Image: Pinterest

Do you want to just drink matcha, or take in all its goodness? If the latter is your answer, let me tell you that sifting matcha is the key to great matcha.

Let’s Elaborate On That,

We matcha drinkers prefer our matcha to be smooth and frothy. But this powdered green tea has an inherent tendency to clump together. If you don’t sift it, no matter how much you whisk your matcha, it’s not going to be as smooth or frothy. Some of the lumps will survive the whisking process and rise to the surface of the whisked matcha and can even stick to the bowl. Not only is it unsightly, it also spoils the experience of drinking matcha.

Also read: How Long Should You Leave Tea in A Strainer?

How Do The Lumps Form?

Matcha is an extremely finely ground powder. Matcha particles are often the size between 1 and 20㎛. The lumps are formed by static electricity when the matcha is stored. The lumps do not really dissolve into water but settle. Whisked matcha tea is a heterogeneous mixture of water and matcha which is created by mechanical agitation. The amount of clumping sometimes depends on the grade too. If the matcha is of inferior quality/grade, there are more lumps compared to quality matcha.

It is because of the settling of the lumps that experts suggest you sift your matcha before pouring it in the bowl.

But Does That Mean You Can Never Prepare Matcha Without Sifting?

Yes. However, if you don’t feel like sifting your matcha, it’s advisable that you drink it as soon as you’re done whisking it. Otherwise, the particles will settle and lumps will appear and spoil the experience of drinking it.

Trust me, matcha doesn’t taste even half as good with lumps.  

Things Required For Sifting

There are tools particularly made for sifting matcha tea. These are called “Furui” in Japanese. In case you don’t have the Furui, you can use these regular household objects –

  • A strainer / sieve
  • 2 pieces of paper
  • A small canister
  • A chashaku (spatula) / spoon

Use a piece of paper as a tray to transfer the matcha from its container into the sieve. Fold a crease down the middle of the paper. Now, take the other piece of paper and make it into a funnel. You can also use a plastic funnel, but make sure to use one with a large bottom hole. The everyday kitchen funnel may not work as it has a hole of only 1/2 inch in diameter.

Also read: Matcha Not Frothing? You are Probably Making One of These 4 Mistakes

Pour out the un-sifted matcha from the well-sealed Teaologists matcha pack. Now place the sieve/strainer inside the funnel and place the funnel on top of the matcha pack.

Slowly and carefully pour the matcha into the sieve and use a spoon to push it through. Sift a small amount of matcha at a time so that the matcha doesn’t get flicked over the sides of the sieve. Now all that’s left for you to do is whisk and drink your matcha. You’ll notice the stark difference in blend-ability and smoothness that sifted matcha has.

This is what un-sifted matcha looks like: 


And this is what it looks like after sifting (notice the fine powder on the piece of white paper): 


Additional Info

  • If you can, sift a little more than what you would need at a time, like the amount of matcha you’re going to drink the next day and/or the day after that.
  • Keep a fine-mesh strainer handy.
  • Do NOT use water to clean the sieve / strainer. Simply wipe off the matcha powder with a clean, dry cloth.

 Image: Pinterest

Why can’t I sift all the Matcha in the pack at the same time?

If you sift all the matcha in the pack together, lumps will start to appear in a matter of minutes and all your effort will be for nothing.

A simple act of sifting gives matcha a remarkable improvement in taste and texture.

Remember to use Ceremonial Matcha for drinking and Culinary Grade matcha for cooking.

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