7 Reasons Why Your Matcha Does Not Foam


If you are new to matcha, you maybe be wondering why your drink does not get foamy like in those Instagram and Pinterest pictures. Matcha gets foamy due to the saponin compound, which releases when mixed with water and air, and different matcha brands and types have a different amount of it. While making matcha can seem difficult, it is not if you have the right equipment and know the basic rules of its preparation. So, if you tried to make matcha but the drink did not get frothy, here are the possible reasons:

Why isn’t my matcha frothing? Your matcha is not frothing because:

  • Matcha is of poor quality
  • Matcha wasn’t stored properly 
  • Matcha wasn’t sifted before use
  • Too much water
  • Water is too cold (below 50°C/122°F)
  • Matcha was not whisked enough or whisked too slowly
  • You did not use a bamboo whisk

As you see, there are various reasons why you cannot get that Instagram-like foamy matcha. Let’s dive into what you can do to get a frothy, silky drink with a delicate taste and nutty aroma.

Can’t Get Matcha to Foam — What to Do?

Can I froth matcha? You can easily froth premium ceremonial matcha with a bamboo whisk – whisk the drink in zig-zag motion for 20 seconds, or use a hand blender. Poor quality matcha will not get frothy because it has less saponin (a compound that makes foam when shaken with water) than high-quality matcha. 

There is no good matcha without a high-quality matcha whisk. To keep your matcha whisk in good condition, head over to Ultimate Guide on How to Care for a Matcha Whisk (Chasen)

How do you make matcha frothy? To make matcha frothy, use only high-quality ceremonial powder and sift it before use. Use 1-2 tsp of matcha, 20z of hot water (up to 80°C/176°F), whisk vigorously for 20-30 seconds in the “W” motion. To make matcha more frothy, add any plant-based milk (coconut, almond, soy, cashew). 

For matcha to retain its naturally sweet and vegetal flavor and nutty, creamy aroma, it is important to use a high-quality Japanese bamboo whisk (chasen). Check out Useful Tips on How to Pick a Good Matcha Whisk for more info.

Buy Premium Quality Matcha

If you are only thinking about what matcha to buy, opt only for premium quality powder made in Japan, Uji mountains. The best matcha is made from the first harvest leaves. However, it is very expensive (can be as expensive as $200 per 30g). On average, premium-quality ceremonial matcha costs $0.75 to $1 per gram. Since you only need 1-2 g of matcha per serving, a 30g jar will last for 20-30 days if you want to enjoy matcha every day. Here is an Ultimate Guide on Picking the Best Quality Matcha (Useful Tips)

Store Matcha Properly

When you have bought premium ceremonial matcha, it is important to store it properly for it to retain its useful properties and delicate vegetal flavor. Store matcha in an air-tight metal container or a jar in the fridge far from direct sunlight, heat, temperature fluctuations, moisture, and air. Check out How to Store Matcha? Practical, Detailed Guide for more info.

It is important to keep matcha cool, so keeping matcha in the fridge will be the best option. Do not use zip bags as they promote condensation that ruins the taste and health benefits of matcha. Never store matcha in glass containers, as tea will fade and lose its beneficial properties. Matcha absorbs everything — liquids, odors. When it comes into contact with oxygen, it loses not only vitamins and nutrients but also taste and aroma. In order for matcha to remain a super tea, it must be protected from all of the above.

See also: Why Is Matcha So Popular? The Real Truth

Sift Matcha Before Use

If you have not purchased a matcha tea sieve yet, it may be one of the main reasons why your matcha is lumpy and not frothing. Even the most high-quality match will have tiny lumps that cannot be removed, so sifting your matcha is the best option. To do so, scoop 1-2 teaspoons of powder, put it in the tea sieve, and sift directly into the matcha bowl. Then add 2 tbsp of warm water and start whisking with a chasen. Then add another 80-100 ml of water, whisk and enjoy the frothy drink!

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Do Not Use Too Much Water

Oftentimes, if you cannot foam your matcha, it means you added too much water. Ideally, you want to use 2 g of matcha per 80-100 ml of water. If this ratio is too much for you, you can add 100-120 ml of water with 2 g of matcha and enjoy a foamy drink. If you use too much water, even the finest matcha will not form foam, so you will have to enjoy just a few bubbles on the surface. In addition, the water you use for making matcha must be of good quality. If the tap water in your area is bad, so will be your matcha. Get still bottled water or buy a filter for the tap to remove all the bad chemicals from the water.

To give additional foam to matcha, you can add any plant-based milk (coconut and almond are the most popular). See our guide on What Milk Goes Best with Matcha? Find Out Today!

Use Right Water Temperature

Even though matcha can be consumed both cold and hot, it is better to use warm water to get a layer of foam. However, if you feel like drinking cold refreshing matcha, you can take 1-2 tsp of matcha powder, add 2 tbsp of hot water (under 80°C/176°F), whisk with a chasen, and then add 80-100 ml of cold water and even add some ice cubes if you want to have a cold drink. Never use boiling water over 80°C as it ruins many antioxidants and nutrients in matcha and makes it bitter. Head over to Hot vs. Cold Matcha: Ultimate Guide on Matcha Temperature to see which matcha is better for you – hot or cold and what is the right temperature for brewing matcha.

If you did not use boiling water, but your matcha is still bitter, check out Why Is My Matcha Bitter? How to Reduce Matcha Bitterness. 

Whisk Matcha Vigorously

The bamboo whisk, known in Japanese tea culture as chasen, is made by hand from a single cut of bamboo; it differs in length and the number of prongs. The best bamboo whisks have more than 100 prongs to remove the lumps and make the foam layer easier.  The main task of the whisk is to whip the matcha tea into a single consistency. Matcha powder tends to stick together when in contact with water, so the whisk breaks the powder into a homogeneous lump-free structure so you can enjoy every sip of this super drink. Of course, chasen can be substituted with a usual kitchen whisk or a hand blender, but only bamboo chasen can prepare real matcha as it does not alter the taste, odor, and color of the drink. If you do not use a chasen, your matcha will mix worse. Head over to Why Is My Matcha Not Mixing? See The Most Common Mistakes! to see what you can do to make your matcha fully blend with water.

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The Bottom Line

Why is my matcha tea not frothing? Matcha is not frothing because the powder is of poor quality, wasn’t stored properly, wasn’t sifted before use, or you used too much water, water was too cold, or didn’t whisk hard enough. Poor quality matcha never makes a thick layer of foam due to limited saponin content. 

Does matcha tea have to be frothy? High-quality premium matcha makes a thick layer of foam and bubbles if whisked vigorously in zig-zag motion with a bamboo whisk. When whisked, matcha mixes with water and air and turns into a frothy drink with a vegetal taste and nutty aroma. Matcha gets more frothy if you sift it to remove lumps. 

To make sure your matcha drinking experience will bring only positive emotions, use high-quality powder, store it properly far from light, direct sunlight, heat, moisture, moisture, condensation, and temperature changes. The water you use must be filtered and not hotter than 80 degrees. To make matcha extra foamy, you can add any plant-based milk – coconut and almond milk are the most popular. However, cashew or soy milk will go with matcha, too. Also, to experience the real taste of matcha, we advise you to buy a high-quality bamboo whisk with more than 100 prongs to make the tea delicate and sweet. If you follow all the advice in our guide, you will enjoy a real sweet, vegetal flavor and nutty aroma of matcha.

 

Why Isn’t My Matcha Frothing FAQ

How do you make matcha foamy? To make matcha foamy, use premium-quality ceremonial powder and sift it to remove lumps. Take 1-2 tsp of powder and 80-120 ml of warm water (50-80°C/122-176°F). Whisk vigorously in zig-zag motion with a bamboo whisk. To make matcha extra foamy, whisk matcha with a hand blender.

Does matcha need to be foamy? Matcha gets foamy thanks to the saponin compound when matcha powder mixes with air and water. Foamy matcha has a silkier texture, more vegetal flavor, and a nuttier aroma. Whisk matcha with a chasen or use a hand blender to make it extra foamy and experience its full taste.  

How to froth matcha? To froth matcha, use only high-quality premium ceremonial powder and store it in a metal jar in the fridge. Sift matcha before use and use only warm water (80-120 ml) and 1-2 tsp of matcha powder. Whisk matcha with a 100+ prong chasen or use a hand blender for a better result. 

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