In Japanese cha is tea. So, we call our teas hojicha, sencha, genmaicha etc. In the matcha world we have koicha (strong tea) and usucha (weak tea). For matcha latte lovers, I recommend making strong usucha and then adding milk, as the flavour of the milk can overwhelm the matcha! As matcha contains quite a lot of caffeine (a little more than coffee), it might be a good idea to use our Low-Caffeine Matcha (which has 82% less caffeine) for matcha lattes after 4_00 pm.
Traditionally we don’t add any sugar or milk to matcha tea, but we serve some sweets before drinking matcha. I don’t really have a sweet tooth, but I love wagashi (Japanese sweets) very much. Generally, wagashi is not too sweet and doesn’t use any butter, instead we use a lot of beans, especially azuki red beans. Chestnuts are also a popular ingredient for wagashi.
I used to make chestnut wagashi at my tea ceremony teacher’s home in the autumn. I found this recipe on YouTube which is the same. It’s easy to make, and only needs two ingredients, chestnuts, and sugar! During my workshop I always say that we use all five senses to enjoy the Japanese tea ceremony. I remember vividly the feeling of the warn chestnuts in my hands when making the wagashi. Making chestnut wagashi is very comforting and relaxing for me. It might be fun to make with your friends or children?! Chestnut wagashi works well with koicha as well as usucha, and all sorts of green tea on my palate.
I also want to recommend a Japanese YouTuber, who makes beautiful food as well as videos! I’ve followed quite a few of her recipes but haven’t tried her Matcha Swiss Roll Cake yet. It’s on my wish list! If you don’t like azuki bean paste, then why not try this one. And you can always use my recipe to make my extremely easy matcha cake!
For baking I recommend using our matcha Aoarashi or you can use your old matcha tea. I think I would have a cup of strong hojicha or iribancha with matcha swiss roll cake.
In the UK my favourite chocolatier is Rococo Chocolate, and I especially like their white chocolate with mixed berries with my matcha tea. I like usucha with this chocolate. I normally prefer wagashi to chocolate or cake, but this chocolate is my guilty pleasure! My nearest Rococo Chocolate in Notting Hill closed down during the first Lockdown. It makes me very sad, but it might be good to save money and save calories! But I can always order some online can’t I…!
If you have any favourite recipes or sweets that you enjoy with green tea, then please share them with me! I’ve love to share them with all the tea lovers!