Friday, April 15, 2011

Is the foam necessary on the surface of matcha?

How does the surface of the matcha you prepared look like? Is it totally or partially covered with foam?

I have heard different opinions about the foam. The foam makes the tea milder, so it’s good to make plenty of them. Well, that sounds right. On the other hand, I heard that too much whisking makes the tea react with air and oxidize it. Therefore, it makes the tea bitter. Hmmm, this also makes sense. They are kind of contradicting each other, but I think they are both true. I guess you need the balance between both theories.

In sado (The Way of Tea), how much foam you make depends on the family traditions. In some family tradition, you make plenty of foam and others don’t. The family tradition I’m learning suggests medium foam which partially covers the surface. However, I have not acquired the skill to achieve it. I personally think if the tea is not mixed well, it will taste rough. So, I want to whisk well and I keep making a lot of foam that covers the entire surface. It is not good in my family tradition. I’m struggling between whisking well and not making too much foam. I think I need more practice to create a perfect foam on matcha (^^;; How about you, how are you doing with the foam?

A is what I usually prepare.
B is what I need to achieve.


  1. What is the term/name for matcha "foam" in japanese? just curious.

  2. hi! I found your blog when I wanted to search about the matcha's foam. I'be been learning cha no yu in Japan Foundation here in my country. I always get foam like the pic A in JF, but when i do it at home I never get the same result (worse than the pic B) :(
    I wonder if it was because I use sencha powder instead of matcha? I tried to google it but it made me more confused *-*

    1. Hi, Melyani-san, Thanks for leaving your comment!
      I have never prepared sencha powder with the way of matcha preparation. I can’t say for sure but sencha powder is probably the reason why you are not getting demanded foam. Sencha powder is called funmatsucha, different from maatcha. Tea plants for Sencha is not covered with shade before harvesting. So, it doesn’t have umami substance that matcha supposed to have. And also, the particles of sencha powder are usually larger than matcha’s. The difference of the particle size might effect for frothing. It’s my guess. Why don’t you try it with real matcha?

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  4. This foam also appears in normal leaf tea, though not as much, as there's no whisking. On normal leaf tea, the foam doesn't look good at all, but on the matcha surface, it looks delicious.