Matcha: it seems like it’s everywhere these days! What used to be a relatively obscure ingredient has skyrocketed in popularity in the US and all over the world. Once specific to Japanese culture, Matcha is now everywhere you look. It’s served on it’s own, in lattes, baked goods, beer, cocktails, even popcorn! Dozens of nationally recognized brands have incorporated matcha into their menus, and it’s becoming clear that this isn’t just a passing fad. Recently Brian Keating of the Sage group said that “In 20 years of analyzing the tea industry it is clear that Matcha is a major trend with long term viability. US retail sales of Matcha green tea powder rocketed 54.9% in 2014, and sales of Matcha products in the US are estimated to continue to grow 25% annually between 2015 and 2018.”
So what is it exactly? Simply put, Matcha is a traditional Japanese green tea powder. It’s produced by stone-milling a type of tea called Tencha into a fine powder. Because it’s in a powdered form, when you drink Matcha, you’re actually consuming the whole tea leaf itself. It is very high in antioxidants, fiber, chlorophyll, and vitamins, and many claim that it has a calming effect that boosts mood and aids concentration. Regardless of potential health benefits, it’s absolutely delicious and this is a bandwagon you’re going to want to jump on.
Matcha is traditionally prepared by sifting the powder into a bowl, adding hot water, and whisking it until a beautiful light green foam forms on top. Our friends at Rishi have a great instructional video that you can watch HERE.
You can use a shot of Matcha just like you would use a shot of espresso. Drink it on it’s own or use it to make lattes, mochas, americanos, affogatos; there are so many possibilities! Matcha lattes are particularly delicious. You can make one by whisking the Matcha, and then adding steamed milk, just like you would for a regular latte. You can even make latte art with it! Matcha is also a great ingredient for signature iced beverages. Matcha lemonade is very popular. You could also shake up a Matcha Mojito with a little simple syrup, mint, and lime juice for a refreshing summer treat.
Matcha is also great as a culinary ingredient. Most often incorporated into baked goods, the umami flavor of the Matcha can provide a beautiful contrast to sweeter flavors, not to mention an incredible pop of color. For example these, gorgeous Matcha oreos! This recipe comes from Rishi, and you can find it HERE.
There are so many way to incorporate Matcha into your menu. Not sure where to start? Your Tradecraft team is here to help! We offer a variety of matcha and all the tools you need to successfully execute a killer tea program. It’s time to whisk up some green goodness!
Lindsey, Director of Education
Sources: https://www.rishi-tea.com/category/matcha-tea-powder; https://coffeeblenders.com/blog/matcha-green-tea-growth-statistics-and-consumer-trends/