Recipes & Guides

Daily Matcha Preparation

Daily Matcha Preparation

The key to perfecting your matcha skills starts with sifting.  Matcha is a micro powder with 2-3% moisture and requires sifting for proper mixing.  Sifting will allow matcha to distribute evenly, significantly improving the consistency and froth.  The second most important point is using your matcha while it is fresh.  The best by date on your matcha corresponds to the unopened package only.  The moment you open it and allow oxygen in you have about 10-14 days for optimal freshness.  Soon after the aroma will start to disappear and the matcha will gradually go stale.  Matcha is alive with nutrients and should be consumed while at its freshest.  We strongly recommend buying individual smaller containers so every time you open a new one it is as fresh as the first.  Happy whisking!



Chawan Matcha Bowl
Matcha (approx 3g)
Purified/bottled water (80ml) brought up to a boil then heat turned off

Warm the bowl with the boiled water and wipe dry.  Soften the tines of the chasen by dipping into the boiling water and quickly whisking. Using the chashaku, add two scoops (One heaping, the second half the size of the first) of matcha to the sifter and sift by pressing through with the chashaku into the warmed bowl. Add water and whisk for about 60-120 seconds making sure there is no tea accumulated on the walls of the bowl.  You can even out the foam at the surface with the tips of the chasen tines. 

Enjoy your matcha in 3-4 sips, while the tea is still hot!



Koicha preparation is the most formal method in the tea ceremony and it demonstrates the true quality of any matcha.  When you form matcha into a paste the aroma and taste should be deep and pronounced and there should be no excessive bitterness, the scent will fill the room, and each sip should be enjoyed slowly and thoughtfully.

Chawan Matcha Bowl
Matcha (approx 6g)
Purified/bottled water (25ml) brought up to a boil then heat turned off

Warm the bowl with the boiled water and wipe dry.  Soften the tines of the chasen by dipping into the boiling water and quickly whisking. Using the chashaku, add three scoops of matcha to the sifter and sift by pressing through with the chashaku into the warmed bowl. Add water and slowly knead the powder until it turns into a paste without any lumps and make sure there is no tea accumulated on the walls of the bowl. If the mixture is too thick, add a splash of hot water to improve the texture. You should not aim to create foam but smooth consistency. 


On-The-Go (with minimal tools)

Liquid (Hot or cold filtered/bottled water or your favorite milk)

Sift the desired amount of matcha by pushing through the sifter with the teaspoon directly into the thermos and then add liquid.  Close tightly, shake for 60 seconds, and drink out of the thermos or pour into your favorite mug!  If you take your matcha on the go and decide to drink it later, try not to add the liquid until you are ready to drink it since the matcha will oxidize if left in the liquid for more than 15 minutes. 


Summer Matcha

Summer Matcha

Our favorite Matcha recipes to cool things down

Matcha is one of the most accommodating teas for the summer season, requiring neither heat nor a teapot to experience its flavour. In this early summer bulletin, we shall present you with enjoyable recipes to elevate your matcha knowledge!


Matcha Fizz

This concoction made with matcha and carbonated water is incredibly convenient and refreshing. A reduced amount of matcha results in a lowered caffeine level and a lovely pale green hue that subtly flavors the beverage.

1/2 teaspoon or 1/2g of Shouraku Matcha

10oz of carbonated water or mineral water with strong carbonation

spouted bowl for mixing

10-12oz glass

Chasen or any type of whisk

Sift the matcha into the mixing vessel and incorporate roughly 1oz of carbonated liquid to it. Then, delicately stir the mixture to keep some of the bubbles from the water, attaining a desirable consistency but not producing foam. Pour the carbonated water in the glass initially, and then gradually add the matcha mix on top and savor the reaction. Proceed cautiously to prevent the mixture from overflowing with foam. Enjoy!


Summer Iced Matcha

Our Summer Iced Matcha is formulated to refresh and restore vigor with a gentle burst of green energy: it's heavenly after basking in the sun. To achieve the ultimate flavor, use the highest quality of water and ice cubes. Together, they heighten the perfect taste of your matcha.

1 liter cold bottled or filtered water

2 teaspoon (5-6g) of sifted matcha

1 liter pitcher

1 tablespoon fresh lemon/lime juice (optional)

Mix some of the water with the matcha in a bowl until it achieves an ideal consistency, then pour the concoction into the pitcher. Add ice and top it off with the remaining water, then sit back and enjoy at your leisure. For the best experience, consume within 30-60 minutes after making, as the matcha will oxidize and turn brown soon after it comes into contact with the water.  Adding fresh lemon juice will allow the mixture to sit longer without oxidation and adds a refreshing citrus flavor.  

Tea Dealers Matcha

Brewing with Patience

Brewing with Patience

One of the questions we are asked after guests taste our tea is why they can't replicate the same taste at home.  One of the most important ingredients to brewing any particular tea well is just a little bit of patience.  Allowing for things to play out and adapting your methods can have a transformative change on new and favorite selections alike.  Green teas generally have the least wiggle room due to their delicate, fresh nature and how quickly they release taste.  However, patience can still be applied to allow the water to cool down to the correct level to avoid burning the tea and bring out more of its natural sweetness.  

Black tea has the most consistent brewing parameters and depends more on the vessel used for steeping and high water temperatures.  With a classic teapot, you can expect a delightful taste that is medium to full-bodied.  Since tannin is the main part of the taste, you will want to use water temperatures just off of boiling to bring out tannins.  Limiting the steeping time to 1-2 minutes will allow for a couple more re-steeps and create a brew that is balanced and not too bitter, especially with higher-quality tea leaves.

Oolong and Puerh teas are much more flexible, and having 5-10 multiple steepings allows you to learn from every successive brewing.  When I first come across an oolong or puerh, I fill the teapot with just enough water (off of boiling) to cover the tea leaves and quickly pour it out.  I lift the lid to allow the steep to escape and replace it, leaving it slightly ajar.  This is when 2-3 minutes of patience is the main ingredient.  While you are waiting, the leaves are delicately rehydrating and expanding.  The core of the leaves is returning to life, while oxygen and water are creating magic.  When you lift the lid to add water for the first brew, you will notice that the leaves have stretched out and are ready to begin releasing flavor and aroma.  

This initial waiting period will set the stage for the entire session and allow you to dig deeper into the taste of your leaves, especially for older teas.  Old caked Puerh can be especially stubborn and benefit significantly from being gently woken from its slumber.  Be patient, don't force it, and allow it to develop!  You'll come away with a deeper understanding of how to brew each tea.  We hope this knowledge can help improve your daily tea, especially for beginners reluctant to dive into certain teas.  

Boil the water, take a deep breath, and brew your tea!

Shin & Stefen

Not All Ceremonial Matcha Are Created Equal

Not All Ceremonial Matcha Are Created Equal

"Ceremonial Matcha" is a label that depicts a certain kind of quality in powdered green tea.  At the moment, matcha does not have any standards of naming or grading, which has lead to confusion and misleading information and customers are left with a bitter taste after spending a lot of money on what they trusted to be a quality product.  

How can you tell if certain matcha is good quality and how much should I expect to pay? Well, one of the absolute signs of high-quality matcha is the color.  The matcha should have a deep green yet vibrant color, almost like fresh moss.  Second is the aroma, which should be pungent and smell almost sweet like dark chocolate.  The aroma in matcha is the first thing that disappears when matcha gets stale.  Last but not least is the taste of matcha itself and it should taste sweet with a delicate bitterness and lots of umami like asparagus or green peas with a long lingering taste at the end.  Like any good song, it should have a beginning, a middle, and a long pleasant ending. 

Since many people buy matcha online these days, tasting and smelling matcha may not be an option, so you will have to look at what information is provided.  Vendors that share a lot of details tend to be the most trustworthy and know their product well.  When buying matcha online, you should look for the origin, cultivar or varietal, or processing methods.  The origin of matcha should be Japan, although it is also made in Vietnam, China, Korea, and even India.  The two regions in Japan that produce the highest quality matcha are Uji and Yame.  There are other regions close to these areas and can be considered good quality but not the best.  

Knowing the cultivar used in matcha is also essential since certain types of tea trees produce a higher amount of amino acids and are considered the best for making matcha.  It is the same as champagne, where the best champagne is made from chardonnay or pinot noir grapes.  High-quality matcha is made of Saemidori, Samidori, Asahi, Gokoh, or Uji Hikari cultivars. Each cultivar presents its own set of difficulties with farming and production, and that makes them more expensive then sencha cultivars.  Some of these challenges are frost, weakness to molding or disease, small and brittle leaves, and low harvest yields. You will quickly find that most of the Japanese brands do not disclose their secret blend of cultivars and expect you to pay high prices based on their reputation alone.  I will say that just because they are a Japanese company does not automatically make their matcha premium quality.

In recent years with the help of the internet and social media, farmers have been able to sell their product directly to consumers resulting in unblended, single farm matcha of very high quality.  Blending of matcha cultivars is common practice and serves two purposes.  By skillfully blending different varieties, you can create incredibly complex tasting matcha that has the best characteristics of each type of tea tree.  The other reason is not so positive, and it is to dilute high-quality cultivars with lower quality to control the cost and increase the quantity available. 

The highest quality matcha should only be made using the first spring leaves, shaded for 3-4 weeks, under a canopy made of straw or nylon, picked by hand, and matured for about six months before stone grinding.  The first spring buds contain the most vitamins and amino acids that the plant has been storing since the winter. Shading the plant from the sun boosts the amount of chlorophyll and results in greener and sweeter tea.  By using a straw canopy instead of synthetic nylon, you can naturally control the amount of humidity.  Japan is a very humid place, and it rains quite a lot in the spring, so being able to control moisture levels is very important so that mold or bacteria doesn't develop and destroy the plants.  Synthetic materials can't absorb moisture, and often chemicals have to be used to prevent mold.  

Tea leaves that are picked by experienced workers are uniform in size and shape and result in a balanced taste.  The leaves are delicately plucked and help to prevent any bitterness.  The leaves are then steamed, shaped, and dried into Tencha, which is stored for three to six months to let the taste become deeper and balanced.  With modern technology and refrigeration, tencha can be stored without oxygen in a sub-zero freezers for up to two years!  Once there is a demand, tencha is taken out of storage and freshly ground using mechanized stone mortars that slowly grind it to a micro-fine powder.  Tea is ground into powder using several different methods, but grinding too fast generates heat and destroys some of the taste and aroma.  That is why stone ground matcha is considered higher quality.  

These are some of the main points to learning and grading matcha.  As we have explained, the production of premium matcha is quite limited; thus, prices are higher than teas like sencha. Unfortunately, the cost of matcha has no direct correlation to the quality nor freshness.  Your decision to purchase matcha from a vendor should be based on their reputation and the overall quality of all their teas.  There should be consistency in quality, especially in Japanese teas. 

Through years of experience and established relationships, we are able to bring our selection of matcha that is focused on cultivars and taste.  We airship our matcha every six weeks to ensure the freshest tea possible and store it in sub-zero freezers until it is ready to be shipped to you.  Our matcha is stamped with freshness dates, six months from the day it is ground. All of our everyday matcha customers consider our matcha to be the best they have ever had.

Our matcha and the reasons we chose them:

Shouraku - Is an "usucha" grade matcha that has a pleasant bitterness that will shine through milk.  It is the match of choice served at our store and is flexible enough to be enjoyed neat, the traditional way, with hot water or iced. 

Sokuchouzan - Our best selling matcha which is comprised of 100% Samidori and represents the base of all or blends.  It is a perfect bench mark for how smooth, balanced, and naturally creamy matcha should be. Flexible enough to be made traditionally without water as usucha or koicha and as a luxurious latte. 

Genou - A deep and wonderful creaminess that resonates deeply with each sip.  This selection is a perfect representation for the focal point of our collection based on taste not quality differences.  All of our matcha is produced using the highest quality standards and what sets them apart is the nuances in taste kind of like the micro regions of Burgundy.  Matcha that is made exclusively from Kyotonabe, where the soil is rich, drains extremely well, and plants dig deep roots, is richer and creamier than anywhere else. 

Shousui - Made exclusively from Kyotonabe grown cultivars, this matcha represents one of our finest blended selections.  It is meant to recreate the feeling of a breeze blowing through a pine forest, delicate yet deliberate.  The taste of Shousui is the amalgamation of all of our matcha and represents the absolute best character of each in a single sip.  When made into Koicha it absolutely shines and will leave you with goosebumps.

Tea Dealers Matcha Collection - Can't decide? Try them all side by side and save!

Ready for the next level? How about the rarest type of matcha which is single cultivar, picked from a single-plot, completely hand-made, and completed in Kyoto regionals completitions


Tea of the Season: Jun Shan Yin Zhen Yellow tea

Tea of the Season: Jun Shan Yin Zhen Yellow tea

As days continue to get shorter and evening brings a slight chill, thoughts start to turn towards the comfort of warm tea. Finally, tea season is here, and with it, an in-depth look at some of our most esoteric teas to continue your journey through tea.

Our favorite tea of the season is Jun Shan Yin Zhen Yellow tea from Hunnan. We love the beautiful uniformed leaves, pungent aroma, and deep taste that represents a classic Chinese green tea bitterness. Yellow tea is a hybrid style between white tea in appearance and leaf picking and green tea. It is quite laborious to process the green tea and then wrap it in cloth to oxidize from green to yellow. The final step is a flash roast at high temperatures over charcoal which fixes the tea from further oxidation and imbues it with this hint of smoke that is sharp and mysterious.

Yellow tea is one of the rarest teas in China due to the very short picking window and overall harvesting compared to other teas. The standard of quality requires that each bud contains two developed leaves inside and the picking timing is crucial. After brewing this tea, please take one of the buds and open it, you will be amazed!

This year's Yellow tea is quite exceptional in both shape and overall taste and aroma. The complexity of sweetness at the beginning compared to the sharpness of the ending is remarkable. This aftertaste is not just simple bitterness but also a mouthfeel that resonates in the empty cup and on the palette. It is a big flavor that surprises you every time considering it is a relatively light tea and the aroma makes your eyebrows pop up in amazement. Boil some water, brew the tea, smile, and enjoy the moment.

Shin & Stefen