Mmmm k. It’s time. After finding at least 15 matcha pics on my phone from the last 6 months, I have to tell you guys more about my newest obsession.
So, as most of you know, I’ve always been a big time green tea drinker. Daily.
But also, a sporadic coffee drinker, on trips where there are cool hipster coffee shops (because of the “artisan” “experience” or on days I really need it (like most Fridays, launch seasons, cookbook cooking and writing, etc).
Or, let’s be honest: when I have a little too much wine at dinner, out for something fun. It happens.
So, I like both. Coffee and my teas.
But mostly– truth be told– I’m a total weirdo in the category of pump-up beverages. Because coffee makes me CRAZY. I almost always see spots after, and feel weird and floaty. And bloated.
So, most of the time, I actually#justcant be like a normal person with the daily intake. Trust me, I wish this wasn’t the case, because I live in Seattle- the king of both hipster, organic and gooooood freakin’ coffee.
However, I do run a business full time. And need that ENERGY. That go. That flow. That I-can-conquer-the-world-and-NOW vibe. But you know, preferably without the spots and wooziness (and weird fake hunger than follows, for me).
My one ingredient dream team lately.
All the healthy antioxidants, metabolism boosting and healthy goodness of green tea, but minus the caffeine spike and crash. Like, all the upside of coffee (plus more), but little down.
So, a mini-guide on it today.
On what it is, why it’s so good for you, where to get it, how to make it, and why you’d want to try it.
Because one thing is for sure- matcha is only going to grow in popularity as more people are exposed to it, here in the US.
So, you can all be #supertrendy and informed.
What it is:
Matcha is a powdered green tea- made from grinding the green tea leaves whole, instead of steeping them in water, like normal green teas. Aka, you get all of the amazing and healthy benefits from green tea, times a million.
Why to try it:
-it has super high amounts of anti-oxidants and chlorophyll, which help detoxification, slow aging, reduce inflammation and disease, and heal distress in the body
– it has 3x the caffeine boost of green tea, but less jolting than coffee, and more ECGC, the compound in regular green tea (which naturally boosts metabolism).
– it contains a compound called L-theanine which stimulates our alpha-brain waves, which creates a alert but calm feeling in the body, much different than coffee jitters. Aka, the best of both worlds, right?
This makes it so much healthier for your adrenal glands (think long term energy and stress hormones). All my #ladybosses out there…. launch mode. And maybe just daily life. It’s everything, and necessary.
What to look for/where to get it:
Most matcha tea is still grown in Japan. Because it’s newer in the US, I think it’s important to pick a source that is organic- um, definately. There can be a lot of discrepancy here, because just like the supplement world, it’s even less regulated than the food industry (scary emoji face).
And just like coffee, the quality of the source of matcha matters MASSIVELY both to the taste, and to how your body digests it.
I have tried my way through at least 15 different kinds. And came across a brand called Matchaful on instagram, that was all organic.
I ordered some, and was blown away by the quality and taste. It was so much less bitter and so much more smooth and delicious than the other brands I had tried.
And then, it turned out, I actually KNEW the owner and creator. She was a sorority sis of mine in college, who had gone through a coffee to matcha journey herself and felt so passionate about it, that she flew to Japan to meet farmers, and create her own product. All organic and completely well sourced.
I called her up and we chatted for a good hour on the subject. And, the girl knows her stuff. No wonder it was the best I had found.
So now, I’m getting orders on the regular.
Their “emerald” version is perfect for drinking straight. The “jade” version is great for baking, making into lattes, etc. And the travel packs. So good.
(2020 UPDATE: I now order their Kiwami bag (it’s bigger and let’s me waste less packaging)).
If you try other brands, try to get organic ones and do a taste test to find the kinds you like the best!
How to drink it:
So here’s the thing. Matcha itself is naturally a little bitter. It’s green and grassy. Like green tea, ya know? Not everyone loves that flavor. But when you know how health promoting it can be for you. sometimes that can change.
It’s an acquired taste, so when you are starting out, I’d recommend pairing it with a bit of a sweetener. Hopefully a natural one, like the dark organic maple or raw honey.
Note: do not do the pre-sweetened powders. Sorry TJ’s, I’m looking at you.
If you find a coffee shop that offers matcha- ask them first if it’s a sweetened mix or not. If not, go for it. If so, skip it. That’s like ordering a chai tea latte from a mix (all sugar and chemicals).
How to make it at home:
My favorite, and the most common way to drink matcha is in a almond milk matcha tea latte, or a latte “shot” with half the liquid. A little matcha powder, mixed with hot water, steamed milk of your choice and a touch of sweetness.
Blended, in the blender for that FROTH LIFE.
Traditionally, matcha is made with a bowl and whisk. But, this works like a charm everytime for keeping it easy and simple.
How to Make A Matcha Latte At Home:
Makes 1 serving
As you first start getting into matcha, start with ½ teaspoon of the powder, and work your way up to 1 teaspoon. Optional to use all milk if you like it creamier, or try adding in 1 teaspoon of coconut butter, coconut oil or grass-fed butter to blend (or a combination of any). Also optional to add cinnamon, collagen peptides, or other adaptogenic powders of your choice (see The Winter Bevvie Lady Guide for more details on this). Beautiful served hot or cold.
½ teaspoon matcha powder
½ cup water
½ teaspoon maple syrup or honey
In a saucepan, heat water and almond milk first. Add matcha powder to the blender and pour hot milk over the top, adding maple syrup or honey if using, and any other additions. Blend on high for 20 seconds before serving.
other fun ideas: in baked goods like cookies, cakes and doughnuts (don’t worry, recipes coming), in green smoothies, or sprinkled over rice, quinoa or oatmeal.
I also love adding in some grassfed butter some days (as a mini meal replacement), or my new favorite addition if you follow me on snapchat, this grass-fed collagen peptide powder. Wrinkle fighting, great protein and healthy fats, PLUS energy?
Give it a try, and let me know what you think below.