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      Recipes & Guides

      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 

       

       

       

      Kouridashi Gyokuro Ice Brewing

      Kouridashi Gyokuro Ice Brewing

      Gyokuro is one of Japan's highest regarded teas for it's demanding growing methods and requiring a high level of technical skill to produce.  Brewing this tea is equally challenging in terms of using the right water temperature, and amount of water to tea ratio. However, there is one fail proof way that is seasonally appropriate for the summer! Kouridashi or ice brewing is a simple and unique way to perfectly make any Gyokuro by using a large piece of ice and laying it on top of the tea.  After about 30minutes enough of the ice should have melted to gradually steep the tea and provide a small amount of pure umami! Throughout the day as the ice melts you can continue to enjoy the delicately brewed tea.  

      Directions:

      120ml houhin, shiboridashi, or a spouted bowl

      10g of Gyokuro

      1 large ice cube (several smaller ones will do but will melt much faster)

      1 small glass or cup

      Add the tea to the bottom of the bowl and try to create one small pile for the ice cube to lay on. 

      Allow the ice to slowly melt and when a small pool of liquid is visible, pour it into your cup, keeping the ice and tea in the bowl. 

       

      Continue to pour yourself a small amount at a time for optimum sensory impact but enjoy it within half a day to keep the leaves from oxidizing.  Feel free to add more ice to continue brewing the tea.  

      Tea Dealers Uji Gyokuro

      Summer Matcha

      Summer Matcha

      Our favorite Matcha recipes to cool things down

      Matcha is one of the most versatile teas that we enjoy during the summer since it doesn't require heat or a teapot.  In this early summer newsletter, we will share with you some fun recipes that can freshen up your matcha game!

      .

      Matcha Fizz

      A light matcha drink made with carbonated water that is incredibly easy and thirst-quenching.  By using only a very small amount of matcha, we get less caffeine and a captivating translucent green color that gently flavors the water. 

      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 bowl and add about 1oz of the carbonated water.  Gently whisk the matcha and water together but not too much to preserve some of the bubbles from the water.  The point is to get a good consistency and not create foam. Add plain carbonated water to the glass first and then slowly pour the matcha mix on top.  The carbonation will react strongly so do it slowly so it doesn't foam over.  Enjoy! 

       

      Summer Iced Matcha

      Our Summer Iced Matcha is not as thick and meant to quench your thirst with a little bit of energy boost for that midday drag after being in the sun.  We always recommend using good quality water and ice cubes.  It will bring out the best taste of your matcha! 

      1 liter cold bottled or filtered water

      2 teaspoon (5-6g) of sifted matcha

      1 liter pitcher

      Add the matcha to a bowl and incorporate some of the water so that you can whisk it together and get a good consistency.  Add more water into the mixture we just created so that it will pour easily into the pitcher and not leave too much matcha stuck on the bowl.  Add some ice to the pitcher and top off with the remaining water.  Time to sit back and enjoy!  We recommend that you drink it within 30-60 minutes after making since the matcha will start to oxidize and turn brown after it comes in contact with the water.  

      Tea Dealers Matcha

      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!

       

      Usucha

      Chawan Matcha Bowl
      Chasen
      Chashaku
      Sifter
      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!

       

      On-The-Go (with minimal tools)

      Teaspoon
      Sifter
      Matcha
      Thermos
      Liquid (Hot or cold filtered/bottled water or your favorite milk)
      Thermos

      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. 

       

      Koicha 

      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
      Chasen
      Chashaku
      Sifter
      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. 

       

      Artemisia Matcha Latte Recipe

      Artemisia Matcha Latte Recipe

      This is the time of year when plants start to show their first buds although it will be a while before they begin to wear that beautiful fluorescent green of early spring foliage. During the days when the temperature is still cold, we enjoy a bowl of Black Matcha in the morning and Artemisia Matcha Latte in the evening.

      These two "Matcha" types are some of our most distinguished because they always bring up the conversation of "what is Matcha?" Both Black Matcha and Artemisia Matcha are powdered teas that are similar to the Song Dynasty style of tea making and the precursor to Japanese Matcha. Some of the main differences are prolonged storage and not having to sift before whisking due to the processing of these teas which fully dries them. Japanese Matcha has about 3-4% moisture and makes the tea extremely sensitive to storage while forcing the sifting procedure before making. Lastly, both Black and Artemisia Matcha foam up much easier with minimal effort!

      Artemisia Matcha is stone-ground Mugwort and has a delicious array of floral and earthy notes. We love adding a tiny pinch of Maldon salt to bring out some of the natural sweetness and use only milk for a thick yet delicate tasting latte. At the tea shop we always use Oatley Full Fat to create a wonderful foam but you can substitute your favorite milk.

      Artemisia Matcha Latte Recipe

      10oz cup
      4g of Artemisia Matcha
      8oz of hot milk 190F
      Pinch of Maldon salt (optional)

      Add Artemisia Matcha to a bowl and add milk that has been brought to a slight simmer. Using a Bamboo Chasen whisk for about 1-2minutes until it is frothy. Sprinkle on some salt at the very last moment and enjoy! Alternatively, you can use a thermos instead and shake it like a cocktail shaker or add directly into a milk frother. We recommend drinking matcha after it was freshly made as it will separate and continue to oxidize over time.

      Click here to order a subscription of our matcha selections