There is nothing difficult about this. Not even a little bit.
But for some reason I’ve always been hesitant about preparing matcha at home because I was afraid I would do it incorrectly. Green tea in Japan is serious business and there absolutely is a right way and a wrong way.
To make sure I was doing it right, I tried to go to a class but then I missed it because I didn’t have my life together so I did the next best thing: I watched LOTS of YouTube videos on the subject and I feel like now I can properly talk about making a cup of warm matcha.
Let’s start with what matcha is. With most teas, you simply steep the leaves in hot water, but with matcha you actually are consuming the leaves. Matcha powder is greeen tea leaves ground up very finely so they dissolve into the water.
I like to sift about 1 teaspoon of matcha powder to ensure that all of the lil’ bits of matcha are broken up. This makes for a silky smooth mug of matcha tea.
Next, pour about a tablespoon of hot water into the bottom of the mug.
Then, whisk away until a loose paste forms. This part is very important because you want to make sure any bits of matcha have dissolved.
Sometimes (since I’m a nosey person), I wonder what people’s blogging situation looks like. Like, where are they when they’re writing, what are they wearing (not like that, you sicko!), what are they drinking…you know, all that kind of stuff.
So, here’s a very non-glamorous picture of where I write the majority of my blog posts: in bed, wearing sweats and a t-shirt with anti-wrinkling serum all over my face. I usually edit and write the recipe right after I make and shoot the dish, but the blog post is always written right before I press publish or set it on a timer. For me, the idea of writing blog posts weeks ahead of when they’re published feels weird and disconnected. I like it to be almost in real time. I dunno—there’s no right or wrong way, that’s just how I prefer it.
I’m so dang excited about these Italian sodas. They’re maybe the prettiest thing I’ve made in quite some time, and my favorite part about this recipe is that it’s an idea-based recipe. You can apply the ratios below to any fruit and be met with delicious results. And seriously how gorgeous are the colors? I LOVE THEM!
If you’ve never had an Italian soda, they’re so rich and refreshing all at the same time. I decided on three flavors: rhubarb, blackberry and strawberry, but feel free to use up any fruit that cooks down well. Other fruit ideas are pineapple, blueberries, mulberries (they just came in season!) and even mangos.
It has been so hot in Los Angeles. This unattractive heatwave inspired me to make my favorite cooling-off-drink of my childhood: Peruvian Chicha Morada. This is what my mama would make me when I was little.
What is Chicha?
Let’s talk about Chicha Morada. This is a drink from Peru. This drink is made from corn. Yes! Corn! Beautiful Peruvian dried purple corn. You can find it at most Latin supermarkets and online here.
Note: It should run you about $4 at a latin market, so amazon is a little bit more expensive. If you’ve watched a food tv show about Peru, you’ll most likely be familiar with chicha as a drink that people make in Cusco, Peru. But it’s actually made all over Peru in varying ways. In Lima, it’s made from boiling dried purple corn.
Look how pretty the purple corn is!
The corn is tossed into a pot with water, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and the peel from a pineapple (waste nothing! and plus it gives it a hint of pineapple flavor).
And then it simmers for 45 minutes and when it’s done your house will smell spicy and fruity. The mixture will go from looking like water with ingredients mixed in to a beautiful, bright purple color!
Next, it’s time to add the fresh lime juice and sugar. Below it says 1 cup of sugar. This wasn’t super sweet, so feel free to taste it after the 1 cup of sugar and add more if you like!
There are different types of Chicha!
Chicha usually comes in two forms: fermented and non-fermented.
That’s not what we’re making today! But if you decided to add a splash of rum or pisco to this, I wouldn’t be angry with you.
Top each drink of Peruvian Chicha Morada with a small handful of diced pineapple and apple. Screams summer time.
To a large pot, add the dried purple corn, water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, the pineapple peels, sugar and apple peel. Heat over high heat and once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove the chicha from the heat. Place a strainer atop a large bowl and pour mixture through it, catching the large corn ears, pulp and pineapple. Transfer to a pitcher and allow to come to room temperature before refrigerating until cold. When the chicha has gotten cold, stir in the lime juice, diced pineapple and diced green apple. Divide amongst glasses and serve.
If you like, you can reuse the scraps of the dried corn/pineapple peels/apple peel once more. You can make more chicha by adding 8 cups of water and 3/4 cups of sugar. Any more water and I fear it'll be bland!