Last week a group of tea friends from Steepster and I attended an introduction to matcha class. It was held at Harney & Son’s SoHo and conducted by tea master Souheki Mori. She holds monthly tastings at several places in NYC and most of the proceeds benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy and the earthquake in Japan. None of us need an excuse to have tea but it felt great to know that we were also helping others in some way. Although I have made matcha at home for years, I was eager to learn more and particularly excited to experience my first bowl of “thick tea”.
Souheki was friendly and knowledgeable with a contagious enthusiasm for the Japanese tea ceremony. Our class started with a PowerPoint presentation on matcha, it’s history and how it made. She then expertly prepared each of the five participants a bowl of “thick tea”. I had tried to make this myself at home but was not very successful so it was great to get to watch a master at work. The taste was incredible, fresh and sweet without all of the sharp astringency associated with “thin tea”. We all had a hard time putting out finger on it exactly but I thought the finish was almost savory. Talk about a rush! I was on an empty stomach so it really got to me. Thankfully we were all provided with a macaron to munch on.
Next we were each prepared a bowl of “thin tea”. The taste was very different but still delicious. We all had a wonderful chat about our favorite matcha brands and the different ways that we like to prepare it. Souheki did a great job of explaining her movements and answering any questions that we had. If you ever have the opportunity to attend, I highly recommend this class. You can find out more about Souheki and the events she holds on here website: http://www.tea-whisk.com/