Let the matcha come to room temperature and sift through a fine strainer Using a bamboo tea scoop, place 1 ½ to 2 teascoops of matcha into the tea bowl; or, measure out a rounded ½ teaspoonful. Adjust the amount of matcha to your taste. Add about ¼ to 1/3 cup of hot simmering water. This is a guideline for a typical bowl of tea; amounts can be adjusted to your preference. Briskly whisk the tea and hot water using a bamboo tea whisk. Begin slowly to dissolve the matcha, then move very briskly back and forth as fast as you can in the middle of the tea bowl. The whisk should be vertical and barely touching the bottom of the bowl. When a soft light foam has developed, slowly lift the whisk from the center of the bowl.
Research continues to support the many health benefits of green tea. Very high in antioxidants, green tea helps to control free radicals, which are a natural consequence of cell metabolism in the body. Polyphenols are found in high concentrations and help in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. Catechins, which are a category of polyphenols, reduces LDL cholesterol and suppresses the chemicals in the body that trigger the constriction of blood vessels, thereby helping in the prevention of high blood pressure. Research has shown that green tea catechins also inhibit the growth of various types of cancer cells and have proven to be antibacterial and antiviral. Theanine is an amino acid that produces a tranquilizing effect in the brain and is found in the leaves of green tea. It helps the brain produce more alpha waves, which make it effective against tension and stress and it increases mental focus and improves concentration. With matcha, the actual tea leaf is consumed, which gives higher concentrations of catechins and vitamins.
Maccha 抹茶 (by Fumitaka Nasu)