Japanese Instant Matcha – Fine powder tea

What I call Instant Matcha is the fine powdered tea that is ready to be used and can be bought in bulk or in individual packages. The tea mixes very quickly with hot or cold water, milk or other types of foods.

Matcha is made by grinding whole Camellia sinensis tea leaves (except the stems and veins). The tea plants for Matcha are shade grown for at least three weeks before leaves are rharvested. The pure leaves have additional properties, flavor and aroma.

Green tea bags matcha

Japanese Instant Matcha bag

The Instant Matcha is also available in individual packages for convenience. The packages are beautiful, made with aluminum foil to avoid contamination and oxidation.

Individual bags of Matcha

Individual bags of Japanese Matcha

One individual bag

One individual Matcha bag

The Matcha can be enjoyed as cold or hot tea, but also be used with milk, ice cream, candies, chocolate, pastries, cookies, etc. I will post more pictures in the next blogs.

The traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony with Matcha is very complex, artistic and ritualistic.

Hu Xin Ting Tea House, Yu Garden, Shanghai. A traditional tea experience

The Hu Xin Ting (Huxing Ting) is probably the oldest teahouse in China. It is situated on the middle of a pond in the Yu Garden area (Yu Yuan Garden) in Shanghai.

The Hu Xin Ting Tea House is a landmark in Shanghai.

The name Hu Xin Ting means lake pavilion. Last month I had the opportunity to be there early morning to appreciate a nice green tea, have a quite time and take few pictures. During the day the place gets very crowded and there is a long waiting time for tea, particularly during the Summer months. The most popular teas are the Jasmin and flower teas. There is a small shop on the front where teas, cups, teapots and sets are sold at a reasonably good price.

Since 1996 I had the opportunity to visit few times this tea house. It seems that no change happened. The tea quality and service are excellent with the perfect atmosphere.The Hu Xin Ting is the must go place for tea aficionados.It has the quality and tradition needed to make it a unique experience.

The tea house is on the pond, connected to land with the Bridge of Nine Turnings. The pond has red and yellow carps plus lotus.The building has different sections with nice set ups and decorations. The round and rectangular tables are made of rose wood with marble tops. The open space provide a nice view of the small lake and garden.

The green tea is served with hot water directly to the leaves, not an optimal condition for brewing the green tea. The bottle of hot water is available for refill. The snacks are a mixture of sweet/sour dried fruits, hard salty tofu squares and quail eggs, which are a typical Chinese delicacy.

Traditional green tea setup. The snacks are quail eggs, dried fruits and squares of hard tofu. The rose wood and marble have been seasoned by the tea through the years.

The blue and white contrasts nicely with the red color of the walls, windows and surrounding buildings

Hand Roasting Green Tea – Wenzhou, China

Hot Roasting Pot

Hand Roasting Long Jing. The metal pot is heated by electricity and green tea has short contact time with the heated surface. The color change is the indication of the roasting degree. The aroma is non descriptive...

Green Tea Small Pot – Chinese Tea

Green Tea is still one of the most popular teas. For most teas a small glass or ceramic teapot is used. For a meal or for larger quantities a larger pot can be used without the transfer pot. This method can be used for a variety of Green and Green alike teas:Long Jing, Sencha, Jasmine, White, Oolong, herbal, etc.

Tea: Green Tea, 5 grams
Teapot: 50 ml
Water temperature: 160 to 180 F

First the leaves are soaked in hot water. The amount of water added is just enough to cover the leaves. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Fill with hot water.

After 1 minute the tea is transferred to a small jar to collect all the tea. This transfer has several objectives: control the contact time between the hot water and green tea and mix the tea making a uniform brew.

Tea is collected on the transfer jar and poured to the teacups

The tea is transferred from the small jar to the cups.The Sencha is finer ground than Lung Jing, therefore we will have more sall tea leaves being transferred during the brews and tea is slightly haze.

Typical setup for the green tea. Teacup, transfer cup and two drinking cups. Filter? It is on the inside of the teacup, a spiral filter easy to be removed and cleaned.

Tea now can be enjoyed. firs there is a visual appeal of the color and hue, then the smell fascinates and tea is tasted to complete the degustation. After drinking all the tea, the teapot can be refilled up to 8 times, and time can be extended after each 3 set of brews in order to better extract the tea from the leaves.
The second cup is always the best of all.

Here is an alternated cup made with glass double insulated. It looks nice and is not hot in the outside.