Matcha: Silky and Smooth, It’s Not Just for Tea Ceremonies Anymore

Matcha — the shade-grown, stone-pulverized, high-antioxidant, air-dried Japanese-tea-ceremony tea that tastes bitter, sweet, creamy and astringent within one sip and whose dazzling hue is the love child of emeralds, shamrocks and jade — is now officially a Next Big Thing. A growing tribe of devotees discuss it with the same intensity and insider lingo (think “mouthfeel,” “body,” “finish” and “notes”) typically applied to wine, third-wave coffee and artisanal cheese.

It’s a trendy cooking ingredient at restaurants such as Berkeley’s Joshu-Ya Brasserie, where award-winning owner/author/executive chef Jason Kwon sees matcha as “belonging to the same family as chocolate and vanilla, in that it’s that rich and that versatile.

By Anneli Rufus

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