Matcha 101

If you are interested in anything health/wellness related chances are you’ve heard across the buzz word “matcha” more than once. I’ve been getting a ton of questions about matcha (which I’m more than happy to answer!), what it is, how I make mine, and what the best brand is to get. Fear not friends… I too was once confused by all the different aspects of matcha, I mean it’s hard not to be with so many options out there! I’m no professional ceremonial matcha maker, but I have learned a couple things about matcha over the years.

But first a little background history on my journey with this green goddess elixir. I started drinking matcha when I was in high school, but my version of a good matcha latte back then was one that was loaded with artificial sweeteners (syrups + flavourings), culinary grade, and looking back on it now all around not that good, now that I’ve discovered the good stuff! I personally prefer to drink matcha over coffee because I can’t stand the taste of coffee (I guess my tastebuds haven’t 100% evolved), but that’s okay cause I’m impartial to this green drink and I make it every morning without failure. So let’s dive into it:

YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING, WHAT’S MATCHA?

Matcha is a finely ground powder of extracted green tea leaves traditionally found/practiced in Japan. With matcha you are actually drinking the tea leaves, versus with traditional green tea you are drinking infused leaves. Once matcha is grown it’s hand-picked and then steamed/dried to age, further processing includes grinding the tea leaves down into the powder that we consume (Sass, 2015).

WHAT IS THE CAFFEINE LEVEL OF MATCHA?

Some have claimed that 1 tsp of matcha can contain approximately 3x the amount of caffeine of a cup of regular steeped green tea which can be equated to one cup of coffee (Sass, 2015). However, the caffeine buzz in matcha is not the same as coffee, matcha gives you a steady buzz as where coffee can give off a burst and then eventual crash.

HOW DO YOU PREPARE MATCHA?

Traditionally matcha is prepared first by sifting the powder and then whisked in a zig-zag motion using a bamboo whisk. However, I make an elevated matcha and break all the traditional rules. I never boil my water as doing so can burn the matcha, water temperature should be around 80C (175C). I use my Vitamix to make my matcha, it makes it perfectly frothy, warm, and it’s super easy to make:

HOW I DRINK MY MATCHA: 

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 tsp ceremonial grade matcha (CAP Beauty OR Ippodo Tancho-no-mukashi or Ummon-no-mukashi). I have liked the products I love below!

  2. 1 tsp Coconut Butter (I use CAP Beauty).

  3. 1 3/4 Cups warm water

  4. 1/4 cup almond milk (optional)

  5. 1/4 tsp ashwaganda (100% optional and sometimes I skip this depending on my mood).

  6. 1/4 tsp organic cinnamon.

HOW TO: In a high speed blender add the water, almond milk, coconut butter, matcha, any adaptogens (if you’re into them), and cinnamon. Blend for one to two minutes on high and enjoy! You could also serve over ice in the summer months if you’re not one for warm drinks in the summer. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF MATCHA? 

Matcha is high in antioxidants, some studies have shown that it may protect your liver health (although not 100% proven), it may boost brain function, amongst other benefits! (Links, 2017).

There’s my little post on matcha which I hope you enjoyed reading and it answered some if not all your questions! However, please feel free to contact me anytime if you have any more questions!

Resources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-benefits-of-matcha-tea

https://www.health.com/nutrition/what-is-matcha

 

Emma HyslopComment