Eric Gower’s Perfect Cup of Matcha

MAKES 1 SERVING • PREP TIME: 5 minutes • COOK TIME: 5 minutes

If you’re not familiar with matcha, it’s a finely powdered green tea. And if you’re not familiar with chef Eric Gower, his matcha is to green tea as Dom Perignon is to Champagne. Eric spent sixteen years in Japan learning the customs and history behind one of the healthiest teas on the planet. I took a class with him and he made me a matcha convert; now, every day at 3 p.m. on days when we’re home working, my husband, Gregg, and I stop everything for a few minutes and do a little tea ceremony around this hearty brew. I thank you, Eric, for allowing me to share your matcha method with my readers. We all give you a virtual bow.

The perfect cup of matcha is like making the perfect cup of expresso, so you will need some special equipment here, including a small fine-mesh sieve or sifter, a matcha scoop (use a teaspoon if you don’t have one), a frother (see Cook’s Notes, next page), and a mug.

1/4 cup boiled filtered water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon matcha

Place a small fine-mesh sieve or strainer over a deep mug. Scoop the matcha into the sieve and gently shake it allow the matcha to fall through. Then gently push the remainder through the sieve with your matcha scoop or a teaspoon.

Fill a small teacup with 1/4 cup of the boiled water and let it sit for one minute. Transfer the hot water from the small cup to the mug with the sifted matcha in it. Swirl it around like wine, and, using the tip of the frother, scrape around the bottom to make sure no clumps Remain.

Tilt the mug at a pretty steep angle and turn on the frother. Insert the frother deep down to mix everything thoroughly for just a few seconds, trying not to hit the side of the mug–just froth the liquid.

Then bring the tip of the frother up a bit, so that you’re frothing the froth, not so much the water. The whole act of frothing should take no longer than 8 to 10 seconds (additional frothing doesn’t create better crema). Swirl the matcha, as you would a glass of wine, and give it a few firm taps to pop any large bubbles. Then pour it back into the smaller, preheated cup, and serve.

COOK'S NOTE: Filling the small cup with boiling water and transferring it to the larger mug accomplishes three important things: it preheats the cup, which will keep the matcha hotter for longer; it cools the boiled water to the desired brewing temperature of 175° to 180°F; and it pre-measures your water.

According to Eric Gower, a nice cup of matcha would ideally have roughly two ounces (that is, a quarter-cup) of creamy, perfectly frothed green ambrosia, made in a small pitcher or creamer (or even a mug, as here), and then transferred to a small, elegant cup for serving.

Achieving the crema means you using the right tool—a battery- operated handheld milk-foaming wand. With a little practice, you’ll become a matcha barista, whipping up a cup of matcha with a dreamy crema every time.

Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.