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4 Products You Need In Your Kitchen For The Perfect Cup Of Matcha Green Tea

A few essential kitchen products that'll upgrade your tea time.

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You may have noticed that matcha green tea has been having a bit of a ~moment~ in recent years. The potent green tea is being baked into pies, infused into face masks, and brewed into trendy Starbucks drinks.

Way before there were matcha-flavored macaroons, though, this centuries-old Japanese green tea was originally used by Zen Buddhists as a ceremonial drink for heightened clarity. It may have taken on a life of its own in Western culture, but in my opinion the authentic ceremonial-grade matcha tea deserves its own renaissance. For starters, it’s a more potent, powder form of the green tea leaves you might find in a tea bag. It has 137x more ECGC, a plant-derived antioxidant, than regular green tea, and the caffeine it contains (about 34 mg–68 mg per cup) is digested with L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to release feel-good dopamine and serotonin. Plus, health benefits are said to include heightened but calm awareness — and if you're you’re a matcha drinker you already know that that the increase in clarity and energy is not a gimmick. It’s a different type of energy than regular coffee and seems to last much longer without the caffeine jitters or crash. I’ve also found that the brewing process itself has become kind of therapeutic and meditative, which was the whole intent of the Buddhist ceremonial tea rituals centuries ago.
Anna McCarter / BuzzFeed

Way before there were matcha-flavored macaroons, though, this centuries-old Japanese green tea was originally used by Zen Buddhists as a ceremonial drink for heightened clarity. It may have taken on a life of its own in Western culture, but in my opinion the authentic ceremonial-grade matcha tea deserves its own renaissance.

For starters, it’s a more potent, powder form of the green tea leaves you might find in a tea bag. It has 137x more ECGC, a plant-derived antioxidant, than regular green tea, and the caffeine it contains (about 34 mg–68 mg per cup) is digested with L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to release feel-good dopamine and serotonin.

Plus, health benefits are said to include heightened but calm awareness — and if you're you’re a matcha drinker you already know that that the increase in clarity and energy is not a gimmick. It’s a different type of energy than regular coffee and seems to last much longer without the caffeine jitters or crash. I’ve also found that the brewing process itself has become kind of therapeutic and meditative, which was the whole intent of the Buddhist ceremonial tea rituals centuries ago.

There are a few special tools used to make an authentic cup of ceremonial matcha tea. Most are fairly inexpensive and can be found on Amazon:

Anna McCarter / BuzzFeed

1. A high-quality, organic ceremonial matcha powder that's totally worth the price — the proof is in the drink!

amzn.to, Anna McCarter / BuzzFeed

I tried a few different matcha powders at first, but I've found myself repurchasing this DoMatcha brand again and again. It tastes great (less fishy than a few other brands I tried) and has a bright green color (a key trait to look for in authentic matcha!). I realize its $34 price tag seems a bit expensive — especially when compared to the price of coffee per ounce — BUT the container can last a solid four to six weeks if you're brewing a cup a day. And it’s definitely cheaper and likely much better quality than the matcha tea you might order at any given café. The price is competitive to other brands, and its nearly 300 five-star reviews lend it some credibility too.

Just like coffee, matcha can be served iced or hot and mixed with water, milk, almond milk, etc. (I prefer creamy almond milk with a little stevia.) And a quick note to do your research on the different forms of matcha powder: Ceremonial grade is used to make a cup of tea, while culinary grade is used for cooking and baking, but not recommended for tea brewing.

Get it from Amazon for $33.91 or Walmart for $28.93 (for 1 oz).

2. A traditional matcha whisk, scoop, and spoon set made from natural bamboo, so you can make the perfectly balanced cup of tea.

amzn.to, Anna McCarter / BuzzFeed

This set includes a whisk, scoop, and measuring spoon (aka a chashaku) specifically designed for matcha brewing. The whisk, also called the chasen, is a key element in matcha prep. I use the slimmer scoop to measure out about a teaspoon of matcha per 8 ounces of water that's heated just below a boil. Using the whisk in a quick back and forth motion, I blend the matcha until it's a paste consistency and then pour the mixture into a glass, topping it off with almond milk. The result is really pretty light-green drink. To wash the bamboo pieces, just rinse with water and set on a towel to air-dry. I use this set every morning and all the tools are still in great condition after months of use.

Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

3. A ceramic whisk holder, to ensure your whisk keeps its shape no matter how often you use it.

If you’re going to use the traditional whisk — which you should! — a ceramic holder is hugely important in keeping your whisk in good form. The whisk bristles naturally want to close up quickly when they get wet, so when I'm not using it, the whisk is always stored on its stand. Get this one from Amazon for $10.50 or a similar one from Walmart for $9.24.
amzn.to

If you’re going to use the traditional whisk — which you should! — a ceramic holder is hugely important in keeping your whisk in good form. The whisk bristles naturally want to close up quickly when they get wet, so when I'm not using it, the whisk is always stored on its stand.

Get this one from Amazon for $10.50 or a similar one from Walmart for $9.24.

4. A stirring bowl, traditionally called a chawan, for stirring your matcha powder.

amzn.to, amzn.to

While you could very well use any flat-bottom kitchen bowl or container to stir the matcha powder with water, if you’re making a cup or two every day, you’ll find that it does start to feel like a special little ritual. I think having a dedicated matcha bowl adds to the ceremonial feel. Plus just look how gorgeous it is! It's basically a work of art for your kitchen counter.

Get it from Amazon for $16.56.

Now go impress your friends by talking about your chasen, chawan, and chashaku in casual conversation. Here’s a big green cheers to #TeamMatcha!

Bravo / Via Giphy

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