Monday, 9 January 2012

Matcha Week Day 1 - Matcha Bubble Tea

Matcha is green tea leaves in a powder form. According to Wiki, because we drink the leaves instead of just steeped water, the health benefits of Matcha is much greater than normal green teas. It is seen as one of the best health drink, or even a slimming product in the World.

To be honest, I think that by promoting it as a slimming product puts quite a lot of people off from drinking it. I never see Matcha as a slimming product, something to drink just for the health benefit, or even just for detoxing. It started off as a tea that's been used for ceremonies, and nowadays majority of Japanese just drink it as a daily thing. It's as normal as English drinking red tea with milk.

I love drinking Matcha when I have Sushi. After all, any tea (without milk) helps your digestive system, and it clears the palette. I was also attracted by all the yummy food you can make with Matcha powder - cakes, cookies, ice-cream, puddings, etc.

The problem I had was that Matcha powder was very hard to find in the UK. The last time I bought any was in a Japanese store. So I had to constantly order them from my mum in Hong Kong.

Last year when I was working on the Christmas feature, teapigs introduced me to their Matcha powder. Finally a more common place to buy Matcha powder! They told me that January is their Matcha month, and all these ideas just kept popping in my head. There is just so much I can do with Matcha. They were happy for me to hold on to their lovely Matcha kit for January.

So, for the next several days, starting from today, I will be writing a yummy recipe each day, using matcha powder as an ingredient. I want to show you that apart from it being a health product, it can also be great for baking and making desserts. I know, it sounded like I'm turning it into something unhealthy, it really isn't, you still get all the anti-oxidants at least!

Matcha kit to giveaway
At the end of the week, I will be holding a giveaway, for you to win your very own Matcha kit, courtesy of teapigs.

In case you are interested, teapigs is holding a #teapigsmatchachallenge, for more information on how to participate see here.

I was gonna hold off on a 20% discount code as a surprise for you, but it's already all over Twitter! And you might want it earlier if you want to participate in their challenge, so here it is:

MATCHABLOG12   (valid on matcha only, and offer ends until 12th Feb, 2012)

To start my Matcha week, I'm gonna provide a very simple yet delicious recipe - Matcha Bubble Tea. Well, without the bubbles (big Tapioca balls), since I don't have any! Still, it's lovely to drink it without the bubbles.

(Serves 1 normal sized mug, excuse my big one)


1/4tsp Matcha Powder
2tsp Coffee Mate, or Cream, or any fatty dairy of your choice (trust me, milk just won't do)
1.5tsp Sugar
Hot Water

- Dissolve all the ingredients in your mug and stir well.
- Adjust sweetness and creaminess to your liking.

For best results, whisk it with a milk frother.

In case you are interested, you can buy the bubbles from any Chinese store (there are coloured ones, and the original brown ones).

  • Boil them in hot water until they are all floating.
  • Add 1-2 Tbsp of sugar, syrup or honey, dissolve and simmer for about 5 minutes. They should be transparent, with perhaps a touch of murkiness in the centre. Do not overcook them as they will become soggy. (If they are undercooked they will still be powdery) Try one if uncertain.
  • You can reserve part of the syrup to add to your tea, or just drain it away. 
  • It's best if you only cook whatever you need, I wouldn't advice to keep them in the fridge for longer than 2 days. Make sure you keep some of the cooking liquid with them or they'll get stuck together.

Disclosure: I was given a matcha kit to review, and one to giveaway; all opinions are honest and my own