Saturday, December 13, 2008

Matcha Novice

I made matcha today for the first time. The experience was more awkward than I had expected. I dutifully scooped out 1 teaspoon of the prized powder from its foil packaging inside the mini tin canister ( this was a teavana tea given to me by my mother on a daytrip to Chicago recently). The opening of the foil itself was fraught with some apprehension when I saw a green powdery trail wafting into the air (could the designers of the packaging do better than this?) wasting my precious cache. However, after some less than dexterous fumbling, the 2 scoops of the tea were deposited in hot water (boiling water left to cool for 3 minutes) through a small strainer and the utilitarian whisk -alas, metal and not bamboo- was then used to stir up the matcha powder in the two Japanese porcelain bowls.

The resultant bright green liquid with its quickly precipating powder made a stunning contrast with the deep blue hue of the bowls. My husband, E, and I eagerly sipped from our tea bowls as we sat at the kitchen table, the light of the afternoon waning in the windows overlooking the melting snow. I savored the astringency and grassiness of the matcha and was surprised at detecting a saltiness that I heretofore had not appreciated in previous cups of this tea. It was not an unpleasant experience and I commented to E that wouldn't it be nice if we had some of those wasabi peas (yes, the same ones I rhapsodized about in the last post) which would perfectly complement our tea. Unfortunately, the last batch had quickly disappeared from our home shortly after that last Chicago trip.

The experience was a counterpoint to my morning of seeing patients at the free clinic. It seemed part and parcel of the rhythm of the prosaic: ordinary, but pretty amazing.

1 comment:

ana dane said...

"ordinary but amazing" is such a perfect description of a morning cup of matcha- well done.

it really is the best way to start your day. i hope it becomes a habit!