Matcha Breakfast Brûlée + How to Choose Matcha

date05.25.16

Matcha Breakfast Brulee

New life skill: doing all the things I used to do…while holding or wearing a 15lb baby. Like brewing a morning matcha latte with a babe on the hip and other very normal things like cutting strawberries (one-handed…machete style) and torching a matcha breakfast brûlée.

CALM DOWN MOM. I promise it’s not as dangerous as it sounds – she was kept light years away from the flame and Todd was there to supervise (and document). His little girl is 1.5yrs old now, so he’s basically an expert on child safety. Todd also taught me everything he knows about making cinemagraphs so we could all be mesmerized by bubbling sugar. Burn baby burn.

I’M TALKING ABOUT THE SUGAR, GUYS!

Matcha Brulee Baby  Matcha Brulee CinemagraphMatcha Breakfast BruleeMatcha Breakfast Brulee

Kitchen stunts aside, my typical day starts when the baby boss demands I get out of bed, followed by a ritual of brewing an Encha matcha latte together. Not a coffee drinker here (I’m a unicorn), but with Zoella dictating my sleep, I need a morning energy boost like woah.

Unlike other green tea, matcha plants are shaded for about 3 weeks before harvest, which fills them with theanine – together with caffeine, this combo triggers a calm alertness without the jolt & crash associated with coffee.

THIS IS EVERYTHING. And its what gets me through a shower (for me), a bath (for baby), at least five books, two diaper changes, tummy time, and a “pull out all the stops to keep baby entertained while I brush my hair” circus show all before 11am without crashing.

If you’ve been hanging around these parts, you know I’m matcha obsessed. I’m teaming up with Encha Organic Matcha for today’s matcha-fest. But before the recipe, I’ve put my love of Encha to the test with a side-by-side taste test of seven different grades and/or brands and compiled it all into a matcha guide.

How to Choose Matcha

How to Choose Matcha

Vibrant Hue:

Taste aside, for organic matcha, the higher the quality (and/or grade), the more vibrant green the matcha. (Non-organic matcha can use synthetic fertilizers that control for color/taste that can be misleading.) When matcha is exposed to oxygen or water, it oxidizes and turns brown.

In the picture above, Encha’s three grades of organic matcha are on the left: ceremonial, latte, & culinary. Encha’s ceremonial and latte grade are indisputably more vibrant green than the rest.

Smooth Taste:

I used a matcha latte to compare because that’s how I roll in the AM, but you’d probably notice even more subtleties if you drink the matcha straight up with hot water. In the picture above, the matcha is lined up from left to right based on our taste preferences:

  • On the far left, Encha’s latte grade and ceremonial grade were smoother than the rest. They both balanced matcha’s vegetal notes and nuttiness without a bitter edge.
  • Next up, Encha’s culinary grade and Harvest Tea’s culinary grade compared similarly. They were a little more astringent than the ceremonial and latte, but had a noticeable nuttiness that made them still enjoyable.
  • The next two matchas in the line-up (The Republic of Tea and a matcha brought back from Japan) were a tad dull and lacked the nuttiness of the others.
  • The far right matcha pictured (Organic Evolution) was the most brown and oxidized of the bunch and was noticeably bitter to drink.

Okay, but what about the grade?

I just compared ceremonial, latte, and culinary grade matchas (and two that didn’t have “grades” listed), but these were are not all created equally.

  • Ceremonial Grade is meant to be served with just hot water and is the highest grade, made from the finest leaves plucked from the first harvest. It is also the highest price point, so best reserved for special occasions.
  • Latte Grade, like ceremonial, is made from the first harvest leaves, and is best balanced with milk in a latte. Encha is the only brand I’ve come across that makes a “latte” grade (premium matcha at a lower price). If I’m making a drink or dessert where I want the vibrant green matcha color and a smooth taste, I use Encha’s latte grade (ex. Coconut Matcha Horchata or this matcha breakfast brûlée).
  • Culinary Grade is meant for baking or smoothies and is generally made from second or third harvest (Encha uses only second harvest). When baking, those subtleties noticed in the ceremonial and latte grades would be indistinguishable and the culinary grade will still produce vegetal and nutty profiles in your baked goods.

Matcha Latte Recipe

Matcha Latte

Breakfast brûlée is one of the best inventions yet – indulgent yet about a billion times healthier than its predecessor (that’s an accurate measurement). When Kelly first served me a bowl of brûlée-topped greek yogurt, I went on a rampage and burnt a sugary shell on greek yogurt for dessert every night for a month.

This honey matcha breakfast brûlée is the stuff brunch dreams are made of. Matcha’s nuttiness counters the tart greek yogurt and the smidgen of honey turns it into a slightly sweetened matcha latte cream. The hard crack shell is the icing on the cake – turning it into a fancy affair. Yogurt that’s dressed to impress.

(Also: tap. tap. tap. Can you hear it?)

Matcha Breakfast Brulee

Disclosure: Special thanks to Encha for sponsoring this post! And thanks to you for supporting the brands that keep Snixy Kitchen cooking!

Matcha Breakfast Brûlée
Author: 
Yields: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups greek yogurt (or plain vegan yogurt*)
  • 4 teaspoons Encha organic latte grade matcha
  • 1 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, matcha, honey, and vanilla together until completely combined. Divide into 4 small ramekins and chill until ready to serve.
  2. Just before serving, sprinkle the top of a matcha yogurt cup with enough sugar to coat it in a thin, even layer, about 1½ teaspoons.
  3. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar by holding the torch a few inches away from the top and using a circular motion, until all of the sugar is evenly caramelized. If it starts to blacken, try pulling the torch further away.
  4. Sprinkle another layer of sugar over the first, about 1 teaspoon, and repeat the caramelization process to create a thick lid of sugar.
  5. Repeat for the remaining cups.
  6. Chill for 10 minutes to harden the sugar on top and cool the yogurt down again. Serve immediately.
Notes
*There has been one small study that has suggested that dairy proteins can limit the full absorption of matcha's antioxidants, so for maximum antioxidant absorption, try a vegan yogurt!

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51 Comments

  1. SARAH! That brulee and latte look amazing! I have a confession….I’ve never had matcha before (unless you count matcha-flavored Kit Kats). Will you make me some? In brulee form? Pleeeeeease?

  2. Omg that gif!! Who are you, a magic food queen? Clearly. My sister has been asking me to make a brûlée for SO long. This cements it… I need to!

  3. Well this is just another way to fuel my matcha obsession, LOVE! Also, that little video thing, so cool! xo

  4. Carla says:

    MATCHA BREAKFAST BRULEE. I CAN’T EVEN. Seriously, that sounds AMAZING.

    Also- so many kinds of matcha! Crap! At least now I know the good stuff to buy (NOT that brown stuff).

  5. todd wagner says:

    Such an informative post!! I’ve been trying to get more into matcha, and it’s great to know about the differences in quality. No wonder my matcha always looks so bleh! Also, thank you (and Kelly) for introducing me to this lovely new breakfast treat :)

  6. Nancy Stern says:

    Looks and sounds super delicious!

  7. Nice! I’ve always wondered all those “what’s and what ifs” about matcha. And this looks soooo creamaayyyyyy it hurts! Also, I had to chuckle at your picture with the torch. It’s so funny and brings back memories of me doing who knows what with Selah when she was an infant–namely vacuuming :P

    • Today I put Zo in the swing while we vacuumed the living room and she just watched with awe! (And started crying when we were done;). I’m trying my hardest to push my limits to take her places and do things with her just as I would do without her to share fun and exciting adventures with her!

  8. Sophie says:

    Whoa, mama! This looks gorgeous, and what multitasking skills you have!

  9. Alanna says:

    I can’t get over how amazingly delicious and simple these are! I’d choose one over a legit creme brulee any day. I love the way the tangy yogurt and bitter edge of the matcha contrast that sweet lid. And they’re way more quick and easy to make, too! You could totally serve these at a swanky dinner party for dessert and WIN. You = genius. (Are you in matcha Mensa?)

  10. Veronica says:

    Snixy you have out did your self this looks amazing! Such good information on choosing the right matcha and that cinemagraph thing with the bubbling sugar is so cool! Did my baby granddaughter sleep through the whole torch and caramelize the sugar thing!

  11. Sherrie says:

    This matcha breakdown is so, so helpful. And these brûlées are incredible. YOU ARE THE SMARTEST! I love it all Sarah, xx.

  12. Matt says:

    I would be so happy starting my day off with this!

  13. Naomi says:

    Love how detailed this post is about matcha! And yes, working with a baby strapped to you – LIFE for the next few months. :)

  14. OMG!! This looks amazing! So much great info on matcha!

  15. So lovely. I would never have thought to brûlée yogurt…LOVE this!

  16. Loving both the latte and brulee here! Also that sizzling sugar shot is awesome. Great job mama.

  17. Woah girl, Am I dreaming? This breakfast is insanely creative! I’m drooling!

  18. Love the colors!! and that crackly sugar top…swoon!

  19. I am positively mesmerized by these – and that gif of the brulee?! SWOON!

  20. This matcha breakdown is so helpful! I love matcha so much and have been trying to break away from coffee lately, it’s been such a lifesaver. These matcha brulees are SO gorgeous. A little brulee torch is something I’ve been thinking of picking up for awhile now…especially because bruleed yogurt is sooo much more acceptable to eat often than the traditional dessert. I’m also so impressed by your one-handed skills!!!

    • Though I’m not a coffee drinker, I do love the calm energy that I get from matcha. I feel like it’s better than the “high” from coffee. I 100% support the decision to pick up a brulee torch! (And also to eat this every day for breakfast;)

  21. I love all of these tips! I had no idea there were different matcha grades. And this recipe… swoon.

  22. Your breakdown on matcha is so helpful! I’ve been wanting to get into it for so long but have been a little paralyzed about how to start. I would have this for breakfast and dessert. Every day. Love it!

  23. LOL — I’m crackin up, Sarah! Baby Boss! :D Miss Zoe has you running… good thing there’s matcha in the houuuse! As I’m sippin on a matcha latte now, thinking about Encha and it’s high quality. I can’t get over it’s vibrant color. I used to be a coffee drinker, but after discovering Encha matcha, I’m a total convert, with coffee happening about once a week now. I absolutely love it! And I absolutely love what you’ve done with it here… gorgeous color, creamy and crunch. I’d love this for brekkie! (that cinema thing is gorgeous!) xo

    • She LITERALLY has me running! I have to jog around the neighborhood to get her to nap on the regular. I suspect she’ll be a runner like her dad. Yes! Encha has the most vibrant color and it’s such great quality – it’s smooth and nutty and I’m obsessed. Thank you so so much!!

  24. This is crazy cool! I love that it is a breakfast brûlée – so trying it out on my morning yogurt! Matcha is something I have kind of steered away from so far, having no idea where to start and currently content with regular coffee, but armed with this I should be able to give it a try – thanks for the tips! :)

    • It’ll spruce up your morning yogurt routine for sure! I recommend giving matcha a try for a week as a coffee replacement and see how you feel! You might just be pleasantly surprised:)

  25. Creme Brûlée for breakfast?! I’m ALL about this!!

  26. This is a brilliant way to do breakfast! I’m breaking out my matcha for sure and whipping up a breakfast brulee – so much yumminess!

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