It’s time again for another Matcha Monday Masterclass and this time around I’m going to be sharing a method I’ve been using for years now to add a little bit of variety to my daily bowls of matcha. Since I’ve moved away from drinking flavoured tea, and always favoured traditional matcha over flavoured matcha, when it comes to adding variety to my morning or afternoon bowl of matcha I want to do it in a way that adds something additional to the overall flavour profile but does so naturally and doesn’t overshadow the matcha but pairs perfectly with it and I do that by using other true teas instead of water to prepare my matcha!
Usually when using this method, I’ll plan to do a gong fu session later in the day so I’ll measure out the leaves I’m going to use for that session in the morning and do my first step with them, like I would at the start of a session, only I take that first steep and add that to the matcha already in my chawan, putting aside those leaves until later in the day when I am ready to continue my gongfu session.
In terms of the different teas this works best with, personally I prefer using higher oxidised oolongs because they add a lot to the overall flavour profile, it makes the overall mouthfeel incredibly silky, the umami elements of the matcha become a little calmer, you don’t get as much from the oolong as you would if you were to drink it on its own but and it adds just enough to the bowl overall that you can for sure tell the difference. If you are looking for a super intense vegetal bowl of matcha you could definitely try this out with another Japanese green tea. I’m yet to try that out as I do think that maybe would be too much at one for me but you know for a fact the flavour profiles would work perfectly together.
I have also tried this method with hojicha, specifically a dark roast hojicha, to add a little roasty oomph to the overall flavour profile without boosting the caffeine content. Hojicha works fantastically and adds a delicous caramel like note to the flavour profile of the bowl overall. Even though I use a dark roast hojicha for this method it doesn’t take over the bowl and instead adds a subtle smokiness, a woodiness, hints of chocolate and slightly burnt caramel. Again it makes an already creamy/buttery mouthfeel which is silky smooth and does a great job of calming own the overall umami and vegetal notes of the matcha.
Black teas also work really well, like an unsmoked lapsang souchong or a wakoucha because they usually have a great natural milk chocolate note too them which always pairs perfectly with matcha. I also find that tippy golden yunnan black teas work perfectly because maltiness and matcha are such a perfect pairing. I don’t recommend using teas that would usually only give you 3-4 steeps and are on the lighter side, as they have to be able to stand up against the matcha. It’s a great way to take teas that normally would effect you too much in terms of your body and mind and add, like Baked Goods from Mei Leaf for example, that element to it through the matcha giving you all the goodness of both teas as well as a boost of l-theanine.
Usually, I brew the tea a bit stronger than I usually would to make sure it has the power to stand up against the matcha but no so strong that it overpowers it. For my matcha I use 2 chasakus of matcha, then I use my 150ml gaiwan to prepare the first steep of the loose leaf tea, brewing at the temp the loose leaf tea needs and letting the liquor cool down to matcha temp in the gongdaobei until it is cool enough. Usually after whisking, it builds up a thicker froth than you would usually see, that tends to stick around right up until the end of your bowl. It’s not an insanely crazy experience but it allows you to experience your matcha from a different angle. You’ll get notes from both teas at the same time but the flavour of the matcha you love will not be hidden and only amplified by the additional notes added to its flavour profile.
Have you ever prepare your matcha this way before? If so what is your favourite tea to use, I would mostly love to know so that I can add them to my lists of things to try as I love experimenting when it comes to tea. If you haven’t prepared your matcha this way before do you have another method like you like to use to add a little more variety to your daily bowl, I’m always up for expanding my matcha tool belt add and ding new techniques to it.
Currently as I write this post I’m sipping on matcha prepared using Lilly Cream Whip from Mei Leaf and it ended up working out so well that I want to go and buy more of the tea to make it over and over again. I was worried the matcha would over power the Lilly Cream Whip but that wasn’t the case at all and they ended up working so well together. Expanding on the natural creaminess of the matcha I was using, adding floral elements such as violets, lilacs and lilies as well as a hit of panacotta and parma violets. Definitely a combination I would recommend trying out should you already have Lilly Cream Whip from Mei Leaf to hand.
Please do make sure that if you try out this method you take some pictures and tag me in them on Instagram so you can let me know how it worked out for you! If you have any questions at all leave them in the comments or send them to me on Instagram and I’ll answer them as soon as I can.
Until next time, Happy Steeping – Kimberley