Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mango-Matcha Smoothie

A while back, I mentioned that I'll be working with The Republic of Tea for the next few months. I just got a whole boatload of Matcha tea along with a bowl and crazy little whisk.

I'll be honest here and say that I've never actually tried matcha tea, so this was a completely new experience for me. I've tried a lot of other teas before, and I'd heard of matcha. And I knew a lot of people used it in cooking and baking.

Matcha is actually very finely ground green tea (which is supposed to be really good for you, right?) and it's the tea used in Japanese tea ceremonies, according to info I got from The Republic of Tea.

Here are the descriptions of the teas I got (quoted from The Republic of Tea):
  • Our premium U-Matcha Natural tea contains tender, shade-grown leaves that have been ground to a fine powder creating a rich balance of flavors. This matcha tea is ideal for blending with water for sipping or for cooking. 
  • Our premium U-Matcha Yuzu tea blends fine matcha powder with yuzu for a citrus flavor. This matcha tea makes a bright addition to mixed drinks, spice rubs and sweet desserts. 
  • Our premium U-Matcha Ginger tea blends fine matcha powder with ginger. This matcha tea boasts a spicy kick and wakes up the flavors of miso soups, stir-fry and other savory dishes. 
  • Our premium U-Matcha Roasted Rice tea blends fine matcha powder with roasted rice to create a nutty finish of flavor. This matcha tea provides warm nuances for sweet baked goods, savory dishes, shakes and lattes. 
So there we go.  Now you probably know more about matcha than I do. What I thought was interesting was the brewing method. For a hot tea, you're supposed to whisk it for a minute or two until the tea is frothy. I's way different from my usual brewing method. For cold tea, you can just mix it in, without all the whisking.

And of course, you can cook with it. They sent me a whole bunch of recipes and there were also recipes inside the can the tea came in. And it wasn't just drinks - there's soup, salad dressing, dessert ... lots of stuff.

The U-Matcha Ginger was my first taste on an evening when I thought the ginger would be good for a slightly unsettled tummy. Then I decided to make a chilly fruity drink. I've got to say that this stuff really makes things green. I'm looking forward to adding it to foods that I want to color naturally.

Mango-Matcha Smoothie
Recipe © by Do not republish without permission.
1 mango
2 bananas
1 teaspoon matcha ginger
1 cup milk (plus more as needed)
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Peel the mango, remove the pit, chunk it, and toss it in a blender. Peel the bananas, chunk them, and add them to the blender.

Add the matcha powder, milk, salt, and honey (if you're using it.). Blend until smooth.

This is pretty thick as-is. If you want something a little thinner, add more milk and blend again. If you want it sweeter, add a bit more honey - the sweetness depends a bit on how sweet your fruit is, so make it to your taste.

I received product from The Republic of Tea as part of the TEAm blogger program.

As a special bonus for my readers, you can get a free electric matcha frother with any order of U-Matcha Tea from The Republic of Tea when you use the promo code #MATCHA4.from March 22, 2013 through March 29. Cheers!