Matcha lattes, matcha ice cream, matcha cakes - we've been seeing a lot of these emerald desserts and beverages around lately, but hey, who's complaining?
Matcha literally means 'powdered tea' in Japanese - tea leaves are finely ground to form that emerald green powder everyone is obsessed with. Not only is matcha delicious, it also has a multitude of health benefits. With its high levels of antioxidants, matcha helps to boost metabolism, which aids in weight loss.
If you want to incorporate a little of this magic green powder into your diet, we've got you covered. Here are 8 simple matcha dessert recipes that you can indulge in every week - or every day, for that matter!
This recipe is perfect for when you're trying to slim down, but still itching to indulge your sweet tooth. This emerald bowl of health goodness packs 32 grams of fiber from chia seeds, and requires just minutes to complete.
The characteristic bitterness of matcha combines with the sweetness of white chocolate chips in this recipe to form a mouthwatering dessert. These cookies are fuss-free and perfect to serve at parties or when you have guests over.
Lucky for us, we don't have to be professional baristas to whip up this tasty drink that's packed full of goodness and health. If you're looking for something more indulgent, feel free to top your latte with some whipped cream.
If you're a huge fan of Royce's melt-in-the-mouth nama chocolate, this recipe is for you. These truffle chocolates are decadent and perfect for indulgent movie nights.
These yogurt popsicles will be a godsend in Singapore's insane heat. To make this dessert less sinful, we've replaced whipping cream with yogurt. Feel free to eat this for breakfast - I mean, there's yogurt in it, so that means it's healthy... right?
Perfect for breakfast (or any time of the day, really), this recipe for matcha granola takes your favourite granola recipe to the next level. Coupled with the nuttiness of almonds and walnuts and the sweetness of dried blueberries, the bitterness of the matcha is toned down.
Bite-sized and easy to make, this dessert is perfect for hot summer days. After all, nothing can go wrong when there's chocolate in it!
Are you craving for some matcha cake, but it's 11pm and all the stores are closed? Fret not, for this all-in-one matcha mug cake recipe is the perfect solution to your late night cravings and/or laziness.
And here you have it - 8 fuss-free, easy matcha dessert recipes for anytime of the day that you are craving for some of this healthy goodness. Go forth and eat green!
For even more green tea goodness, look to our Sakura Tea! It is made from mild sencha that complements the flavour of Sakura flower in a harmonious union. Get yours today!
Nilufer tea is an organic herbal tea that originates from Japan. A popular destination for tourists worldwide, Japan is located in Eastern Asia and renowned for its exquisite food and cuisine, gorgeous scenery (cherry blossoms!!!) and fascinating culture. Speaking of culture, tea is an important factor in Japanese culture, and so is their traditional tea ceremony. Not a lot of people know the inner workings of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony so if you would like to learn something new today; you’ve come to the right place!
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The ceremony is a ritual of preparing and presenting matcha – powdered Japanese green tea – along with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. It is an integral part of Japanese culture and it has been for centuries. It is a quiet celebration performed with grace and beauty, and emphasis is placed on pouring all one's attention into the predefined movements because the aesthetics of the ceremony are very important. The host of the ceremony always hold guest in a high regard, as demonstrated from their graceful and thoughtful gestures. Even the tea utensils are placed in a strategic position that allows the guests to have a good vantage point, especially the main guests (Shokyaku).
A full ceremony consists of starts with a kaiseki course meal, is followed by a bowl of thick tea and ends with a bowl of thin tea. However, most tea ceremonies these days are limited to the enjoyment of a bowl of thin tea. Before the ceremony begins, guests gather in a special room known as a machiai. Guests will walk across a dew-covered ground which is a ritual to symbolise the removal of dust from one’s feet and the world. To further purify themselves for the ceremony, guests are required to wash their hands and mouths using clean water from a stone basin. Once these purification rites finish, the host greets each guest with a silent bow as they enter the tea ceremony site. Depending on how formal the ceremony is, small sweets or even a three-course meal may now be served prior to the tea being poured. Next, the host will prepare the utensils for the pouring, ensuring that each utensil is completely clean and flawless. The required equipment consists of the tea whisk, the container for the tea powder, tea scoop, tea bowl, sweet container, tea brazier and a kettle. Each equipment has a specific circumstance and position. (Arrangement is vital in the ceremony)
A small ceremony usually consists of 4-5 guests and each are ranked in order of importance. The first and main guest is the Shokyaku and all guests have specific duties to perform based on their rank. The Shokyaku is the one that asks questions and always in a polite manner. Usually when a guest wishes to move a bowl, both hands must be used because it is politer. The Shokyaku is in charge of leading the rest of the guests, he always apologises and bows for drinking first and will pick up the Chawan and place it in front of his knees, bow to the Teishu and say: "Otemae chodai itashimasu".
Traditional ceremonies are conducted in Japanese regardless of the native languages of the guests. The Shokyaku and the host should know the important expressions required of the ceremony so they can communicate with each other. During the tea ceremony, there are few words exchanged, and only essential questions are asked. Both the host and the guests refrain from talking about topics unrelated to the tea ceremony to make the gathering more formal and special. Here are a few examples of common expressions:
The traditional Japanese tea ceremony is a living symbol of peace, harmony and happiness. It promotes social interaction and interpersonal bonding, and provides an occasion for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves away from the worries of the outside world.
It is also a means for guests to gain a greater appreciation for traditional Japanese matcha.
The tea used in tea ceremonies are match powder teas and these are high quality tea that contains up to 15 times more nutrients than loose leaf green tea. Matcha powder is ground tea leaves so you get the benefits of the whole tea leaf’s nutrients and vitamins. In comparison, in regular brewed green tea leaves, its nutrients and vitamins are left behind in the tea leaf because they are not consumed and thrown away.
For all formal and traditional ceremonies, you must wear a formal kimono for the ceremony unless the host tells you otherwise. The reason for this is because many of the movements in the ceremony are choreographed to adapt to the kimono. Some examples of such movements include the rituals for straightening the kimono, and tucking silk cloths and fans into the breast of a kimono. Kimono colors also differ with gender; men wear more subdued and mute colors while women wear brighter colors.
The tea room adopts a minimalistic style and keeps everything simple and basic. At its core, there must be a tatami flooring (as per tradition), flower arrangement (chabana) and sometimes a hanging scroll (kakejiku). A chabana arrangement is a simple arrangement of seasonal flowers placed in a container. They typically comprise few items, they are so simple that most of the time no more than a single blossom is used; this blossom will invariably lean towards or face the guests.
Let’s talk about cha (茶)! Japan has a unique tea culture steeped in years of tradition, with tea touted to be the Japanese’s regular elixir of life. The nation has refined tea to a great level of artistry and spiritual importance; a culture of devotion and discipline have created tremendous time-honoured traditions and elaborate rituals in celebration of cha. Teas in Japan are unashamedly bold, sometimes bitter, but always layered with lots of flavour and complex layers. Here’s a look at some notable ones.
Matcha is an ancient vibrant green tea that mingles the elegance of Japanese tea ceremonies with the powerful world of green tea health benefits. Tender leaves are steamed, dried and pounded to produce a sweet and gently grassy flavour. As matcha comes in a fine powdered form, its nutritional content stands out as you’re able to consume matcha in its entirety and ingest all of its healthful nutrients, rather than the mere water extract of it as with other teas. To make a delicious brew at home, you’ll need a matcha bowl, bamboo whisk, bamboo scoop, mini strainer and some excellent matcha. The colour of your matcha should be brilliant green, which is often the true indicator of quality; the duller the green colour, the lower in grade and quality the tea.
A standout amongst well-known Japanese teas and the next most trendy one in Singapore, hojicha is a brown, roasted variation of green tea. It was created due to a Kyoto tea merchant’s conservationist mindset – he did not want to waste a batch of aging tea and hence roasted the tea leaves in a porcelain pot over charcoal to extend its life. The result is then a roasty toasty cup of tea with a woody aroma and a wonderfully smooth, malty mouthfeel. What a win-win situation!
Genmaicha is a marriage of two classic Japanese flavours – green tea and roasted brown rice. It was first concocted by Buddhist monks centuries ago when they mixed green tea with the crunchy rice bits that were stuck to the bottom of rice cauldrons. This was done as gesture of conservation, much like what happened with hojicha. Also known as popcorn tea, genmaicha has a light golden hue, with a perfect balance of flavourful green tea and nutty undertones of toasted grains. Tastes great with ice.
If you’ve tasted Japanese tea, there’s good chance that it was sencha. Sencha accounts for 75% of green tea produced in Japan and is the most common tea served for regular drinking use. It has a fresh aroma, refined astringency, a subtle sweetness and comes in various grades.
Gyokuro is a variation of green tea, a more expensive and premium version of the standard sencha. Weeks before the harvest, gyokuro tea bushes are shaded to prevent any exposure to sunlight which will encourage chlorophyll levels to increase. Due to the shade, the amount of theine and caffeine in the emerald green tea leaves increases and causes gyokuro to have a less bitter taste, yielding a refined brew.
Bancha is a green tea, the type you’d be offered at a Japanese restaurant whilst waiting for your food. Known as the ‘tea of the poor’, bancha is probably Japan’s cheapest sort of tea and is also sold in vending machines for the masses. It regularly forms the base for tea blends and can be served hot or cold.
Another grain-based infusion, mugicha is a roasted barley brew with a toasty flavour and slight bitter undertones. The brown barley tea is usually served cold and is a popular summertime refreshment for the Japanese.
Originally from China, oolong has since gained popularity in Japan. It’s a little more bitter than the other teas mentioned and looks similar to mugicha, but it’s made from the same leaves as green tea. Oolongcha is often served at izakaya bars (casual Japanese drinking restaurants) as it goes well with bar grub and can cleanse the oil from the food dishes after. Izakaya bars also sell oolong-hai, an unsweetened shochu iced tea.
If you are up for a challenge, Nilufer Tea offers Sakura Tea, which, at its core, contains sencha, the aromatic and subtly-sweet green tea. With green tea made fun with beautiful sakura blossoms, it is definitely something that you shouldn't miss. Get some for yourself and register with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Which cha would you pick? Find your zen and consume a delicious Japanese brew today.