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Can I Cook with Green Tea Powder?

vivid green matcha

EGCG is heat-resistant

“Do not use hot water”–this is what you see about brewing instructions for Green Tea or Matcha. This is true but it’s misleading. When people read it, somehow people automatically believe that the hot temperature must ruin the precious antioxidants of Green Tea. So, it is reasonable if you wonder, “Can I cook with Matcha?” The answer is yes, you can! To the contrary to the misunderstanding,  EGCG, the most potent of the Green Tea antioxidants, is quite heat-resistant.

100% of the EGCG remains after 20 min. cooking

As shown in the graph below, brewing green tea leaves with hot water, even boiling hot, would not ruin or even diminish EGCG. This study showed no change in the amount of EGCG when it is cooked at 170 C (338 F) degrees for 20 minutes.  Even after 60 minutes, the majority, 80% of the EGCG, remained.*

Heat-resistance of EGCG

*reference: “茶抽出物の抗酸化効果と食品工業への有効利用 Antioxidants effects of green tea catechins and their application to food products”  https://www.mfc.co.jp/technical/pdf/01.pdf

It is easy to use Green Tea powder or Matcha in your cooking. To inspire your creativity, there is an exhaustive list of green tea recipes for all occasions on this page.

cooking with matcha

Why lower temperature is recommended to make a cup of Matcha

It is great now you do not worry about ruining the wonderful health benefits of Green Tea when you make Matcha cookies. But now you wonder why the instructions to make a cup of Matcha says to use lower temperature. 

Water temperature affects the flavor

The reason is the nature of Umami. Green Tea and Matcha tastes better with higher Umami. Umami is ‘oo-mah-me,’ a savory flavor, one of the 5 flavors along with saltiness, sweetness, bitterness, and sourness. Tea leaf or Matcha powder contains other components, such as caffeine, Catechins, vitamins, and minerals. When you brew with water of higher temperature, more bitter substances, such as caffeine and Catechins, will come out into the tea liquid, and the bitterness could overpower the nice, round smoothness of Umami.

Green Tea, especially Japanese Green Tea, is to be enjoyed the good balance of Umami and refreshing astringency. If you would like to enjoy smooth and rich Umami, brew your Green Tea or Matcha with water of 140 to 170 F. However, please be careful–not all Green Tea works the same way. When you use low quality tea with low temperature, you will not have a good result–as such tea does not contain much Umami from the first place.

In order to enjoy the pleasurable Umami, choose a quality Fukamushi Sencha or Gyokuro. These premium teas will also allow you to enjoy 3-4 brews from the same leaf. These higher grade teas, including ceremonial grade Matcha, offer more Umami–so you would like to use the lower temperature, 140 to 150 F. 

Lower temp creates frothy Matcha

When it comes to Matcha, the creaminess of Matcha is a major part of its enjoyment. When you froth Matcha, the tiny bubbles covers the surface and the froth creates the dreamy creaminess and enhances the whole experience. Matcha froths up better with the lower temperature water.

The froth is made possible due to the phytochemical, which is called saponin. Saponins are phytochemicals and according to the scientific reports, saponins are beneficial for health various ways.

However, these temperature is simply a guidline. There is no “violation” as long as you use pure water. The optimal temperature would vary depending on the various elements, such as tea cups, room temperature, your body temperature, etc.

It’s fun to get acquanted with the leaf or powder–then you know what temperature and brewing time create what taste from the particular leaf or powder. This is the fun part to know the product better–it’s like “taming the leaf.” Even with the same leaf or powder, if you would like to enjoy more strong and robust flavor, simply use higher temperature, such as 170 to 185 F. Since the hotter temperature opens the leaf more quickly, the brewing time should be shorter. 

gyokuro tea

Green Tea antioxidants reduce the carcinogen formation

Using green tea powder as an herb is a great idea.  Green tea adds not only antioxidants, but also “UMAMI (oo-mah-me)”, savoriness to the food. 

When you BBQ, the high heat creates carcinogens in the meat. Green tea antioxidants are also scientifically proven to reduce carcinogens in meats up to 75% when they are cooked with high heat, such as BBQ.**

Matcha Rub

Simple and versatile, this Matcha rub is great to keep in your pantry. 

Ingredients

  • Edible Green® green tea powder or Matcha
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder or lemon peel powder

Directions

  1. Mix 3 parts Edible Green® green tea powder or Matcha, 1-2 parts sea salt, 1 part black pepper, and 3 parts garlic powder or lemon peel powder (optional).
  2. Rub on meat evenly before cooking or grilling. 

Use this flavorful and nutritious salt for seasoning your favorite soup, pizza, salad, etc. A great way to add more powerful Green Tea antioxidants to your daily diet. Our MATCHA green tea for modern warriors is the matcha we recommend for your cooking needs.

Find product details about MATCHA green tea for modern warriors

Do you lead a low Caffeine lifestyle? No problem! Use Sencha powder for the less caffeine option.

**reference: “Effect of green tea marinades on the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines and sensory quality of pan-fried beef” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030881461000186X

Related recipes:

Crispy Kale Chips with Umami Sprinkle

Hamberger boosted with Umami and Green Tea antioxidants