Do you love green tea? Yes? Ok great! Then here is another question that’s a no brainer. Do you love Matcha? Like who doesn’t, right?
A fun fact before we move on. Did you know the colour green has a healing power in which, to the human eye, it is the most restful and relaxing colour? I for one just learnt this so I appeal to you, get ready to be entranced and feel relaxed as today’s blog will be a super GREEN one!
As the season is slowly approaching, we are diving into the wonderful world of green tea, but more specifically, looking at Matcha themed treats! 行きましょう (Let’s go!)
Hold up! Some background knowledge first!
“All Matcha is green tea, but not all green tea is Matcha,”- quoted from Lauren Shannon (GM at Arigato Travel).
Matcha is a TYPE of green tea made from the same type of green tea plant known as Camellia Sinensis. Fields of this plant are grown over lengths of hillside views in Japan, and once harvested, are processed to make green tea.
However, before the leaves are hand-picked for making matcha, the bushes are covered at least 2-6 weeks (usually late March-April) before the harvest to promote chlorophyll production and decrease bitter-tasting antioxidants.
Through a series of processes, it is finally grinded slowly with a stone millstone and thus the leaves are transformed into this beautiful powdered ingredient we all know as Matcha!
Matcha comes in two grades
Ceremonial grade matcha is of the highest quality and mainly used at traditional tea ceremonies, while on the other hand, Matcha themed foods and drinks are made using culinary grade matcha. Culinary grade matcha can be further divided into 5 other grades; premium, café, classic, ingredient and kitchen. Despite being more bitter, its flavour profile is robust and, therefore, makes the delicious Matcha treats we love so much. Now let’s get to the food shall we?
Food is life!
Matcha breakfast items
Do you believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Not sure of your stance on this, but imagine the excitement when you see your breakfast is painted beautifully green!
Upgrade your pancakes with just a bit of Matcha powder, or bite into some delicious matcha crepes with your favourite filling. It is so adaptable that you can even find matcha waffles, muffins, croissants and even granola. What an exciting way to start off your day!
Matcha Soba noodles
One of Japan’s popular noodles is known as Soba .This buckwheat noodle delight can be eaten chilled during the humid summer days, and hot in winter to help with those chilly times. All the same, why not try it green?
Matcha soba noodles can be eaten the same way, but pairs greatly with a dipping sauce bursting in umami flavour. It also makes for an awesome picture to wow your friends and see their reaction when they find out it was not food colouring that did the trick! (lol)
Traditional Green tea snacks for you to indulge!
Mochi has been known as a traditional food item for decades, especially in celebrations of New Year’s Day , however, it is still a creative snack item you can find almost anywhere to this day.
Green tea mochi can be plain, as the powder is mixed into the dough itself and cooked for enjoyment, or you can try the white skinned mochi with green tea fillings inside them. A sweet white bean paste mixed with the matcha powder adds a lovely green colour overall but also a notable flavour, tasting absolutely delicious! (Believe me, I’ve tried it. It’s yummy!)
Matcha Nama Chocolate
The word Nama (生) in Japanese means “raw”, where nama chocolate refers to a type of ganache created from melted cacao and fresh cream. These bars of chocolate are moulded, cut into neat blocks and dusted with extra cocoa powder.
As we all know in Japan, a green tea version will most likely be released for almost anything, so of course, Matcha Nama chocolate (抹茶生チョコレート) was also created. Get this sweet treat almost anywhere which possesses a slight bitter taste due to the matcha. Made with white chocolate so the green colour stands out, these squares of irresistible and truffle-like chocolates make a great gift to your loved ones. Since the main component of this treat consists of fresh cream, it comes as no surprise that company ROYCE, located in Hokkaido (a leading prefecture of dairy) sells the most popular brand of Nama chocolate!
Green tea Jelly
If all the snacks were to disappear on the earth today but I had the choice to keep only one, can you guess which it will be? Of course it’s jelly! My love for jellied snacks goes way back as far as I can remember.
The obsession for jellied snacks still remains alive to this day, coming in different shapes, sizes and even colours. Now let’s add green tea jelly to the list!
A refreshing but bittersweet snack to enjoy, green tea has been adapted to create this gelatinous treat. Enjoy it however you like it, whether it be plain, with green tea syrup or sweet red beans!
Modern Snacks for your matcha mood!
By now it is no surprise that Kit Kat Japan takes their work seriously having produced over 300 flavours that are quite enticing! By meeting consumer demands of quality and packaging, it’s quite predictable that a Matcha flavoured Kit Kat was created.
Only one flavour? Nope. not just one but but try a variety of matcha Kit Kats such as those with berries & almonds, matcha with kinako powder or even try the “Otona no Amasa” deep version for those who prefer greater matcha flavour and less sweetness.
If there is an actual day dedicated to this snack then for sure, we can be promised it’s not one to be missed!
Despite Pocky Day being on November 11th annually where you should share happiness with others, nothing will stop me from still sharing this matcha flavoured snack! Let’s share happiness with others everyday because the world needs a little more of it! (huge smiles*)
Matcha Potato Chips
Everyone loves a package of salty, crispy potato chips! Whether it is you need a Friday night movie snack, a binge watching snack…or maybe… you are just in the mood for a snack, these potato chips add an extra matcha flavour to each crunch!
Do matcha and chocolate make a good pair? Well, you will just have to find out for yourself! (teehee)
Bitter and earthy matcha flavour sandwiched between two chocolate oreo cookies makes a great snack that I’m 100% sure…you will not want to even share with anyone! (haha)
A notable mention that’s worth it despite it not being in season. Meltykiss comes as individually wrapped pieces of chocolate cubes and is quite popular, so much so that it is limited to only the winter season each year.
Due to the chocolate melting instantly in your mouth, Meiji created a chocolate to represent the smoothness of the snow whilst, at the same time,keeping its texture due to the cold temperatures.
Thus this delicious Matcha flavoured Meltykiss can only be found then, but I appeal, as you are now aware, to look out for this delectable treat next season!
The green tea is picked from the first flush and will impart with you the fresh and pure matcha taste of the green tea season!
Sweet, green tea desserts you must try!
Matcha ice cream
Get your cold treat and matcha fix all in one. Even your ice cream can pop in the most beautiful green colour with that rich but deep matcha flavour. We highly recommend that if you’re in Tokyo, stop by the shop known as ‘Nanaya Aoyama’ in Shibuya (the original shop is found in Shizuoka prefecture).
With 7 different shades of Matcha gelato, with 7 being the darkest and most bitter, choose your strength of matcha and indulge to your heart’s content. A bit unsure? That’s alright, because in fact, the store workers are so kind to let you have a small sample upon your request.
Parfaits may be the only cold treat in Japan you can find all year round and it changes quite a bit with the seasons. Aside from the seasonal fruit parfait, Matcha parfaits make quite the buzz around town.
With Kyoto being the centre point of green tea origins, finding a matcha parfait near you no longer proves to be difficult as they are super popular! Indulge in a tall glass overflowing with layers of cream and matcha goodness, topped with beautiful bright green ice-cream, mochi, cakes, cookies, honestly, the combinations are endless! Go wild!
Quite popular in Japan and seasonal, matcha green tea donuts make an instagrammable worthy post with its beautiful green colour! With its earthy flavour yet subtle sweetness, once blended into the dough, you can enjoy your donuts the green way with some added health benefits. No regrets right?
Despite loving this chocolatey treat, I’m sure everyone will also enjoy its pretty sweet green friend. Matcha has made its way into brownies that it’s quite popular, but to get the beautiful green hue, white chocolate is used instead.
Imagine indulging in this bittersweet treat but also gain amazing health benefits at the same time…two in one! Want to try making these? I found an awesome, simple recipe here so that you can make your very own Matcha brownies! Or maybe surprise a matcha lover with this on their special day!
I’m definitely going to make these soon…once I can get my hands on some matcha that is (lol)!
Refreshing matcha drinks!
Drinking Matcha tea
Remember we learnt about ceremonial grade matcha earlier? Great! Then time to “whisk” it out and enjoy a cup of smooth and mellow matcha. I’m not kidding when I said “whisk”, as with the right tools and perfect water temperature, you too can make your own cup of matcha with a lovely rich foamy texture.
If you are in Japan, see matcha made before your eyes in an official Japanese tea ceremony. Representing harmony, tranquillity, respect and purity, this traditional ceremony is one you should definitely attend to gain the full experience!
I know that at some point in life, everyone prefers a milky drink to just cheer up that tiring day, and a matcha latte is quite perfect for that. Similar to whisking your matcha into a thick, foamy drink, this is then poured over your milk of choice to create a beautiful, milky green drink! In other cases, the milk is poured after to create beautiful latte art!
They are served to the temperature of your liking; whether it be hot or cold, but many cafes create these stunning latte designs that are totally Insta worthy! Careful! Make sure to get your pics before you sip or else it will be too late (lol).
Matcha Alcoholic Drinks
A delicious duo! A flavour profile holding an earthy taste with a smooth, creamy texture, makes a matcha beer the refreshing beverage needed for your afternoon adventures.
Find this vibrant green drink almost anywhere in Japan now as it has taken the next step into entering many breweries and tea parlours in Japan. If you cannot find one nearby, check your nearest convenience store and find the green joy tucked away in a can!
I can bet you were one of those who back in the year 2020, joined the coffee dalgona trend and began whipping up an entire cafe of drinks. I definitely was in on it too! (giggles to myself)
With so much whipped coffee action going on, people got more creative and made a green version. Yes, we are talking about the matcha version!
The greatest news is you too can also create the whipped green sensation right in your own kitchen with some matcha. I found an easy recipe here that you can try out!
Keep the green theme at home!
Quite accessible in some countries while for others you may have to run through some shipping mayhem, but hey it gets the good stuff coming to you!
Many international companies are creating varieties of matcha powder, whether it be ceremonial or culinary grade. All you gotta do is find the one that works for you, and you can enjoy your own cup of delicious, green matcha at home.
Are you the one who loves waking up to the morning just to enjoy a simple spread of toast and butter? Personally it depends, but a good crispy toast and butter does cheer me up at times!
Have your toast with green butter then? This blew me away when someone told me, there is matcha butter! Like how unreal, but not surprising they just keep trying to blow my mind even more! (haha)
Just when you thought you heard it all, the world introduces us to matcha salt (who knew? right?). If you happen to grab a pack of this versatile seasoning, add it to your rice, tofu, tempura, popcorn or even your ice-cream!
Can’t find this anywhere? Not to worry. I was told it was quite easy to make once you got some matcha and salt (kosher, sea salt or himalayan salt) laying around. Mix it together and you make this fancy seasoning in one go! Look, I just made some for myself!
Wow, we have definitely come a long way with this green tea themed blog! Can you tell? From learning the origins of matcha all the way to wanting that beautiful cup of matcha latte. Definitely need to get my hands on those matcha nama chocolate as they look quite heavenly!
Did reading this super GREEN blog make you relaxed then? I hope it did! If it did not, the only other feeling I’m guessing you’re having right now is hunger for all these treats (haha. lol)! Well, I pretty much cannot blame you! (giggles to myself*)
All hope is not lost as the matcha themed foods and drinks do not end here. This was only a scratch of the surface that I presented, and there are way more delicious goodies for you to snag out there!
I just hope that when you do, I’m begging please share them with me because it makes life so “MATCH-A” better! (teehee).
Featured photo from Japanese Green Tea Co.
Going to Kyoto? Book a local guide for a full matcha food tour experience!