Enjoyed for centuries in Japan as part of formal tea ceremonies, matcha is the newest way to enjoy the health benefits of green tea in our part of the world. Matcha is a drink made by whisking powdered tea leaves in hot water (as opposed to brewing a tea with loose leaves). It tastes wonderfully rich and grassy and smells like spring has sprung. To enjoy it at home, place 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of powdered matcha tea in a shallow bowl, then add 1/3 cup boiling water. Briskly froth the mixture with a small metal whisk or bamboo tea whisk until a blanket of foam coats the top, like an espresso. Order matcha and bamboo whisks from Pacific Leaf Company (www.pacleaf.com or 707/972-0372); Matcha & More (www.matchaandmore.com or 877/534-0505); or Asakichi (415/921-2147).
- FOOD & WINE