A few years back, I tried a life-changing drink. One which quickly became an all-time favorite of mine. That drink, was an Ochacha Silk, so named because the cafe serving it was called Ochacha. (I even did a blog post about it agesss ago and I'm sure you can see I loved it so much even then and was omggg so much younger) Definitely a twist on the word Matcha, because that cafe served all things Matcha related and with soy milk as well. There were iced drinks (Ochacha Silk On the Rocks was a great one to have on hot and humid day/any day of the week), warm drinks, little Matcha madeleines, healthy porridge sets that actually looked pretty decent, and a most amazing Matcha Azuki soft sponge cake (layer of yummy azuki interspersed with matcha sponge and cream cheese layers). Basically, it was my haven. My oasis. My sanctum sanctorum. I went there so many times in university especially during the exam period because it was such a treat. A beautiful, peaceful escape from everything in life. One of the things I loved most about it was the quiet. It was never really that crowded and I would be able to lounge there leisurely, sipping on a mug of warm Matcha Soy Latte while enjoying a book or writing in my journal. If I wanted to spend a little more time there, I'd just order another. Because one mug was often not quite enough.
But to my utter horror and shock, I walked by one day for my usual cuppa and it was closed. For good. All boarded up with a sign for a new up and coming fruit juice stall I did not recognize. Boy, was that a painful day. My heart's still on the mend.
For a long time after, I wondered how I could re-create that favorite drink of mine. It looked simple and I had watched the staff concoct it countless times. Of course, though you know it's do-able, sometimes you just want to have the pleasure of having it prepared for you in a cafe. It's the atmosphere, the pomp and pageantry. Finally, the time came when someone bought me a packet of Matcha powder and I thought, ok let's give it a try. Amazingly, it was much easier than I thought it would be, to achieve my own little OChacha.
Matcha Soy Latte v1.0 (a.k.a my attempt at an Ochacha Silk)
Haven't quite progressed to other superior versions yet though there have been some attempts at latte art which have not materialised. One big reason is because the quality of soy milk makes it very difficult to get appropriate microfoam which is the basis of good latte art. A work in progress ;p.
But the taste is pretty much the same. And to achieve that, you only need one key ingredient. THIS Sobe milk (the blue one at the bottom of the page). It's the same one I saw them use in the cafe. It's a specific taste though but if you prefer yours sweeter or less sweet, you could go according to the brand of Soy milk/whole milk that you like.
This is basically the recipe for the most basic of Soy Lattes. ;) Beginner's level stuff.
Matcha Soy Latte (Basic Recipe)
- Matcha powder, 1 teaspoon
- Soy Milk of choice (I personally like the blue Sobe Trim Soy Milk brand), 3/4 cup
- 1/4 cup of hot water
- a mini electric whisk (as shown in this video) (mine was a good $2 buy from Daiso! :D)
1. Heat up your soy milk in a milk pan or in a microwave oven (usually for about 1 minute). Be sure to watch the milk because it burns much more easily than regular milk so once the edges are almost ready to break into tiny bubbles, it's good enough. You can stir it regularly to prevent it from burning as well.
2. To a cup, add in the Matcha powder (you can even sieve it if the powder you've got is a little stuck together in clumps because it's tough to mix Matcha well into your soy milk once it's formed tiny clumps), followed by the hot water (not boiling, just hot).
3. With a bamboo Matcha whisk, whisk the Matcha and hot water till evenly mixed and no clumps are seen.
4. Pour in the hot soy milk to your Matcha, stirring evenly, leaving about 1/8-1/4 cup of soy milk left in your pot (depending on how much foam you want eventually).
5. Use the electric whisk and give the remaining soy milk a good whirr for about 20-30seconds. Usually it creates a decent stiff foam.
6. Top your cup of Matcha Soy Latte with the foam. Decorate it in whatever style you'd like with some Matcha powder (I use a mini whisk for mine to get the powder out smoothly on the surface of the foam).
So far, that's one of the easiest designs I've been able to come up with. Just a straight line across. Not much I know, but the other one that's easy is just an even dusting to foam a circle. Of course you could also try to use stencils as my friend suggested but...I've been lazy to buy/make one. XD
Even though taste-wise it's pretty much an exact match to the Ochacha in my memory... of course it's not the same. I miss that cafe so badly. It was really one of the best cafes I loved going to which gives me such good warm fuzzies whenever I think back to times spent there. Whenever I walk by I secretly hope that I'll see the cafe back and re-opened like before. No luck yet.
Will just have to enjoy home-made Ochacha for the time being.