This powdered Green tea is the basis for the revered Japanese tea ceremony. The stone ground matcha is whipped to a froth with a bamboo whisk to make the traditional thick tea (okoicha). The raw tencha tea leaves, which become matcha through processing, are grown in gradually reduced sunlight over the course of a one month period. By depriving the tea plants of sunlight, the plants are tricked into producing higher levels of chlorophyll. The resultant tea leaf is both thinner and more tender, possessing a much fresher, deep green color which will be evident to both the eye and the palate.
Creative chefs are now using matcha green tea in recipes including entrees, scones, cakes, ice cream, chocloates, smoothies and gelato. The following is a refreshingly simple smoothie recipe that we enjoy:
Matcha and Banana Smoothie
1 teaspoon Matcha
1 ripe banana
1 cup of skim milk (substitute soy or whole milk if you wish)
1 tablespoon honey (adjust for your taste)
1/2 to 1 cup of ice