Saturday, June 29, 2013

Green Matcha Tea Gotcha!

What is that GREEN POWDER?  It's not something the HULK puts on his face.  It's GREEN MATCHA TEA!

Why Matcha Tea?
Matcha is stone ground tea leaves. When you drink matcha tea, you ingest the whole leaf and receive 100% of the nutrients of the tea. One serving of matcha green tea is the nutritional equivalent of ten cups of regular brewed green tea in a tea bag. 

Matcha is new in the United States and still difficult to find in grocery stores. However, it is gaining recognition in popular coffee shops and smoothie bars which offer green tea lattes and matcha shots. Many customers are looking matcha to make these addictive and expensive beverages at home. 


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Matcha Tea
Type: Green

Other names: 抹茶, "fine powder tea"
Origin: Japan

Quick description: Stone ground Japanese green tea

Matcha (抹茶?, pronounced [mat.tɕa][1]), also spelled maccha, refers to finely milled or fine powder green tea. The Japanese tea ceremony centers on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha. In modern times, matcha has also come to be used to flavour and dye foods such as mochi and soba noodles, green tea ice cream and a variety of wagashi (Japanese confectionery). Matcha is a fine ground, powdered, high quality green tea and not the same as tea powder or green tea powder.[citation needed]
Blends of matcha are given poetic names called chamei ("tea names") either by the producing plantation, shop or creator of the blend, or by the grand master of a particular tea tradition. When a blend is named by the grand master of some tea ceremony lineage, it becomes known as the master's konomi, or favored blend.



In Tang Dynasty China (618–907), tea leaves were steamed and formed into tea bricks for storage and trade. The tea was prepared by roasting and pulverizing the tea, and decocting the resulting tea powder in hot water, adding salt.[2] In the Song Dynasty (960–1279), the method of making powdered tea from steam-prepared dried tea leaves, and preparing the beverage by whipping the tea powder and hot water together in a bowl became popular.[3] Preparation and consumption of powdered tea was formed into a ritual by Zen (Chan) Buddhists. The earliest Chan monastic code in existence, entitled Chanyuan qinggui (禪苑清規, Rules of Purity for the Chan Monastery, 1103), describes in detail the etiquette for tea ceremonies.[3][4]
A bowl of matcha on a black lacquered tray with a traditional sweet
Zen Buddhism and the Chinese methods of preparing powdered tea were brought to Japan in 1191 by the monk Eisai. Powdered tea is no longer popular in China, but in Japan it continued to be an important item at Zen monasteries, and became highly appreciated by others in the upper echelons of society during the 14th through 16th centuries.


Matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves also used to make gyokuro. The preparation of matcha starts several weeks before harvest up to 20 days, when the tea bushes are covered to prevent direct sunlight.[5] This slows down growth, turns the leaves a darker shade of green and causes the production of amino acids. Only the finest tea buds are hand picked. After harvesting, if the leaves are rolled out before drying as usual, the result will be gyokuro (jade dew) tea. However, if the leaves are laid out flat to dry, they will crumble somewhat and become known as tencha (碾茶). Tencha can then be de-veined, de-stemmed, and stone ground to the fine, bright green, talc-like powder known as matcha.[6]
It can take up to one hour to grind 30 grams of matcha.[citation needed]
Note that only ground tencha qualifies as matcha, and other powdered green teas, such as powdered sencha, are known as konacha (粉茶, lit. "powder tea").
The flavour of matcha is dominated by its amino acids.[citation needed] The highest grades of matcha have more intense sweetness and deeper flavour than the standard or coarser grades of tea harvested later in the year.[citation needed]


Matcha is generally expensive compared to other forms of tea, although its price depends on its quality. Grades of matcha are defined by many factors.

Location on the tea bush

Where leaves destined for tencha are picked on the tea (Camellia sinensis) bush is vital.
The very top should have developing leaves that are soft and supple. This gives a finer texture to higher grades of matcha. More developed leaves are harder, giving lower grades a sandy texture. The better flavour is a result of the plant sending the majority of its nutrients to the growing leaves.

Treatment before processing

Tencha leaves are traditionally dried outside in the shade and are never exposed to direct sunlight. However drying has mostly moved indoors. Quality matcha is vibrantly green also as a result of this treatment.

Stone grinding

Without the right equipment and technique, matcha can become "burnt" and suffer degraded quality. Typically in Japan matcha is stone ground to a fine powder through the use of specially designed granite stone mills.[7]


Oxidation is also a factor in determining grade. Matcha exposed to oxygen can easily become compromised. Oxidized matcha has a distinctive hay-like smell and a dull brownish green colour.

Traditional preparation

A three-piece set for making matcha, including a whisk (chasen), bowl (chawan) and spoon (chashaku)
There are two main ways of preparing matcha: thick (濃茶 koicha?) and thin (薄茶 usucha?).
Prior to use, the matcha is often forced through a sieve in order to break up clumps. There are special sieves available for this purpose, which are usually stainless steel and combine a fine wire mesh sieve and a temporary storage container. A special wooden spatula is used to force the tea through the sieve, or a small, smooth stone may be placed on top of the sieve and the device shaken gently.
If the sieved matcha is to be served at a Japanese tea ceremony it will then be placed into a small tea caddy known as a chaki. Otherwise, it can be scooped directly from the sieve into a tea bowl.
A small amount of matcha is placed into the bowl, traditionally using a bamboo scoop called a chashaku, then a modicum of hot (not boiling: 70–85°C or 158–185°F[8]) water is added. The mixture is then whisked to a uniform consistency, using a bamboo whisk known as a chasen. There must be no lumps left in the liquid, and no ground tea should remain on the sides of the bowl. Because matcha can be bitter, it is traditionally served with a small wagashi sweet[9] (intended to be consumed before drinking), and without added milk or sugar. It is usually considered that 40 g of matcha will provide for 20 bowls of usucha or 10 bowls of koicha:[10]
Usucha, or thin tea, is prepared with approximately 1.75 grams[11] (amounting to 1.5 heaping chashaku scoop, or about half a teaspoon) of matcha and approximately 75 ml (2.5 oz) of hot water per serving, which can be whisked to produce froth or not, according to the drinker's preference (or to the traditions of the particular school of tea). Usucha creates a lighter and slightly more bitter tea.
Koicha, or thick tea, requires significantly more matcha (usually about doubling the powder and halving the water): approximately 3.75 grams[12] (amounting to 3 heaping chashaku scoops, or about one teaspoon) of matcha and approximately 40 ml (1.3 oz) of hot water per serving, or as many as six teaspoons to 3/4 cup of water. Because the resulting mixture is significantly thicker (about like liquid honey), blending it requires a slower, stirring motion which does not produce foam. Koicha is normally made with more expensive matcha from older tea trees (exceeding thirty years) and thus actually produces a milder and sweeter tea than usucha; it is served almost exclusively as part of Japanese tea ceremonies.

Other uses

A matcha cake
It is used in castella, manjū, and monaka; as a topping for kakigori; mixed with milk and sugar as a drink; and mixed with salt and used to flavour tempura in a mixture known as matcha-jio. It is also used as flavouring in many Western-style chocolates, candy, and desserts, such as cakes and pastries (including Swiss rolls and cheesecake), cookies, pudding, mousse, and green tea ice cream. The Japanese snack Pocky has a matcha-flavoured version. Matcha may also be mixed into other forms of tea. For example it is added to genmaicha to form what is called matcha-iri genmaicha (literally roasted brown rice and green tea with added matcha).
The use of matcha in modern drinks has also spread to North American cafés, such as Starbucks which introduced "Green Tea Lattes" and other matcha flavored drinks after matcha became successful in their Japan store locations. As in Japan, it has become integrated into lattes, iced drinks, milkshakes, and smoothies. A number of cafes have introduced lattes and iced drinks using matcha powder. It has also been incorporated into alcoholic beverages such as liqueurs.

Basic matcha teaware

The equipment required for the making of matcha are:
  • Tea bowl (茶碗, chawan)
large enough to whisk the fine powder tea around 120 millilitres (4.06 fl oz)
  • Tea whisk (茶筅, chasen)
a bamboo whisk with fine bristles to whisk or whip the tea foam
  • Tea spoon (茶杓, chashaku)
(also called tea scoop) a bamboo spoon to measure the powder tea into the tea bowl. Not the same as a Western teaspoon.
  • Tea caddy (棗, natsume)
container for the matcha powder tea
  • Tea cloth (茶巾, chakin)
small cotton cloth for cleaning tea ware during the tea ceremony

Health benefits

Matcha can now be found in numerous health food products ranging from cereal to energy bars. In 2003, researchers from the University of Colorado found that the concentration of the antioxidant EGCG available from drinking matcha is at least three times greater than the amount of EGCG available from other commercially available green teas.[13] Matcha is also said to boost metabolism[citation needed] and help reduce cholesterol levels when it is drunk regularly.[citation needed] The aforementioned health benefits of matcha green tea can largely be attributed to the fact that the whole tea leaf is ingested, as opposed to just the steeped water in the case of 'bagged' green teas. This means that it delivers a much higher potency of catechins, chlorophyll, and antioxidants.[14] By weight, matcha contains more antioxidants than blueberries, wolfberries, pomegranates, orange juice and spinach.[15]
There is evidence from clinical studies that suggests that theanine, when consumed by drinking Japanese green teas,[16] may help to reduce or moderate mental stress responses.[17]


Why Matcha Source?
Matcha Source teas are available in four price points and one blend, Sugar Destroyer Matcha with Gymnema. Our informative and easy to use website offers detailed information on matcha's renown health benefits and methods of preparation. 

Expect best quality teas and excellent customer service from Matcha Source. 

Read and  "LIKE"

Some of their great recipes!

Green Tea Smoothie - Simple
A simple and nutritious breakfast food, made with matcha tea and yogurt.

  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp honey or sugar
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1 tsp ingredient grade matcha
Blend ingredients together in electric blender.  Pour into a tall glass.

Green Tea Smoothie - Juicy

This is surprising delicious and tastes much like a sherbet.

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup soy or almond milk
  • 1 tsp ingredient grade matcha
Blend ingredients together in an electric blender, a martini  shaker, or using an electric hand held frother.  Pour into a tall glass with or without ice.  Experiment with other fruit juices like mango, apricot or pineapple.

Green Tea Smoothie - Fruity

Boost your daily antioxidants with matcha and assorted berries.

  • 1/4 cup blueberries, raspberries or black berries - washed, frozen are OK
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 tsp ingredient grade matcha
Blend ingredients together in an electric blender. Pour into a tall class. Drink immediately.  Experiment with kiwis, bananas, mangos and flavors of mint or ginger.

Green Tea Smoothie - with Protein Powder
Popular with body builders and athletes.

  • your choice of protein powder
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk or yogurt
  • 1-2  tsp ingredient grade matcha
Blend ingredients together in an electric blender. Drink immediately.  Adjust proportions to taste. 


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Witty caption contest

 Read ALL the way through this to understand, thanks so much for visiting and commenting! 

Time for our first "Chatting with Carolyn" (FB fan page) "Win free 10 samples of Scentsy" photo caption contest. 

All you have to do is wow us with your creativity & wit!
For this week, we have a mass of Pooh Bears in Poland. So...give us a caption! 

Your comment is needed on this blog entry,by Friday 11:59pm PT;
Voting is by your fellow FB peers, vote by "liking" your fav; 

Winner will be announced Monday, 11am PT July 1 Lay caption comedy on us, baby!

Rules:  1.  USA members only

            2.  Chatting with Carolyn fans only

Terms:  We can't announce winners on My FaceBook Fan Page or do the contest there so every answer should be a reply to THIS blog entry.   

              I don't have anonymous accepted in my blog so it will show your name when you reply.  Thanks!

             The announcement for the Fans  to vote and you too will be a new blog entry entry here on Saturday with your comments and your name or initials (if you want privacy).

Have the best time ever in being witty or getting your friend or significant other to help you!  Yay!



 Kimberly Gauthier, The Fur Mom said...

Sarah, you KNEW I was coming as Winnie the Poo - how could you?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Fun! Family Games! WORD SEARCH! PRIZES!

  Image is courtesy of WORD ART WORLD!

 GRAND OPENING GAME! USA ONLY There will be a prize for first two (2) people who get the game done first and correctly! Since we are having photo fun with the moon right now... I thought that the game would be appropriate! SURPRISE PRIZE! Time for this will be 7pm PT also known as 10 pm ET. Hope you all can play! Winners will be announced on my blog. If you want things to go faster, please join my blog now and tonight it will be a piece of cake!

:) ONE THING: You need a camera or camera on phone to play this and also a printer because I will be needing some proof at the end!

Here is the game:  You must print a copy for you to do (click on the picture and it will take you to the word search) ... these are free to put on my blog.  And you find all the words that you can and the person who wins (first to finish and place the image on the FB fan page)has a secret prize for them!  There is a second game to follow!


Monday's Mood: I Named My Dog "5 Miles"

 Monday's Humor Post:  This made me laugh today! I hope the same for you!   This is from   A Dog's Purpose fanpage.  I bought all 3 books that he had about dog's that he was sharing on FB and they are FANTASTIC!  If you want the links to the books, please ask on the comments.  I bought the hardbacks because that was all that was being offered at the time, these are now in paperback!  Here's the humor part:
Here's a little Monday humor from the A Dog's Purpose fanpage, we hope you'll share it with the working dog in your life that has to start a new week today! Want to save 20% on the first-edition paperback of A Dog's Journey? Follow this link!

(I'm thinking of asking my husband if we can do this too when we ADOPT our second dog. LOL!)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: My dog in the dunes

Can you see her?

Sandie loves the plants there.

Sandie making her own footprints!

Sandie staying away from us (or so she thinks!)

Sandie coming down a hill.

Sandie roaming hoping to find food!

Sandie teasing us to catch her!

Sandie's final run before we go!
Sandie is exhausted!  Yay!
Got a blog post you want more eyes on? Link it on this Facebook post and then head over to our Sharefest Sharefest. We're talking about the best of the best for the week.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Shared entry: Lime Watermelon Jello Vodka Shots

Summer is almost here! That means BBQ's, pool parties and patios. These Lime Watermelon Jello Vodka Shots are a perfect treat for your guests. They also pack up well to take to a friends house.

Lime Watermelon Jello Vodka Shots

5 large limes
1 package of watermelon flavoured jello
3/4 cranberry juice
1/2 cup chilled vodka

In a large glass measuring cup microwave the cranberry juice until boiling. Remove from microwave and add jello powder. Stir until completely dissolved. Stir in vodka. If you want to make a non alcoholic version just add water instead of vodka. Chill for about half hour.

CREDIT :  Confessions Of A Food Lover

Pictures of how to do this step by step are at:


My added comment:  If you are a non-drinker like myself...  I would use fruit juice... this way the kids can get in on it too!  If you want to go low sugar, then try the V8 VFusion (LIGHT).  I love this fruit juice!  

Here's more information about it:

You'll find recipes and coupons there!!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Can you tell me what you love about Whole Foods Market?

Been so busy using coupons from my #BzzAgentPrivate SelectionGreatAmericanSummer #WeGotItFree products for the last 2 days and cleaning that I totally forgot about this #INCREDIBLE #NEWS! 

My husband and I really are impressed weekly with the new products that Ralph's has been adding to their store. I can thanks #BzzAgent for allowing me to test so many of their new products.  But you know that there are just some things that you can't find at the store and have to order online (I've been doing this for years now).

These are the problems with our small #Ralphs aka #Kroger . #GlutenFree anything, selection of vegetables and fruit, and it has been so many years since I was in one that I forget what they have.

Sorry #Subway but I love you still but need less bread in a meal than the 6" one that I usually buy. But I will still hang with you for a meal when emergencies arrive here at home for dinner!

So tell me, what do you like most about Wholefoods Market?  Thanks and please click G+ if you enjoyed this article! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Shared Post: 30 Days of Popsicle Recipes

30 Days Of Popsicles
Stay cool with our 30 Days of Popsicle Recipes series where we highlight one recipe a day in the month of June for a delicious and refreshing ice cold popsicle!

Strawberries N Cream Popsicles

Banana & Strawberry Popsicles

Mocha Pudding Popsicles

Peach Blackberry Popsicles

Pina Colada Popsicles

Key Lime Popsicles 

Frozen Hot Chocolate Popsicles

Blueberry Lemon Popsicles 

Lemon Cream Popsicles

Mango Pineapple Popsicles

This is originally posted by:   

Please follow that link to see the rest of the popsicles and enjoy!  I just think this is the best post I have seen for the summer so far.  I'll be looking for more to share!

Lavender Cream & Strawberry Popsicles
Found this one today (Saturday, June 22, 2013) and love love love it!
(you can make this without the lavender and substitute it for another fruit)


Need a sugarless popsicle?  Exchange the sugar for agave nectar.  It should be in your grocery store (ask for help to find it) I know that all stores like to hide these type of items in not so obvious places.  ENJOY!

Be sure to have these on hand BEFORE you decide to make popsicles in your ice cube tray, but that can work too for refreshing summer drinks!  

Where to shop online for these items if your grocery store doesn't have them:  

Addicted to Flip Flops

Since I live at the beach there is no time like the present to be wearing a pair of my many pairs of flip flops! I am a flip-flop addict in every true meaning of the word. I own a pair in almost every color imaginable and one to match almost every outfit in my closet. They range in style from really dressy to ultra athletic. Even though there are studies about the dangers of my 90% of shoes owned, I am not changing them.  I do wear an arch supported sandal when I'm walking long distances or tennis shoes if it is cold.  

In a study conducted at Auburn University led by biomechanics doctoral student Justin Shroye in 2008, the evidence revealed these shoes can lead to potential injury issues due to the biomechanics of the shoe altering the walking gait of those who choose to wear these types of shoes. This issue can lead to potential back, hip, knee, ankle, and foot problems.

By studying 39 college men and women wearing both flip-flops and athletic footwear, Shroye determined there was some difference in the way the participants walked in each shoe. He had the participants walk on a platform that measured “the vertical force as the walkers’ feet hit the ground” while videotaping the participants “stride lengths and limb angles.”

What the research revealed is when the participants were walking in flip-flops, they tended to take shorter strides while not allowing the same heel strike vertical force as when wearing the athletic shoes. The study also revealed the participants “did not bring their toes up as much during the leg’s swing phase, resulting in a larger ankle angle and shorter stride length, possibly because they tended to grip the flip-flops with their toes.”

While you may be ready to toss your summer favorites into the trash, Shroye did state these shoes do serve a purpose, especially for those who spend time at the beach or need a nice reprieve from their athletic shoe wear. However, it must be emphasized that these shoes are not designed to wear for long-distance walking as there is a potential for injury anywhere along the kinetic chain. In other words, if you are suffering from knee or back issues after wearing flip-flops, you may want to reconsider wearing them the next time you are out for a nice stroll.

I am not about to throw away the flip flops since I know that I'm wearing other shoes for my walking long distances and exercise.  Don't throw away the flip flops!

Concept in Topless Sandals

I haven't tried these yet but I am in love the concept and the jewelry that goes with them and here is a website that sells these!

Are you a flip-flop addict? Have you ever suffered an injury wearing these shoes? Would you still wear them regardless of the injury potential?

 June 6: Do you prefer flip flops or sandals? writing prompt

Private Selection Great American Summer Spiced Burgers

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 8

Introducing the flavors of Private Selection™ Dry Rubs to Private Selection Angus Patties enhances the flavors of the meat, elevating everyday burgers and allowing for a wide range of flavor variations.

8 Private Selection Angus patties
8 slices Private Selection Provolone (about 8 oz.)
8 Private Selection (potato-bread) Hamburger Buns
8 slices red onion
8 slices tomato
Private Selection Texas BBQ Rub

  1. Prepare barbecue grill (medium-high heat). Sprinkle 1 teaspoon Private Selection Texas BBQ Rub on top side of each burger.
  2. Place burgers, rub-side down, on grill rack. Grill until slightly charred, about 4 minutes; turn and cook the other side until the beef reaches a safe internal temperature of 165º F.
  3. Top each with 1 cheese slice. Cover and cook until cheese melts, about 1 minute longer.
  4. Place burgers atop bottom halves of buns. Garnish with onion slices and tomato slices. Spoon on a dollop of mayonnaise.
  5. Cover with bun tops and serve.

Tip: Create a burger bar for guests by arranging tomato, onion, cheese and lettuce slices together, with the cheese on the bottom so it melts when placed on grill-cooked burgers. Offer a variety of sliced Private Selection Pickles, Jalapenos, Mustards and BBQ Sauces, and additional cheese and bun varieties. In addition, red onion slices can be lightly brushed in Private Selection Olive Oil and grilled. Guests will enjoy creating their own specialized burger, and food can be arranged to encourage people to try new flavors and combinations.

Additionally, Private Selection Dry Rubs can be used to flavor a meatloaf, creating a savory crust.

Looking to Product Test more human and animal products

Hi everyone!

I'm back from an uplanned absence and contacting new companies for the pet products and human products alike.

If you are interested in having me review a product for you,
please contact me here.

I'm also continuing to review products for the companies I have already contacted.


Pet Blog (not exact title of the blog)  I'm looking for authors of articles and products to review for dogs and cats

Life at the beach in Southern California (not exact title of the blog)

Private Selection Great American Summer:  Angus Beef and Grinds,  Syrup, Dry Rub, Artisan Bread, All Natural Preserves, Panko Bread Crumbs.   I will be posting mine and other participant recipes and my reviews!

I have quit selling Avon and Scentsy to make more time to do reviews and party plan.  That's pet play time with other dogs and human parties here.

Summer at the beach is the best time to have BBQ's for humans and dogs!  The cats are downstairs and the dogs are here and looking to play with each other.  This includes the pet products that I am reviewing.

Hope to see more of you here!
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