In Japan and Korea matcha green tea is used in traditional foods such as soba noodles and mochi and is increasingly used to flavour Western food and drink. Matcha green tea has dusky, vegetal flavours and a vivid, enticing green hue which work well in drinks and pâtisserie.
Unlike other green teas, matcha green tea comes in a powdered form so that it is the actual leaves themselves (rather than an infusion) that is consumed. As such adding too much can overpower a drink or dessert - begin by adding less than you think you need as you can always add more.
Matcha green tea comes as a finely ground, almost silky powder which blends perfectly into a rich, smooth latte. It also contains medium levels of caffeine so it really is an alternative to coffee. Most recipes call for 1 -1.5 teaspoons of matcha powder per 250ml hot milk and a few drops of agave syrup for sweetness. The flavours work equally well with soy milk and almond milk.
2. Matcha Green Tea Frappucino
When it comes to summer coolers, it's difficult to beat a matcha green tea frappucino. The pungent bitterness of the matcha green tea is balanced by the milk and sugar to produce a harmonious, refreshing drink. To make your own, blend 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea, 1 teaspoon of caster sugar, a drizzle of vanilla syrup, a cup of milk and a cup of ice in a blender.
3. Matcha Green Tea Shaved Ice
In Seoul shaved ice is a popular dessert throughout the summer. A large bowl is filled with finely powdered ice and topped with a variety of toppings including 'soft serve' matcha green tea ice cream, often accompanied by red bean shaved ice, known as patbingsu. Use 2-3 teaspoons of matcha green tea powder per litre of milk/cream in your ice cream recipe.
This campfire treat is even better with the addition of a little matcha green tea powder. Whisk it into the marshmallow before it starts to set, then toast the marshmallow over a camp fire (or barbecue) and sandwich it between chocolate covered crackers. The matcha green tea gives the marshmallow an extra dusky, earthy flavour and pale green hue.