With attention on the present moment, making matcha can be a nourishing practice for body and mind. This is an invitation to create a mindful and personal approach to tea. Explore how to make matcha mindfully…
Where to make matcha
Create a space that is comfortable and removed from daily activities. The Japanese tea ceremony is held in the 茶室 chashitsu (tea room), which isn’t part of the living quarters and is often a separate pavilion. Your tea space could be a room, or simply a place you dedicate to tea each day. For example, a kitchen bench overlooking the garden or a sun-drenched corner of the balcony.
What you need to make matcha
Have the following tea and teaware at hand:
- Ceremonial grade 抹茶 matcha (green tea powder)
- 茶碗 Chawan (tea bowl)
- 茶筅 Chasen (tea whisk)
- 茶杓 Chashaku (tea scoop)
- Tea strainer
- 茶巾 Chakin (tea cloth)
- 建水 Kensui (waste water container)
- Kettle with water
Note: as you build your tea set, you can use household items for some utensils. For example, a clean tea towel for the 茶巾 Chakin (tea cloth) and small kitchen bowl for the 建水 Kensui (waste water container).
Sakucha’s The Essential Matcha Tea Set includes tea and tools to start a mindful tea practice
How to make matcha
1. Heat the water
Heat water to approximately 80°C (176°F). This will allow the 旨味 umami (savoury) flavour to develop. Higher temperatures may result in a bitter brew.
Note: if you don’t have a variable temperature kettle, bring water to the boil. Then, open the lid and allow the water to cool for a few minutes. Take this time to close your eyes and breathe deeply.
“Chanoyu (the art of tea) simply means to heat water, put in tea and drink it”.SEN NO RIKYŪ, TEA MASTER (1522 – 1591)
2. Warm the bowl
Pour hot water into the tea bowl and bath the prongs of the whisk. Doing this will warm the bowl and soften the whisk to prevent damage.
3. Discard the water
Remove the whisk and pour water into another small bowl. You can use this waste water to water the houseplants once it’s cool.
4. Wipe the bowl
Use the cloth to wipe the bowl dry.
5. Sift the matcha
Sift ~2 chashaku scoops (~2g) of matcha into the bowl. Sifting helps to prevent lumps and create a creamy bowl of tea.
6. Add water and whisk
Pour ~60ml of hot water into the bowl. Holding the bowl with your left hand and whisk with your right hand, make fast back and forth movements powered by your wrist. Continue whisking until a foam has formed on top.
“When you hear the splash of the water drops that fall Into the stone bowl you will feel that all the dust of your mind is washed away.”SEN NO RIKYŪ, TEA MASTER (1522 – 1591)
7. Sip and sit
Inhale, notice the earthy 香織 kaori (aroma). Exhale, feel gratitude for this gift from nature, the time for tea, or something else you’re thankful for. Sip, breathe slowly and repeat until the bowl is finished.