Matcha is a Japanese tea that can be enjoyed either hot or cold, and all of the different options out there have led to many online debates over which method is the best. Whether you’re trying matcha for the first time or have been familiar with the drink for years, you might not know everything about it. Read on for more information about matcha tea and if matcha is more effective hot or cold.
The taste of matcha is smoother and more refreshing when the matcha is cold. When matcha is hot, it is much sweeter, creamier, and nuttier. However, many people do consider the taste bitter. If the taste of matcha is too intense, try to make the drink with cooler water. You may find that it is less extreme and more mellow.
- TIP - If your matcha tastes like fish, it may be a low quality matcha, or it could have been damaged by humidity or heat.
If you are brewing expensive matcha, it is recommended that you brew it at lower quality. The higher the quality the matcha tea is, the lower the temperature the water should be. When the matcha is prepared with cooler water, it brings out more of the flavour (mainly umami). The flavour of matcha can also be described as vegetal, meaning it is somewhere between a savoury flavour and a fruity flavour.
If you heat your matcha too hot, it will kill the flavor, so always be extra cautious with expensive teas to ensure you can still enjoy them without ruining them. If you’re concerned with flavour, then you should strive not to brew your matcha above about 80 degrees Celsius (175 degrees Fahrenheit).
- TIP: Using a Japanese bamboo whisk can bring out even more of the matcha flavour, especially in high-quality matcha.
When matcha is made with hot water, the amino acids it contains (L-theanine) is released into the drink and influences the taste of the tea. An EEG test (a way of studying brain waves by using an electroencephalograph) has demonstrated an increase of focused and alert brain waves while we drink matcha.
Cold matcha also offers some health benefits. These range from energy boosts to the ability to normalise hormone production, and stabilising blood pressure. There is also some evidence that cold matcha tea can help to prevent heart disease, and possibly even cancer. Cold matcha contains many vitamins, and by ensuring that your matcha stays cold, you won’t risk killing the nutrients with high temperatures.
Matcha contains a small amount of caffeine, which may trigger certain side effects if you drink too much, including headaches, insomnia, and diarrhoea. If you are trying matcha for the first time, be sure you are not allergic to caffeine. However, matcha has not been associated with the jitteriness or crashes that frequently go hand in hand with coffee.
So, is matcha more effective hot or cold? If you enjoy matcha for flavour, then you may prefer to brew it cold to avoid killing any of the flavour. If you prefer drinking matcha for the health benefits it may offer, then those benefits may be more effective in your body if the matcha is brewed with hotter water. However you choose to brew your matcha, you’ll always be enjoying a soothing drink. Looking to enjoy even more matcha? Consider Matcha Green Purity Soap Bars from Clearstone to take your relaxation (and complexion) to the next level.