Once considered a niche ingredient, matcha has risen in popularity to become a staple beverage in coffee and tea shops around the world. Matcha is made from young and tender leaves known as “tencha” that are grown in the shade before being picked by hand and slowly stone-ground into powder.
When making matcha lattes, make sure to use ceremonial grade matcha rather than culinary grade matcha. Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality, with a smooth and delicate taste that makes it best suited for drinking. Meanwhile, culinary-grade matcha is better for baking. Culinary grade matcha has a stronger, more intense taste that shines through even when baked into a dessert.
Making matcha tea starts by pouring hot, almost boiling water over matcha powder. While matcha powder may appear to dissolve, it actually suspends within liquid and creates the illusion of homogeneity. To thoroughly incorporate the matcha into water, a bamboo whisk called a “chasen” is traditionally used, though a normal whisk or even spoon/fork also work. This simple mixture of hot water and matcha powder is the traditional way to drink matcha tea and can be enjoyed as is. However, you can also add milk and sweetener to make a latte.
For a hot latte, steam together milk and any desired sweetener, then add it to the matcha mixture and stir to combine. To produce foam, use a frother or whisk.
For an iced latte, mix together milk and any desired sweetener with a cup of ice, then add it to the matcha mixture and stir to combine.
Tea cocktails have become a popular favourite in Tokyo’s most stylish of bars. However, you easily recreate this modern Japanese twist with your favourite drinks at home! Both easy and simple, this green tea Genmaicha Shochu recipe spices up a traditional Japanese tea into an earthy and refreshing cocktail.
This drink can be prepared in three minutes. Simply brew your genmaicha, mix it with your favourite shochu, and add some ice cubes.Kanpai!
What is Genmaicha?
Genmaicha is a Japanese brown rice tea, made from green tea and roasted brown mochi rice. It is a pale yellow to light green colour, reflecting its milder and light taste. The tea has an earthy flavour, with sweet floral tones and nutty aroma. Genmaicha is not only enjoyed for its taste, but it also has numerous health benefits! The antioxidants in the green tea is found to balance blood sugar and detox the body. Its low caffeine content also promotes focus and relaxation.
What is Shochu?
Shochu is a traditional Japanese hard liquor that is made from grains and vegetables. It differs from sake (also known as nihonshu), a fermented alcohol made from rice, koji, and water. Shochu is generally made from sweet potato, rice, buckwheat, or brown sugar. As a distilled spirit, shochu will have distinct characteristics based off of its main ingredients. For instance, sweet potato bases are fruity and floral, whereas buckwheat bases have richer, full bodies that resemble whiskey or rum. The wide variety of complex and aromatic flavours in shochu offers a little something for everyone! These unique flavours can be enjoyed on the rocks, mixed with cold or hot water, and in cocktails.
If you enjoy Genmaicha Shochu, you can also explore other green tea cocktails. Try switching up genmaicha with other green teas, such as Hojicha and Sencha, that also bring unique flavours to shochu! (available in our Japanese Green and Specialty Teas: “Ryu” Care Package)
Many people classify green tea as a superfood because of its wide range of positive effects on the body, mind, and overall well-being. Matcha is a special type of green tea which uses the best parts of the green tea leaf. It is also more versatile for use in recipes since it can easily mix with other ingredients. Here are 4 easy ways to add matcha into your recipes.