

6.4oz cream

The appropriate amount of salt

Instruction:

 Chiffon Cake:

  1. Heat the cheese on a bowl of hot water until it turns smooth then mix it with heavy whipped cream egg yolk evenly.
  2. Add the sugar into the egg white then whip the egg white into the stiff peak.
  3. Blend 1/3 whipped egg white with the cheese mixture, then add the rest of the whipped egg and mix them evenly.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and matcha powder.
  5. Gradually add the sifted powder and mix them evenly.
  6. Heat the oven to 340°-360° F (170°-180° C)
  7. Pour the mixture into a chiffon cake pan, and lightly tap the bottom a few times to remove trapped air. Bake for 35-40 minutes and remove from the oven.
  8. Place the pan upside down and let it cool.

Cream Top:

  1. Blend the milk, sugar, and cornstarch on top of hot water.
  2. Add cream cheese when it is still warm, blend until smooth. Cool down after adding the salt.
  3. Whip the cream to 80 percent, then add into the mixture.

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Matcha Mint Mojito

Matcha Mint Mojito

We’re loving these Matcha Mojitos so matcha! Matcha is a green tea made from stone ground tea leaves. It’s packed with nutrients and antioxidants, so why not add it to a yummy cocktail? We made a classic mojito recipe, we like them with a lot of mint leaves (you can’t go overboard!), lime juice, a little cane sugar and a tablespoon of matcha powder.  So if you’re in the mood for a healthy cocktail that also has a healthy twist, try this Matcha Mojito recipe! Cheers!!

 

15 sprigs         fresh mint

1/2 lime          cut into 4 wedges

1 tablespoon   cane sugar

1 tablespoon   matcha powder

1½ ounces       white rum

5 ounces’         club soda

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a tall glass, add the lime wedges, mint leaves, sugar, matcha, and muddle until all the ingredients are mixed together.

Add in the rum and club soda and top with ice.

Garnish with mint and lime.

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Matcha Banana Donuts With Matcha Lemon Glaze

Matcha Banana Donuts With Matcha Lemon Glaze

If you happen to think Macha is overwhelming, mixing it with banana (in the donuts) and with lemon (in the glaze), seemed to tone it down, IMO. These Matcha Banana Donuts With Matcha Lemon Glaze might be a treat, but they also happen to be gluten-free!
 For the Matcha Banana Donuts.       
  •  2 teaspoons Matcha powder. 
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk of your choice I used coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana
For the Matcha Lemon Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk of your choice I used coconut
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Matcha powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Instructions
For The Matcha Banana Donuts
  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Mix the dry ingredients - the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and Matcha powder in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Then mix the egg, melted coconut oil, non-dairy milk, almond extract and mashed banana in a separate bowl.
  4. Then, add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir till combined
  5. Grease a donut pan and drop spoonfuls into donut pan
  6. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool before icing.
For the Matcha Lemon Glaze
  1. In a bowl, mix up non-dairy milk, powdered sugar, and Matcha powder till mixture is smooth
  2. Then add in grated lemon zest and use to drizzle over donuts

The Art of Peace –– Japanese Tea Ceremony

The Art of Peace –– Japanese Tea Ceremony

 

The Japanese tea ceremony is called Chanoyu, Sado or simply Ocha in Japanese. It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called   together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. Preparing tea in this ceremony means pouring all one's attention into the predefined movements. The whole process is not about drinking tea, but is about aesthetics, preparing a bowl of tea from one's heart. The host of the ceremony always considers the guests with every movement and gesture. Even the placement of the tea utensils is considered from the guests view point (angle), especially the main guests called the Shokyaku.

 

What is the Japanese Tea Ceremony?

The Japanese tea ceremony is an artistic pastime unique to Japan that features the serving and drinking of Matcha, a powdered Japanese green tea. Though Japanese green-tea had been introduced to Japan from China around the 8th century, Matcha powdered green-tea did not reach Japan until the end of the 12th century. The practice of holding social gatherings to drink Matcha spread among the upper class from about the 14th century. Gradually one of the main purposes of these gatherings, which took place in a Shoin (study room), became the appreciation of Chinese paintings and crafts in a serene atmosphere. (See Japanese tea ceremony history)       

 

Having witnessed or taken part in the Japanese Tea Ceremony only once, one will come to understand that in Japan, serving tea is an art and a spiritual discipline. As an art, The Tea Ceremony is an occasion to appreciate the simplicity of the tea room’s design, the feel of the Chawan in the hand, the company of friends, and simply a moment of purity.

 

As a discipline, aesthetic contemplation of flower arranging, ceramics, calligraphy, and the roots of the Tea Ceremony which go all the way back to the twelfth century is required. The ritual preparation requires the person hosting a tea party to know how to cook a special meal (Kaiseki), how to arrange the flowers which will be placed in the alcove (Tokonoma). When choosing utensils and other vessels, the host (Teishu) has to consider the rank and type to make sure that they will stand out.

 

The objective of the Japanese Tea Ceremony

 

The objective of the Japanese tea ceremony is to create a relaxed communication between the host and his guests. It is based in part on the etiquette of serving tea (Temae), but is also includes the intimate connections with architecture, landscape gardening, unique tea utensils, paintings, flower arrangement, ceramics, calligraphy, Zen Buddhism, and all the other elements that coexist in harmonious relationship with the ceremony. Its ultimate aim is the attainment of deep spiritual satisfaction through the drinking of tea and through silent contemplation. On a different level, the Japanese tea ceremony is simply an entertainment where the guests are invited to drink tea in a pleasant and relaxing room. The bonds of friendship between the host and guests are strengthened during the ceremony when the host himself makes and serves the tea.

 

The Way of Tea

 

Outside of Japan, the preparation of powdered Japanese green tea is known as “The Japanese Tea Ceremony”. The Japanese refer to it as “Chanoyu” which can be translated literally as “hot water for tea”, Chado or Sado translates to "the way of tea" as in devoting one's time totally to the study and practice of the Japanese tea ceremony.

The western understanding of "a ceremony" is a set of formal acts, often fixed and traditional, performed on important social or religious occasions. However, rather than fixed, the Japanese Tea Ceremony does have flexibility since every occasion and different season calls for special and unique preparations, choice of utensils, choice of flowers for the arrangement, a hanging scroll to describe the kind of tea-meeting and objective of the host. And rather than religious it could be better explained that the host will do the best he can by studying all related aspects such as calligraphy, flower arrangement, cooking, the wearing of a kimono, ceramics and much more. Therefore, it would be more appropriate to call it “The Way of Tea” since this would refer to a way of life, or a lifestyle in the devotion of preparing the best possible bowl of powdered green tea for the guests. The Way of Tea is a subtly variable way to commune with nature and with friends. Deeply rooted in Chinese Zen philosophy, it is a way to remove oneself from the mundane affairs of day-to-day living and to achieve, if only for a time, serenity and inner peace.

 

Tea Philosophy

 

Wa, Kei, Sei, Jaku - “harmony, respect, purity, tranquility.”

 

“Wa” stands for harmony. As there is harmony in nature, the Teishu will try to bring this quality into the tea room and the garden around the tea house. The utensils used during the tea ceremony are in harmony with each other, so the theme is the same as well as the colors. The tea garden should be an extension of the natural flora surrounding it.

 

“Kei” stands for respect. The guests must respect all things, all matters without involving their status or position in life. They must crawl through a small entrance called Nijiriguchi to get into the room. In the room they will all kneel down and bow to the hanging scroll, they will sit next to each other in Seiza position on the Tatami. Respect is also shown by carefully handling and observing the tea bowl and other objects during Haiken.

 

“Sei” stands for purity. Crawling into the tea room, one is to leave behind all thoughts and worries of daily life. The tea room or Chashitsu is a different world where one can re-vitalize, slow down, and enjoy the presence of friends. The gesture of purity is enhanced by the ritual cleaning of the Chawan, Natsume, Chashaku, and Kensui lit by the host. The real grand master of tea does not perform the Japanese tea ceremony from memory but from a pure heart.

 

“Jaku” stands for tranquility. Only after the first three concepts (harmony, respect, and purity) are discovered, experienced and embraced, can people finally embody tranquility. This was one of the teachings of the Japanese tea ceremony master Sen no Rikyu (1522 – 1591).

 

Wabi appreciation in the tea ceremony

Wabi - “Appreciating the beauty of things that are simple and natural,” the old meaning is “the loneliness of living in nature, remote from society.”

 

The tea room’s interior will seem imperfect and rustic. The wall might be unpainted and visible wooden pillars and beams are untreated, just as it would look like in nature.

 

Contrary to western houses, the tea house is not a small museum with lots of collectibles, there is only the essentials needed for a unique meeting with the Teishu or host. There is only one hanging scroll in the alcove of the Chashitsu, there is no furniture or maybe a simple Tana to display tea equipment. The only sound is that of boiling water in the Kama, only the smell of incense from the fire, one flower or branch in the Hana-ire. Conversation is kept to that of the utensils in the tea room, and other equipment used.

 

kokoroire devotion to the way of tea

Kokoroire – “Pouring one’s heart totally into (devotion of) the tea ceremony.” The Teishu or host is someone who devotes his life to the ritual preparation of a bowl of tea. They live “the way of tea.”