Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pitch Pine Pollen Matches Matcha!

Wow, a breeze just came through the pitch pines and scattered pollen in a huge greenish yellow cloud. It is just about the color of the matcha tea I am having, from the Bamboo Tea House.

I had ordered a bowl, whisk and spoon from Rice Tea company because I couldn't really get much froth with what utensils I had and it just arrived yesterday, so of course I had to try it out. I know it is no "super set" but I like it. The bowl fits my hands well and is an attractive creamy beige with brown and green markings. The tea is made, in the beginning, the same way as gyokuro, that is, the bushes are shaded for 6 weeks before plucking, to enhance the amount of chlorophyll in them. Then the leaves are dried and ground into a very fine powder.

I got out my matcha, warmed the water to about 150 degrees poured it over a scoop of tea and whisked away in a "W" shape. Behold! Frothy matcha. I feel so proud of my self. The tea is so springy - a nice bright green color and a nice bright green flavor, slightly sweet, slightly astringent. Altogether a very nice drink and I am happy to have the utensils to go with it. This is not top-quality or ceremonial matcha, but I figure when you are learning to do something, it is best to start with perhaps lesser or different quality and cost.

If I really get into Matcha, I may buy some that is more expensive. For now, this is enough. The grade I purchased is also used in cooking and I am going to see about adding it to my vanilla ice cream and see how it is. Or maybe matcha macaroons, if the weather ever dries out. The first time I ever had green tea ice cream I loved it. It was a nice subtle flavor in good quality ice cream. I have had some since that was not, the makers got too exuberant with the matcha.

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