Skip the lattes, muffins and soft-serve and embrace matcha on its own terms.
Matcha, the powdered green tea central to ceremonial Japanese tea gatherings since the 13th century, has featured in all manner of incarnations recently, but in Japan the traditional tea experience is still an art form.
If you haven't got three-plus hours for a full ceremony but want to steep yourself in some semblance of tea culture, Adam Wojcinski sensei, and disciple and official translator for the 16th Grandmaster of the Ueda Sōko samurai traditional Japanese tea ceremony, suggests a five-minute matcha meditation. Start with the right equipment. First, select a chawan, or tea bowl, he says, that "you're going to enjoy drinking from every day". Pick a high-grade, vivid green powder from Uji in Kyoto - from Wojcinski's Nippon Cha, say, or Melbourne's Storm in a Teacup. It should smell fresh and sweet. Rinse the chasen, or tea whisk, and chawan with hot water before adding two scoops of matcha (using a traditional bamboo scoop, or chashaku) to the bowl. Add 80ml of hot water and begin whisking: take the chasen around the bowl in one slow, circular motion before whisking faster. The tea will reach a foamy mousse texture or flatness, depending on your preference. Then, it's time to drink, with a focus on introspection and presence. The earthy flavour should have a "massive super bomb of umami" behind it, says Wojcinski. "It sings like a whole green opera down your throat when you drink it." nipponcha.net