I'm so excited to be writing about matcha! Unlike regular tea (which is an infusion of brewed leaves), a cup of matcha contains all the goodness of the entire leaf.
Many find the ceremony of making this tea an appealing part of the whole experience. So, Line up your hot water and matcha powder and get ready to whisk. You'll be rewarded with a cup of frothy goodness - and a quick arm workout too!
The Matcha Difference
The word matcha comes from the two Japanese words "ma" (powder) and "cha" (tea) which is exactly what it is. A few weeks before harvesting, the plant is covered with a tarp or bamboo mat, which significantly increases the production of chlorophyll and an amino acid called L-theanine. These two compounds are primarily responsible for the magic in matcha.
The L-theanine slows down the release of caffeine, which can make you feel both relaxed and alert. And the abundance of chlorophyll is an effective detoxifier. Matcha can also safely boost your metabolism without increasing your heart rate or raising your blood pressure. But the most exciting news is the abundance of antioxidants, including specific types of catechins called EGCg's which are believed to have amazing cancer-fighting properties.
If this wasn't enough to have you whisking away like crazy, matcha also contains fiber, vitamins, minerals, and zero calories! Of course, once you add all the goodies like milk and honey, you also add the calories. But healthy food should taste good too!
When you get your tin of precious matcha powder, there are several ways to enjoy it. The simplest way is to add about one teaspoon to a cup of hot water and vigorously whisk until frothy. However, this method is only for true devotees, and I'm not quite as sophisticated: I like to make a matcha latte (with whole milk and raw honey), or I'll add a spoonful of matcha to my smoothie. And as it's such a versatile powder, I'm sure there are many other places to sneak it in, that we have yet to discover. Happy whisking!
I was experimenting with green drinks for St Patrick's day, and accidentally made a really delicious Matcha Mint Latte, which I have to share! You can find the recipe here.