When pouring Japanese matcha green tea drink into cups, is filtering with a filter cone or something equivalent recommended? Why?


Matcha is supposed to be thick and frothy - one of the reasons it is traditionally prepared with a whisk is to froth up the texture - and filtering it would remove both the texture and the powder that has taken considerable effort to get properly suspended in the tea.

Matcha tea is very expensive because it is exceedingly high quality, and carefully ground smooth and stored well, and this is because the powder is all meant to be ingested. If it was meant to be filtered out and removed, then it would simply be green tea, and it would be much easier to have larger flakes and lower standards.

Smaller particles will brew faster, that is pretty much the advantage of powder, but they will also overbrew very quickly and can introduce off flavors (compared to whole leaf tea) if the quality is not very good. Teabags make this tradeoff, using crushed powder (fannings) which are meant to be steeped very quickly and removed, and usually end up being made of lower quality because it;s use is that steeps fast and strong, and the finer qualities of high quality teas are usually not preserved through the process. Matcha makes a different tradeoff, if it is to be worth using only the highest quality leaf, the results must be much, much better than regular green tea for it to be worth the extra effort and expense - so the leaf is carefully selected and drunk whole for a very different experience than regular green tea, not strained out (which would give a teabag-like experience).

  • So is 'crushed powder' and 'matcha' in your answer referring to the same thing or not? I'm confused. – qazwsx Dec 10 '16 at 7:19
  • @qazwsx - yes and no. Matcha is finely ground tea leaf, so yes it is crushed powder - albeit crushed powder of the highest quality and with the finest processing. Fannings, the shredded stuff in tea bags, is also crushed tea leaf powder - generally the lowest quality stuff. I am comparing the two in my answer, noting that the higher quality and finer processing of matcha is because the powder is meant to be whisked into the tea and drunk, and not strained out like the lower quality fannings used in teabags. – Megha Dec 10 '16 at 7:26
  • When I drink a cup of matcha drink, it often eventually have some particulars or powers left at the bottom. Am I supposed to whisk the cup and the all mixed into my final few sips? – qazwsx Dec 10 '16 at 7:28
  • @qazwsx - depends on how much powder you have left, I guess. If the matcha was well-mixed, there should be very little powder left, and you might mix it into your last few sips easily. If your matcha was poorly mixed, and there's a lot of powder - then trying to fit it into the last few sips would be unpleasant, though you might add a few spoonfuls of extra water if you don't want to lose the flavor still in the powder. Matcha is supposed to be served in small cups, whisked thoroughly and drunk quickly, so there shouldn't be time for the powder to settle much. – Megha Dec 10 '16 at 21:23
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    If the matcha is of good quality, then it should almost completely dissolve when you twisk well. If it doesn't dissolve, most likely it's not from good raw material or not well processed. High quality is only worth it when you drink it pure. If you want to cook with it or make shakes, then go for a lower quality one. Good matcha would be a waste for such purpose. – Lisa at Teasenz.com Dec 13 '16 at 6:45

Matcha is very finely ground tea powder, so it is advisable to run it through a fine sifter before making the tea in order to prevent any lumps. A filter would catch all of the powder (which you want in the water), so I don't think that makes sense.

  • Will simply steering the drink and crushing any lumps with the tummy of a spoon work? – qazwsx Dec 10 '16 at 7:22

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