How to Grind Leaves for Tea

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The traditional matcha tea ceremony is a pleasant and healthful addition to anyone's day. Matcha powder is made from shade-grown tea leaves, which are also used to make gyokuro tea. The leaves are similar to, but not the same as green tea leaves. To make matcha for the tea ceremony the whole leaves are ground into a fine powder, making this a more healthful beverage than other teas, in which the leaves are usually steeped then thrown out.

Things You'll Need

  • A stone tea grinder or a mortar and pestle
  • Organic gyokuro tea leaves

Procure a stone grinder or a mortar and pestle. The mortar and pestle will be a less expensive option, but the stone grinder can be easier. Determine which best suits your budget and your needs.

If you're using a stone grinder designed for grinding tea leaves into matcha powder, you'll simply follow the manufacturer's instructions. However, if you decided to save some money and hand grind the leaves in a mortar and pestle, you'll add a small workout to the benefits of drinking the tea. To grind in a mortar and pestle, simply pour a small amount of the leaves into the mortar, and pound away with the pestle until you have a fine powder. Depending upon the size of your mortar and pestle, you may have to do this in several small batches. Be sure to make only as much powder as you will use within the next day or 2, because freshness is key.

Finish the matcha tea ceremony by adding hot water to your powder to create a tea of the desired thickness. Whisk until frothy, then enjoy. Special matcha whisks are available, but in a pinch you can use any small whisk. Pause to take a calm moment in which to enjoy this healthful beverage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Generally for matcha, you'll heat the water until just before it reaches the boiling point.
  • Do not use a regular spice or coffee grinder to grind up your tea leaves. These grinders actually create a bit of heat and can destroy the health-giving benefits of the raw leaves.

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