In my second-ever YouTube video (there’s another sneaky video on the channel already so go check it out) I share how to make matcha at home. I’ve been wanting to get into YouTube for a while so I’m excited to get started on this project.
I love matcha and I talk about it with friends quite often. Matcha’s become quite popular over the last few years so the interest is high, but many folks seem hesitent to dive in on their own. I made this video as a resource I can share with friends and with the internet at large so everyone can see just how easy it is to make matcha!
Since I do make use of traditional tea utensils (whisk and scoop) in this video, I plan on making another video with some more commonplace kitchen alternatives. I don’t want anyone feeling left out of the at-home matcha game, so don’t worry.
In this video, I cover the following topics:
- The basic tools and utensils you need to make matcha
- Preparing your tools before you start brewing
- How to properly sift and whisk matcha
- Cleaning up and maintaining your tools
If you feel there’s anything I left out of this video, please let me know in the video comments or here below. If you have any other remaining questions, I’d love to hear from you as well. I’m actively thinking about ideas for new videos and I’ll take all the help I can get!
Here’s a list of the links I include in the video description
- Matcha is Zuisho, from Shogyokuen (Heritage Grade, 40g)
- Jade Leaf Matcha Starter Kit (No Matcha or Bowl)
- Mizuba Tea Co Starter Kit (incl. Matcha & Bowl)
- Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle 1L ($45 right now!)
Disclaimer: Some links are affiliate links and I will get a small portion of any purchases made if you click.
Hello everyone and welcome to The Tea Letter. My name is Mike and today’s video is about making a basic ball of Mucha from home. The reason why I wanted to make this video for y’all is a lot of times I get questions about making matcha. Is it difficult, is it complicated? And I know it can seem strange from the outside because it’s not something that the average person does, but actually once you understand the process, what goes into it, how to use the tools, it’s actually quite simple. So let’s go ahead and get started with an introduction of the tools that I have in front of me. So from left to right–my left to right–this is just a cup for a wastewater, which we’ll need at a couple of points in this process. I have a towel because I can be clumsy and klutzy and make a mess.
Um, this is a tea scoop, also known as “chashaku”, the traditional implement for scooping and serving matcha, into the bowl. The bowl itself–“chawan”, which is just Japanese for t-ball. The chasen (a bamboo whisk), a simple little strainer, a kitchen strainer that you can get from any old kitchen supply store. And then of course the matcha itself. Uh, today’s matcha is from Uji. It is a basic matcha that I got from Yunomi, and I can put some information and link to it in the description down below. I’m not here to talk about the specifics of matcha today, so it’s good enough to know that it’s a ceremonial grade. It’s something that I got sent over from Japan. And uh, whenever you’re going to be making a basic bowl of matcha where there are no additional additives such as milk or sugar or anything else you want to put into it, then you want to make sure that you’re using a good quality matcha.
And uh, and that means a ceremonial grade as opposed to Latte or culinary grade. So with the, Oh, of course I would be remissed if I forgot one other thing and that is my kettle. So this kettle is a Bonavita gooseneck, kettle. It’s a one liter. You can get it on Amazon. I think full price, it’s like $90, but they usually have some kind of sale running on it and you can get it from anywhere from like 65 to $70. I’ll put a link in the description down below. The thing that I like about this kettle is that it is a, um, variable temperature kettle, which means I can set the kettle to heat the water to any particular temperature that I like. Uh, so that is very convenient, at multiple stages. If you don’t have a fancy temperature controlled kettle, that’s okay.
I’ll talk a little bit more in a second about how to control the temperature of the water. If you don’t have something that can, you can just set it to precisely. So with the tools and implements out of the way, let’s go ahead and get into the process of making matcha. Now making matcha is very simple. As I said previously, we’re going to start with heating the bowl. Now why do you want to heat the bowl? That’s because tea in general, whether it’s matcha or loose leaf tea, whether it’s Chinese or Japanese, uh, tea likes a steady temperature. Variable temperatures, changes in temperature and things like that will extract different types of compounds (i.e. flavors) and, basically, the TLDR is that you’ll get a result that you don’t want. You know, you use a certain temperature of water to produce a certain flavor.
And so we heat the bowl to help maintain the correct temperature through the brewing process. So let’s go ahead and do that right now. Now I’ve got my Bonavita kettle heated to 80 degrees Celsius, which is, let me check what that is in Fahrenheit, it’s about one 77 Fahrenheit. Um, I would say it’s a little bit on the higher end of temperature for matcha. It depends on what type of flavor or experience you’re going for, what type of matcha you’re working with. But I don’t want to get too deep into that for the purposes of this video. Uh, so let’s just say that this is a 177 degree Fahrenheit, 80 degrees Celsius water. So I’m just going to pour a little bit into the bowl here like so.
And give that a second to warm the bowl up completely. This is a ceramic bowl. It takes a little while for the heat of the water to get into the bowl. Now one thing that we can do while we’re waiting for the ball to heat is to prepare the whisk. Now as you can see, the tines on the whisk are quite slight, you know, very thin but they’re, they’re very pliable. In order to maintain the longevity of the whisk and make it so we can use it for awhile, we want to go ahead and soften up the tines of the whisk by putting it into the water that’s in the bowl as it’s heating the bowl. So you can just very simply put it in straight down like this and let it rest. I don’t know if that’s amazing for the shape and the well-being of the tines.
You can also just sort of put it on the side of the bowl and just gently turn it a few times like this. And then you’re going to want to do a light, just like a gentle whisk in the bowl. I’m not going to go into the technique for whisking right now. We’ll go into it in a second. Hold the bowl for stability, give it a gentle whisk. And here we go. Now the whisk is prepared. At this point our bowl is nice and warmed up. The whisk is prepared. I’m going to take this water I do not need and pour it out.
This is the other reason why I have the towel–so that I can dry the bowl. Because matcha being powder and all that, you do not want any moisture in your bowl at all when you put the powder in. Otherwise the powder will start sticking everywhere and it can cause a mess. The bowl is warm, the chasen is ready. Now it’s time to scoop the matcha. I’ve got this strainer here. Why do I have that? The idea is to whisk or sorry, sift the clumps out of the matcha. You know the powder is so small that friction will cause or static rather will cause the powder to stick together in clumps. And we just want to get those clumps out so that when we’re actually whisking, the matcha powder will be fully incorporated into the water, which, at the point of drinking, gives a nice smooth texture without any unpleasant clumps coming and getting stuck in your teeth or or anything like that. So I just put it right on top of the bowl like this. That’s the nice thing about this type and take the cap off here. I don’t know if you can see here, but there’s the matcha.
Now the scoop, just hold it in a very simple way between the index finger and the middle finger with the thumb on the back for balance. And then you’re just gonna scoop like so. So normally I try to go for about almond size. I don’t know how well you’re seeing this on the camera, but about an almond size. And I’m going to go for sually two to three and I’ll make the last one a little bit smaller. I would just take your chashaku and tap it once just to get some of that extra powder off and put the cap back on your matcha because oxygen is the enemy of all teas everywhere. I’ll make another video on matcha storage and sort of taking care of your matcha in between brewing, but for now we’ll just leave it there. Now for the actual sifting process here, oops, I should have oriented it the other way. Just take the chashaku and you’re just, you know, pushing the powder through the sifter like so.
My water has cooled off on accident. I forgot to press the button to keep it warm. But anyways, you’ve now I’ve got a nice clean, well sifted, little pile of matcha powder in the bowl. It’s time to pour. In terms of pouring, you really don’t need that much water at all. Um, I’ll get a bit nerdy for a second here and talk about some ratios and we’re going to do it using grams and milliliters because if I talk about ounces, it’s like the numbers get so small, it’s really hard to sort of visualize. So this is rough, roughly about two grams of Matcha. Three like two to three reasonably sized scoops on the spoon is about two grams of matcha and for every two grams of matcha, I like to use about 60 milliliters of water. And um, so I’ve used this bowl a lot and I just sort of know like where the region in the bowl is that is 60 milliliters, but if you want to you can measure it out ahead of time using like a measuring cup or something like that until you get a chance to familiarize yourself with the quantity, what it looks like and so on and so forth. And um, but I basically know what the volume is. So here we go.
I already, the aroma of the matcha is just spilling out of the bowl. All right, so let’s get moving. Whisking time, whisk. Hold it in your three fingers like so, and you’re going to whisk from the wrist without really elbow or shoulder like so and you’re going to go and like an “n” or an “m” shape, When you’re whisking, you want to be pretty vigorous at first. That doesn’t necessarily mean forceful but vigorous. And the reason for that is that you want to start by getting all that matcha that’s on the bottom of the bowl, well incorporated into the water. I usually whisk for about 15 or so seconds, but you’ll see the froth, the foam starting to form. Now towards the end here, I’m going to slow it down and lift up the whisk just a little bit. So I’m only really whisking that foam at the top and give it a little twirl.
And there you go. Now if you’ve done this correctly, the foam should have very little in terms of like large bubbles. It should be sort of stiff, almost like a merangue. You can kind of like shake the bowl and see that there’s some kind of elasticity like a Jello type sort of shake in there. Um, and, uh, that’s how you know that it’s done and this is really important for a few reasons. First of all, getting the foam right shows that you’ve whisked it properly. When you’re whisking with the proper speed and the proper, um, energy, then you’ll see the foam start to form. The other reason why this is important, another reason why this is important is because you’re incorporating air into the mixture. And this helps bring out the aromatics, the fragrance and the scent of the ttea. And the last reason why it’s important, um, is because aesthetically it’s very pleasing to look at when you get the, the matcha foam just right.
It’s really nice to look at and when you’re drinking it, you can feel the difference on your lips, the teeny tiny little bubbles in the foam as they pass through your lips. It creates just this lovely smooth texture that really adds a lot to the drinking experience. So now that we’ve got our bowl whisked, it’s time to drink. Now you can drink in whatever way you like. If you want to be sort of like particular about it, rest the bowl on the palm of one hand, like so plus the other hand on the side and just raise the bowl to your mouth and drink.
It’s creamy, it’s smooth. It has that bright sort of vegetal greenness. The only way I can really think to call it, that’s just sort of like very, uh, symbolic of matcha. But after I drink and I swallow, just a lovely fragrance sweetness. The umami is all sort of coming out of the throat, washing through my nasal passages here and it’s just wonderful. Yes. I am going to sit here and make you watch me drink the whole, the whole thing, but I’m almost done. There we go. So there’s our bowl of matcha. Okay. So I don’t recommend that you rush, you know, through the drinking. Take your time. I just wanted to get it done for the sake of the video. Uh, but now that it’s done, it’s time for us to clean our implements. Um, so very simple process. Kind of like the preparation process in reverse a little bit. We’ll take again water from the kettle.
I’m just going to rinse out the bowl, right? There’ll be a good amount of leftover foam. Don’t worry about it. That’s natural. I just sort of swirl it around to clean it up a bit. And it goes into our waste water vessel here.
And one more time. A little bit more water in. We’re going to clean the whisk. Just whisk it lightly the same way as you’re making matcha. This is to splash that water all up inside the whisk. You give a nice little turn. You can give it a look here if you want to make sure. I see I still got some foam in here, so I’ve got some more cleaning to do. What I even do sometimes if it’s not cleaning the way I want is just pour some water over it.
Give a little tap, get some extra water off. Put it down.
So the reason why it’s important to clean the whisk, well it’s obvious why you need to clean it because it’ll get dirty and nasty over time, but also it’s to, it’s to protect the whisk so you can use it over it over a longer period of time and to keep it looking nice. Um, you know, you don’t want it to be sort of all clotted and covered in green nastiness. Um, okay, so that’s the whisk. And then we’ll just once again, oops. See I told you, I like to make a mess.
I’m going to take a towel and just dry it out.
Now you will also want to clean your sifter of course, and your chashaku. I’ll do that off the video in the kitchen, but I will just say one thing about cleaning the chashakue is do not put it under water. Just get a piece of paper towel or a Napkin or whatever you’ve got lying around.
And just wipe it clean. That’s all it takes. And don’t worry if some of the matcha gets sort of like rubbed into the grain of the wood or whatever the case may be. Um, you know, some people actually consider that very beautiful. It’s a sign that the teaspoon is being used and it’s an actual, like, it’s a part of the appreciation of using your tools and the fact that they’ve been used over time. So don’t feel bad about that. Now if you don’t have a chashaku like this, don’t worry about it. Just use like whateve kitchen teaspoon you have, and it works just fine. You don’t need something specialized like this. I like it because I think it’s, you know, for me, um, adds to the process as a feeling of authenticity. And it’s another thing that I get to enjoy and appreciate about the process.
But if you don’t have it, don’t worry. And that’s it. Now we’ve, we’ve prepared, consumed, uh, prepared and consumed our bowl of matcha and we’ve cleaned up after ourselves and we’re ready to go ahead and start the day. So that’s it for this video. Uh, I hope that you guys found it informative and uh, and enjoyable. If there are any other questions after this, please leave them in the comments down below.
Again, I’ll put some links to this kind of stuff in the description so you can check it out if you’re interested in picking up some of the tools and um, yeah, stay tuned for more. I think that, uh, I’ll definitely be doing some more next level, much of preparation stuff that includes various elements of actual tea ceremony, which I have been studying for a few months now and I’m excited to share.
Uh, you can find more tea information on my blog at thetealetter.com same as the name of the channel. You can find me on Instagram, which is where I usually like to hang out and post pictures at @thetealetter. And if you enjoyed the video, please hit the like button, subscribe and tune in for more stuff. So for now, enjoy your matcha and happy drinking. We’ll see you next time.