I’m not sure how I only discovered matcha in the last few years. I don’t even remember when I fell in love with it. You’d think it would be a huge epiphany moment I would look back on and remember that amazing first sip. But I finally discovered it and now love it, so that’s what counts right?
I tried to get into coffee. I like the taste of it, but it makes me turn into a jittery mess. My heart feels like it’s going to pound right out of my chest and I have that feeling like I can’t catch my breath. Not the greatest. So, I started drinking tea after college. I wanted to have something to drink during the day since everyone else was drinking coffee. That resulted in me falling in love with tea, and somewhere along the line matcha came into my life.
I used to drink matcha almost every morning with my breakfast. Then about a year ago I started having weird health problems. I found out I had a problem with high FODMAP foods – high caffeine being one of those. I tried to ignore it for a bit because, matcha. Who wants to give up matcha? It’s tasty and it’s good for you, what could be bad about that? But after I ended up on the floor halfway through a cup of matcha from stomach pain, I knew it was time to call it quits. Over the past year my doctor has been helping me heal and rebuild my gut with lots of targeted supplements. I’m happy to report that it’s been working. I made a matcha latte again for the first time in way too long and thoroughly enjoyed drinking it completely pain free. Success!
So if you haven’t been exposed to the wonderful world of matcha, you might be wondering what all the hype is and why a bunch of us are going bananas over this weird green powder. First off it’s tasty. If you like green tea, you’ll love matcha. Matcha is essentially green tea leaves ground into a powder. There are varying levels of quality depending on the tea leaves used. Culinary grade is great for cooking, but not so great for drinks. Ceremonial grade is for drinking. It’s like the difference between two buck chuck and a fine wine.
Benefits of Matcha
Sustained Energy Without the Crash and Jitters
One of the beauties of matcha is that it gives you sustained energy without a crash or any jitters. Ah-hem coffee. This is largely because of a wonderful little amino acid called l-theanine paired with high antioxidants. L-theanine reduces stress and promotes relaxation. Paired with caffeine, it helps the body stay calm, while still reaping the benefits of focus and alertness. The high levels of antioxidants also help to slow the absorption of caffeine. This gives the body a longer period of alertness with no crash at the end. Yes!
High in Antioxidants
As I mentioned before, matcha is really high in antioxidants. These are the super good for you compounds that help make you look younger and fight against infections and diseases. One cup of matcha has the same amount of antioxidants as 10 cups of green tea. It also knocks all the other superfoods like goji berries and acai berries out of the park with exponentially more antioxidants.
Green tea in general also has a unique type of antioxidant called catechins. These are the most potent and beneficial type of antioxidant. They’re known for their cancer-fighting properties. And, surprise, matcha has the highest concentration of these.
Matcha is a great supplement for a healthy diet. It’s been shown to burn calories four times faster than average. It helps to speed up metabolism to boost fat burning. It also doesn’t have side effects that put stress on the body like increased heart-rate or blood pressure.
The beautiful vibrant green color of matcha also signifies the high levels of chlorophyll. This makes matcha a powerful detoxifier for the body and helps to remove heavy metals and toxins.
Along with the antioxidants and catechins, matcha is also really high in nutrients. Just like taking supplements, all these nutrients help to promote overall health and fight again diseases.
Wow, yay matcha! How can you not like it?
A matcha latte is fairly simple to make. My favorite part of making it is the ritual of it in the morning. It’s wonderful to take a quiet moment and just focus on creating a beautiful, delicious drink. It’s a great way to start the day.
The quality of the match is crucial to the taste of your drink. If you use low quality matcha, your drink will taste bitter or bland. Please don’t use cooking grade, it’s for cooking, not drinking. Make sure you’re using at least latte grade, but I definitely prefer the smooth taste of ceremonial grade.
Matcha brands I like:
- Encha – Organic Latte Grade (cheaper and good for lattes, but not as good if you plan to drink it without milk sometimes)
- Encha – Organic Ceremonial Grade (this is what I use every morning)
- Pure Matcha – Premium Ceremonial Grade
- DoMatcha – Organic Ceremonial Grade
- Bamboo Whisk (Chasen) – I love making matcha the traditional way. It’s part of the morning ritual that feels calming and intentional. But honestly you can also just stick it in the blender with hot milk if you want.
- Milk frother – optional, but I like the foam.
- 1 teaspoon matcha (or 1 heaping bamboo scoop if you have one)
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup almond milk (or other nut milk)
- 1/2 – 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey), optional – I personally make mine without any sweetener.
- 1-2 tablespoons collagen powder, optional (it’s tasteless and great for your hair, skin, and nails)
Heat water on the stove. I heat mine to 185 degrees. You don’t want it to boil. Boiling water will not only destroy some of the nutrients in the matcha, but it will also make the matcha taste bitter (it’s essentially burning the tea).
- While the water is heating, add a teaspoon of matcha to a medium sized bowl. I like to put it through a mini mesh strainer to get the clumps out.
- Add the almond milk (or other nut milk), maple syrup, and collagen powder (if using) to a small saucepan and start heating on medium/low. Don’t boil the milk either, I heat it just until it’s steaming.
- When the water is ready, add 1/4 cup water to the bowl that your matcha is in. I pour around the sides of the bowl rather than on top of the matcha directly. This helps to prevent clumping.
- Using your bamboo whisk, whisk the matcha and water together to combine and make sure there are no lumps. Then whisk vigorously back and forth in a “W” or “M” shape pattern trying to not scrape against the bottom of the bowl to make the matcha light and fluffy and foamy.
- Once the milk is heated, use a frother, immersion blender or whisk to froth it and get some foam.
- Pour the whisked matcha into a mug and then pour the frothed almond milk on top to combine.