It's everywhere!! But what even is it??
It seems that anything that is green these days catches on. The trend of healthy drinks, juices, and teas isn't going anywhere, but what are we even drinking? Matcha is one that has caught on in the past year and is now seen around the country. Unfortunately all places and versions of the drinks aren't as healthy as the original.
Take the Matcha Tea Latte at Starbucks for example, the smallest cup has 110+ calories and 14 g of sugar. So let's see what we can get from the original matcha, shall we? Nothing added.
WHAT IS IT?
I think the only thing that most people know about matcha is that it is green, and a tea. But what about it makes it so popular? Other than the marketing campaigns surrounding us.
It is a finely processed powder from green tea leaves from particular green tea plants that are farmed for three extra weeks in the shade. There is something about this process that gives the powder more theanine and caffeine. As if that wasn't enough, one cup of matcha tea has 10 times the antioxidant power than that of the equal amount of brewed green tea, and 15 times the amount of pomegranates and blueberries.
The previously mentioned theanine, to me, is one of the most important attributes to this brew, that commonly goes unnoticed because it isn't a typical vitamin or nutrient. It is an amino acid that reduces stress and promotes a state of relaxation. I think that we all know by now how dangerous stress can be, on so many parts of your health.
HOW TO DRINK IT?
Another reason why this tea is so much more powerful than its younger brother, green tea, is because the leaf is actually consumed. It is a powder from the leaf that is blended into the hot/cold water so when you are drinking a matcha beverage, you are drinking the processed tea leaf itself. Unlike green tea, where the leaves are brewed and soaked, thus getting some nutrients soaked out of them, but not everything.
REPLACEMENT FOR MORNING COFFEE - many stores sell the individual matcha packets that make it easy to pour into hot or cold water.
SMOOTHIE BOOST - looking for a nutrient boost to add to your daily smoothie, other than your usual protein powder? Again, because of the power-form of the matcha tea, it is an easy bit to add into your smoothie before blending.
ADDING TO OTHER RECIPES - whether that be your morning oatmeal, muffins/scones, or even homemade ice cream! The options are endless.