Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Several inches of fresh powder

A friend of a friend owns and operates a lovely gelato spot here in Chicago (they have a yummy Chinese Green Tea flavor, and I even crave the Turkish Roast Coffee), and she threw me a couple of samples from the coffee and tea vendor they use. The company is Big Train, supplying restaurants and coffee houses with powdered drink mixes. It's a weird thing pouring powder into a tea mug and filling with hot water. It's a weird taste, too.

The Matcha Mist, for instance, can be prepared two different ways. As mentioned: powder in mug, fill with boiling water, stir. Not recommended. Looks like Swiss Miss, tastes like Swiss Miss. The other option is to pour milk into a blender, add the powder mix, add ice and blend. Not bad. The mix is basically matcha powder, powdered milk and powdered sugar, but it makes a nice smoothie-shake. (I also tried the Khoi-Na rooibos mix, which managed to squeeze out a decent honeyed flavor, both hot and cold.)

Still, it's easy to make this yourself: Into a blender (I love my Rocket Blender for quick, easy individual smoothies), add milk and/or yogurt (yogurt adds body, plus you can use complimentary flavors from fruit to vanilla) and some ice cubes. For fun, add fruit if you want, or a flavored syrup. Blend it, then add the matcha powder toward the end. (For maximum blending, whisk 1/2 teaspoon of matcha with a couple of ounces of hot-not-boiling water, then add that to the mix.)

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