Being totally averse to grocery store runs in general, I’ve found that this continuing stay-at-home order has given me an ironclad excuse to not do any grocery shopping. Literally, at all.
Okay, well, there was the time that my daughter stood in line for 2+ hours (!!) to get into the store so I did have her pick up some stuff since, you know, there’s no point in my standing in line for 2+ hours myself when she could do it for me. Plus, I’m usually drinking hot tea, another incentive to just stay home indefinitely.
But by and large, we’ve had to buy very little since March 13 because we always keep a well-stocked freezer and pantry. But that also means that I’ve had to cook and bake with an eye on how much I still have at hand and how much longer I want to avoid venturing into any store.
So, that brings me to matcha, which many of us probably hoard to some degree, especially the really good stuff. But here, I’m just talking about some high-quality, organic, culinary-grade matcha from TeaHaus. I have only a tiny amount of it and I want to get the most bang for my buck of what’s left.
My daughter, the personal-grocery-shopper-by-default one, recently sent me a recipe for whipped coffee along with someone’s comment that they swapped in matcha for the instant coffee.
A side note: if you haven’t tried making whipped coffee, it’s foolproof, delicious, and comes out looking exactly like everyone’s obligatory look-what-I-just-threw-together-and-isn’t-it-amazing Instagram/FaceBook photo.
You just beat sugar, hot water, and instant coffee until it thickens (a lot!). I didn’t take a photo of mine because the three of us in our home immediately consumed it all and, besides, my aim was whipped matcha.
So figuring what the heck, I beat together sugar, hot water, and culinary-grade matcha.
And beat and beat and beat it, using an electric mixer, to no avail. I switched to a different-shaped bowl and beat and beat and beat the darn thing.
Now the point of a “whip” is that it’s supposed to thicken like whipped cream and you artfully dollop it atop iced milk and sprinkle it with a bit of matcha and post it on the social media platform for which you’ll get the most wows and heart emojis.
What I got? Slightly thickened icky sweet matcha that even when added to iced milk was unbearably sweet.
So I dumped in a bunch of unsweetened cocoa powder and tried to whisk it, first unsuccessfully with a balloon whisk and then with a French whisk, getting the cocoa somewhat incorporated.
And now it tasted like chocolate matcha, not bad at all, but what I’d consider a waste of really good culinary matcha because the matcha did not shine. And this definitely wasn’t a “whip”!
My daughter, the not-designated-personal-shopper one, thought that maybe the person’s comment about matcha meant a matcha powder mix and not actual culinary matcha. That makes sense because the coffee whip requires instant coffee rather than actual ground coffee. Duh. Oh well. My daughter gave me a package of green tea latte to try.
I find it gratifying that this is accurately called “green tea” rather than “matcha” because it helps avoid confusion as to what’s “matcha” vs “powdered green tea,” two quite different things and a distinction that’s often not understood here in the U.S.
Because this mix already has a lot of sugar, I just beat it with some hot water. And beat and beat and beat. And got a somewhat thickened sweet somewhat-matcha-tasting concoction, still not a “whip.”
However, it did make a nice layer over cold milk, although the color is rather blah.
Again, not bad, but definitely not what I was going for.
Investigating recipes for whipped matcha, I see that they require additional steps, such as making a simple syrup with the sugar and incorporating beaten egg whites to get that “whip” consistency.
I considered how few eggs I have left.
And decided to go for it anyway, following the recipe by Hip Foodie Mom. I did cut the recipe in half so as to use only one egg white, which I beat just until frothy at which point I slowly added a simple syrup.
After beating to the soft peak stage, I whipped in my culinary matcha and done! And using only one egg made plenty for the three of us.
Definitely got that pop from the matcha, plus it was incredibly creamy and decadent—exactly what I was hoping for! Its color was lovely as well.
In the end, it’s worth using the good matcha, and it’s worth taking the time to make the simple syrup and beat the egg white and do this thing correctly. As is generally the case for most things in life. . . .
So thanks to Hip Foodie Mom for providing this simple and oh-so-good recipe. And one day, when we can open up our homes once more, I’ll have to make this for my designated-shopper-daughter to thank her for standing in line for hours while I’m at home drinking tea. And now having whipped matcha.