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  • Writer's pictureTea Para Ti

A Beginner's Guide to White Matcha


A hand holding a cup of white matcha

White matcha is a relative of green tea matcha, but not as widely consumed or well-known. If you're hearing "white matcha" out on the street or seeing it listed on cafe menus, you might be wondering if it's worth trying out; especially if it means swapping it with your normal matcha order.


Don't skip over this drink! We're here to tell you that white matcha is such a unique type of tea that's definitely worth a taste.


Here's what you need to know:


What is White Matcha?


A mug of white matcha

Okay, let's set the record straight. Similar to blue matcha or other matcha flavors, the truth is that "real" matcha can only be applied to green tea matcha. Otherwise, it's not technically matcha.


But, similar to green matcha, white matcha originates from the same plant as all tea, Camellia sinensisis. Though, unlike green matcha which goes through a longer oxidation process, white matcha is made from minimally processed (white) tea leaves that are shade-grown and harvested at a much younger age. Then, those tea leaves are ground up into matcha powder (matcha means "powdered tea" in Japanese), before arriving to your tea cupboard, ready to brew!


What is Kenya Kitamu White Matcha?

According to Culinary Teas, true white matcha comes from tea leaves that are grown in the highest elevations of Kenya, given the name Kenya Kitamu White Matcha. This special type of tea is made from the youngest leaves grown here, which are plucked, minimally processed, and carefully ground using a traditional stone mill.


What Does White Matcha Taste Like?

Compared to green tea matcha, the flavor of white matcha tends to be more subtle, sweet, and less "grassy", making it a more desirable option for some people who do like regular matcha but want to take it down a notch. To some drinkers, white matcha may remind you of oolong tea. Of course, if you haven't tried oolong yet, either, then you may be surprised when you taste white matcha for the first time!


What is White Matcha Known For?

There are a lot of characteristics of white matcha that make it a special drink, which we'll cover later in this guide. But, the main thing that it's known for is having less caffeine than regular matcha and overall being a bit more gentle on your taste-buds.


This means that white matcha is both a great tea to drink in the late afternoon or at night. It also goes well in drink recipes and baked goods, especially if you feel that green matcha recipes are a bit too overpowering for your taste.


The Health and Wellness Benefits of White Matcha


A woman in a towel and a face mask on her face holding a mug of white matcha

Like most teas, white matcha offers many health and wellness benefits. Though most people may just drink it white matcha for the taste or experience, it is helpful to know what this tea can do for you otherwise.


White Matcha is Richer in Antioxidants

White tea has the maximum levels of polyphenols, which means that it's rich in potent antioxidants, potentially being more effective than green tea. These attributes are shown to reduce inflammation, regulate body weight, and lower high cholesterol. In addition to the catechins in white matcha, all of these antioxidants help combat oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases, too.


The antioxidants in white tea and thereby white matcha - where nutrients can be more concentrated - can also:


  • Support heart health: Antioxidants in white matcha can also contribute to heart health by improving cholesterol levels, reducing inflammation, and protecting against hypertension.

  • Provide Immune system support: The antioxidants and other beneficial compounds in white matcha can support the immune system, helping to fend off illnesses.

  • Nourish your skin health: The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of White Matcha may also benefit skin health, potentially improving skin clarity and reducing the signs of aging.


How Else Can White Matcha Help You?


The antioxidants in white matcha tea are definitely what make this tea stand out in health and wellness categories, but there's even more that this beverage can do for you:


  • White matcha supports your metabolism: It can boost metabolism, aiding in weight management and potentially enhancing fat loss, partly due to its caffeine and catechin content.

  • White matcha improves stress & anxiety: White matcha, like green tea, has L-theanine which is an amino acid that promotes mental clarity, improves focus, and helps reduce stress and anxiety.

  • White matcha has lower caffeine levels: One of the things we love most about white matcha is that - especially compared to green matcha - it typically has a lower caffeine content which can be nice depending on the time of day or your general tolerance of caffeine.


How Often Should You Drink White Matcha?


Like any tea, it's important to strike a balance with consumption. White tea is a healthy drink but the catechins, while beneficial, could become harmful if consumed in large quantities. And, even though white matcha is lower in caffeine levels, it's recommended that adults have no more than 400mg of caffeine a day. Because white tea has a maximum of 55mg of caffeine per 250 mL cup of tea, you can enjoy a few cups a day!



How to Brew the Perfect Cup of White Matcha


White matcha powder
Credit: Culinary Teas

Okay, enough talk about how amazing white matcha is. If you've got your hands on the goods, it's time to sit down and enjoy a warm cup.


Here's how to brew white matcha:


Ingredients:


  • 1 teaspoon of white matcha tea/Kenya Kitamu White Matcha

  • 8 ounces (about 240 ml) of hot water (not boiling, around 160-170°F or 71-77°C)


Instructions:


Heat water: Heat your water to the recommended temperature, which for matcha is recommended to be at 175°F.

Prepare your cup: Place 1 teaspoon of white matcha into your mug.

Pour water: Gently pour the water over the matcha.

Whisk: Using a bamboo whisk, whisk briskly in a W or zigzag motion until the tea is frothy. If you don't have a bamboo whisk, a small regular whisk will do the job just fine.


How to Make a White Matcha Latte

Making a white matcha latte involves a few simple ingredients and steps. It's a creamy, smooth variation that can be enjoyed hot or iced.


Ingredients:


  • 1 teaspoon of white matcha tea

  • 2 ounces (about 60 ml) of hot water (160-170°F or 71-77°C)

  • 8 ounces (about 240 ml) of milk (dairy or plant-based)

  • Sweetener of choice (optional, to taste)

Instructions:


Step 1 - Prepare the white matcha: Whisk the white matcha with the hot water in a cup or bowl until smooth and frothy.

Step 2 - Heat milk: Warm the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. For an iced latte, skip this step and use cold milk.

Step 3 - Froth milk: Froth the warmed milk until it's nice and foamy. If making an iced latte, you can either froth cold milk using a frother or shake it vigorously in a sealed jar for a few seconds.

Step 4 - Combine: Pour the prepared white matcha into your serving cup. Gradually add the frothed milk, holding back the foam with a spoon to top off the drink.

Step 5 - Add sweetener: Add sweetener to your liking and stir well.

Step 6 - Serve: Top with the remaining foam. For an extra touch, sprinkle a little white matcha powder on top.


Need some help? This video breaks down the steps to make a matcha latte.


Where to Buy White Matcha

Don't yet have white matcha in your cupboard? That's okay. Finding white matcha used to be a quest, but not so much anymore. You can find white matcha at local specialty tea shops, or check online to find stores. Be sure to read about the quality of the tea, where it's sourced, and check reviews.


Try White Matcha Before the Hype!

If you've never tried white matcha before, it's a good idea to try it at a tea or coffee-shop that's known for making white matcha tea. This way, when you brew it at home, you'll have an idea of what it should taste like. Because, let's be honest...there is a such thing as a good cup of matcha and a not-so-good cup of matcha. It takes time to get it right, but it's helpful to know where the bar is set before going at it on your own at home.


In either case, we recommend giving white matcha a taste before the hype takes over. Then, you can stock up before prices may go up!





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