The standard equipment for brewing matcha—Japanese powdered green tea—is not a teapot and a cup, but instead a bowl and a whisk or brush. The short version of how to use them, says maria lorraine, is to “heat water to the proper temperature (below boiling) and add water to the matcha. Stir and/or froth with the wooden brush.” But tea ceremonies can be very elaborate. Matcha is special tea, says Caroline1, “the heart of chanoyu,” the traditional Zen Japanese tea ceremony. “Matcha isn’t for lemon or milk with sugar,” she says. “It’s a different kind of tea, and in this stressful world we live in, the meditative ceremony that traditionally goes with it ain’t all that bad either!”

limster notes that one of the unique qualities of matcha is that it’s prepared as an emulsion rather than as an infusion. And while you wouldn’t add sugar to it, “it’s traditional to have something sweet with matcha,” says limster. “Mochi are quite typical, but a cookie or some chocolate would not be bad.” And a final idea for enjoying matcha: “One of my pals who’s a hardcore Japanese tea ceremony guy also suggests making matcha in warm sake instead of water.”

Discuss: Matcha tea bowl and “brush”?

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