Put a luscious green twist on an old Italian classic dessert with this matcha affogato. Take vanilla ice cream, coat it with nice thick matcha and you’ve got a delicious treat.
Thin Matcha (Usucha) and Thick Matcha (Koicha)
There are two way to prepare traditional matcha — thin (usucha) and thick (koicha). The thin matcha is what’s usually made for everyday drinking and the thick is for ceremonies and special occasions. Both are made using just hot water.
The thin matcha is made with more water and less matcha than the thick. It also has the distinctive froth created from vigorous whisking. The quality of matcha used is high, but definitely not as high or as expensive as the thick matcha.
The thick matcha on the other hand is made with about half the water and double the matcha of the thin. It’s thick!
The consistency is more like melted chocolate and there’s no froth at all. You use the bamboo whisk but instead of going in a quick “W,”, it’s slowly moved around in a circular motion until the matcha powder completely gets mixed into the hot water.
The thin matcha is made with tea leaves that are less than 30 years old and the thick matcha is made with first harvest tea leaves that are MINIMUM 30 year old (!).
For this recipe, we’re NOT going to go with the highest grade matcha. Unless you’re drinking it straight, always use a less expensive matcha.
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What I Used to Make This Matcha Affogato:
Use good quality matcha but not the most expensive. A $30 matcha would be good for this.
- Matcha bowl
If you don’t have a matcha bowl, use a small bowl a cup to combine the water and matcha.
- Matcha whisk
Don’t have a whisk? Use a small metal whisk or even a spoon to stir the water and matcha together.
- Teaspoon or Bamboo scoop
You’ll need about a teaspoon or 4 scoops of matcha using a bamboo ladle of matcha.
You don’t have to have this, but I like to sift my matcha to prevent clumping and to create a smooth matcha.
- Vanilla ice cream or gelato
I got my glass tasting cup (which I use all the time) from CB2 and love the portion size for desserts.
A while back, I made a matcha affogato with thin matcha and toppings like red bean paste and mochi but I didn’t make it as often as I would like since it involved so many hard-to-find ingredients.
This version is super quick and I usually have the ingredients available so it’s a winner in my book.
The matcha is slightly bitter but since the ice cream is so sweet and rich, it’s makes a great pairing of flavors.
If you’re having last-minute guests over, this is the perfect dessert or a sweet afternoon treat to serve. It’s quick to make and looks pretty impressive.
Thick Matcha Affogato Recipe Tips
- Make the matcha just before serving and pour it at the table.
- You can chill your cup so that the ice cream doesn’t melt too quickly.
- Don’t use boiling hot water to make the matcha — it’ll make it super bitter.
- If the consistency of the matcha is too thick for your liking, add a teaspoon or two of water to thin it down a bit.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, go for ginger or even green tea ice cream to double up on the matcha.
Thick Matcha Affogato
- 2 scoops vanilla ice cream or gelato
- 1 teaspoon matcha
- 2 tablespoons water
- Make the thick matcha first by pouring 2 tablespoons of 175°F water (simmered water that's been slightly cooled down) into sifted matcha in a bowl. Mix well using a bamboo whisk or a spoon.
- Scoop ice cream or gelato in a cup and pour thick matcha on top.
- Serve immediately.