There are few libations in the world as delicious and healthy as Matcha tea. A cousin, if you will, of green tea, Matcha tea consists of young tea leaves. Tea makers grind those leaves, like most teas, into a fine powder for brewing. The similarities end there, however, as we’ll see in just a few moments. One question many people have about Matcha tea is how to store it correctly and safely. To find out how to store Matcha tea and whisks plus more facts about magnificent Matcha, read on!
Drink the Entire Leaf of the Matcha Tea
The first thing to learn about how to store Matcha tea is how to drink it properly. With almost all teas, the drinker brews the tea leaf, and then…tosses it in the garbage. Sure, the resulting tea gets some of the flavor and nutrients. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the tea’s nutrients are thrown out with the leaves. It’s a bit like steaming broccoli and, afterward, drinking the water while you toss the broccoli away. (In other words, very wasteful and not nearly as nutritious.)
With matcha tea, though, you mix the ground tea leaves into your water. (Technically, you whisk it in, which we’ll talk about in a moment.) What this does is make Matcha tea much healthier than practically any other type of tea. It also gives matcha a flavor, texture, and aroma that’s very different and, most agree, more delicious.
Matcha Has Beneficial Chlorophyll
If you know your plants, you know that chlorophyll is what makes them green. Matcha tea leaves are a much brighter green than many other plants because of their high chlorophyll content. They get if from, of all things, being in the shade. (Go figure.) In fact, Match growers use typical green tea bushes but keep them in shaded areas specifically for the extra chlorophyll. The result is a tea leaf very high in beneficial chlorophyll with a beautiful, bold, bright green color.
Did You Know Matcha is Ground in the Dark?
Another interesting fact to know before you store your Matcha tea, is that its ground in almost total darkness. That way, the light doesn’t degrade the nutrient value of the tea leaves. In Japan, they pick the leaves by hand. The stems and veins are then removed, and large granite stones are used to grind it into a superfine powder. The entire process takes hours but produces Matcha of the highest quality, taste, and nutrition.
Matcha Offers Some Excellent Health Benefits
Most people drink tea to warm up, relax or chill with a book or their fave TV program, not for any health benefits. (Although, truth be told, relaxing and contemplating life is healthy.) Matcha tea, on the other hand, does all of that and provides several other health benefits. They include:
- Fighting many types of cancer with its high amount of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate).
- Preventing type 2 diabetes.
- Lowering blood pressure.
- Lowering LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol.
- Helping with weight loss.
How to Make Matcha with a Bamboo Whisk
Matcha tea will naturally clump together when stored. For this reason, we recommend using a bamboo whisk. A Matcha whisk, also called a chasen, is traditionally bamboo. Matcha drinkers use a chasen to help create a uniform consistency when making tea and to keep it from clumping. You can purchase a chasen for less than $30.00 at many retailers.
Now that you’ve locked down your chasen, it’s time to make your tea. Matcha requires a little more care than regular teas when you prepare it. Follow these steps for a traditional and nutritional cup of tea:
First, sift the matcha tea into a small bowl. Matcha clumps easily so we recommend sifting it before you add water.
Next, pour in a small amount of hot water. Make sure the water is at 175F, or just below boiling. A word of caution, anything above boiling can ruin your matcha and destroy the taste and nutritional value.
Whisk the matcha with your chasen. Whisk vigorously from side to side (not in a circle) to produce foam. You can whisk either directly back and forth or in a zigzag pattern to evenly disperse the powder. Do this until you create a foamy layer on top.
Finally, top it off with hot water or steamed milk. Traditional matcha green tea is made with just green tea powder and water, but many people enjoy matcha lattes.
How To Store Matcha Tea
The best Matcha tea is sold in UV-proof packaging so no sunlight gets in. The best place to store it before opening is the freezer, where it will stay fresh for up to a year. Once you open the packaging, you can store it safely in the fridge for several weeks. (We recommend transferring your Matcha into an airtight glass container.) Keep in mind that, since it has no fat, Matcha won’t go rancid if it’s not stored correctly. It will, though, lose some of its color, taste, and nutritional properties. Here are a few excellent containers for storing Matcha:
- An airtight glass jar.
- A heavy-duty Ziploc bag.
- A ceramic jar with a ‘freshness’ lid that seals tightly.
- A plastic storage container that seals very tightly.
How To Store a Matcha Whisk
Store the matcha whisk is in a cool, dry place. You can put it on your kitchen counter in a utensil holder also. Just make sure that it can dry out completely after use. This is crucial as it will help your whisk last longer and it won’t discolor. Here are a few tips for storing your Matcha tea whisk:
- Don’t store a matcha whisk if it is wet or damp.
- For short-term storage, a regular kitchen drawer is best, or in a utensil holder on the counter.
- We recommend standing your bamboo whisk upright.
- For long-term storage, place your (very) dry bamboo whisk in a plastic bag. That will prevent it from absorbing moisture.
- If your chasen gets mold on it, dunk it for 15 seconds in boiling water, then clean it off.
How To Tell If Your Matcha Has ‘Gone Bad’
- Check the label. If the date is overdue (or close), your matcha might not have all its flavor and nutrition. Most Matcha will lose its flavor and nutrition value after 12 months.
- Check the color. Fresh Matcha should be a vibrant green color, not dull or yellowish.
- The flavor when you brew is bitter. As we now know, fresh, vibrant matcha tea should taste slightly sweet.
- The smell. If your Matcha smells like nothing, it’s likely bad. That’s because fresh, vibrant Matcha smells earthy, like fresh veggies.
How to Store Matcha: Don’t Buy It In Tea Bags
As we’ve discussed, Matcha is different from other teas because you actually drink the entire tea leaf. That’s why it has more health benefits than other teas. These days, though, you can find Matcha in tea bags like “regular” tea. Our recommendation; leave those leaves on the store shelf. The truth is, Matcha tea is a bit more expensive than regular tea. Also, putting it in a teabag reduces the amount of nutritional value in offers. (Remember our spinach example.) So buying Matcha in tea bags costs more and provides less, making regular, unbagged Matcha a much better choice.
The Best Matcha Tastes Slightly Sweet
Some say that Matcha tea is bitter and doesn’t taste very good. To those people, we say this; you’re not getting the good Matcha. What you need to look for is Matcha that’s bright green and smooth. If it’s yellow-ish or grainy, you’ve got the tougher, older leaves, which will make your tea bitter. When shopping, make sure to look closely at the Matcha you’re purchasing. If it’s bright green, the taste will be slightly sweet, not bitter.
Brought to You By SecurCare Self Storage
We hope that this article was very informative and helpful. It’s actually part of our wellness series for 2021! If you want to learn more about wellness and how to live your best life in the coming year, read that guide!! Until then, all of us here at SecurCare Self Storage wish you all the best for a happy, healthy 2021!