If you’ve been on Instagram lately (or any social media platform for that matter) chances are you’ve seen a trendy, frothy green drink. Yet it doesn’t stop there. Scrolling past green pancakes, crepes, macarons and muffins is now a regular sighting on social media. The fact is matcha has officially taken over. Coffee drinkers are swapping their beans for the bright green powder, and with all the health benefits it’s easy to understand why. So we’re going to introduce you to all of the reasons why you should befriend matcha.
Matcha has been around for centuries, and originated in China. Matcha is a more pure form of green tea. When you drink green tea, you’re drinking green tea leaves that have soaked in hot water. However when you sip on matcha, you’re drinking the actual leaves. Therefore you’re ingesting more of the actual plant, so you’re getting extremely enhanced benefits.
ALL ABOUT THE BENEFITS
One cup of Matcha has the same amount of antioxidants as 10 cups of brewed green tea. Not to mention it contains more antioxidants than that of spinach, blueberries, pomegranates, goji berries, acai berries, and broccoli combined. So why is everyone so crazy about consuming antioxidants? Antioxidants help prevent chronic illnesses and aging. Getting more antioxidants means your body will have a better defense against infections and disease. The benefits don’t stop there. Matcha tea also improves your metabolism and helps burn calories. This super tea also contains a rare amino acid called L-theanine. When ingested, this protein is responsible for activating the brain’s alpha waves. When our bodies sense the presence of alpha waves, we enter a state of increased observance and our brain is more alert. Studies show drinking a cup of matcha before a presentation, work day, speech or any activity that calls for focused attention and alertness, will provide you with an enhanced ability to focus. Some people will see this with other beverages like coffee or energy drinks, but those can often lead to negative side effects. With matcha there are none.
THE 2 CATEGORIES OF MATCHA
The two main categories of matcha are ceremonial and culinary. Ceremonial matcha refers to the tea being adequate enough for a tea ceremony. So this category is perfect for sipping on it’s own. Culinary or classic means this is the best for using in baking or adding to smoothies. With different grades among the two categories, it’s hard to say which exact category and grade is right for you. It all depends on what you’ll be using it for. However these are some things to consider:
Purpose- Are you planning on baking with matcha, or adding it into a smoothie? Then opt for a culinary cafe grade. If you’re planning on sipping it straight up, you may want to invest in a more premium grade of ceremonial matcha. That way you’ll get the creamy smooth taste that’s perfect for enjoying on its own.
Flavor- With mocha, vanilla and various other flavoured matchas, it’s a hard decision to make. Even for plain unflavoured grades there are still different keynote tastes. Do your research and maybe order a sample size or tasting package, that way you can give it a try before fully committing.
Features- Pay attention to the color, smell and texture. Thicker powders require more whisking to break down, you may want to consider buying a bamboo whisk to help with this. It’s also believed bright green colored teas have the best benefits. Look for a neon green color once you’ve added your water in.
Usage- Depending on what grade you buy you may need 1-2 teaspoons of the powder per cup. For most baking recipes you’ll most likely want to add 2 teaspoons or more. For drinking it straight up, follow the directions and recommendations stated on the packaging.
WHERE TO BUY
Whenever something becomes popular, you start to see different forms of that product, because everyone wants to jump on the latest fad and make money. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as consumers it’s more of a financial benefit to us when we have lots of options when making a purchase. But when these items are health related, it can have a different effect. For example if if you go for a brand that doesn’t specialize in matcha or green tea, you might not get your money’s worth. When purchasing matcha strictly for the health benefits, you should put your money towards a company or brand that prides itself in crafting or selling ethical organic matcha. You’re more likely to reap the health perks from a more premium, less refined product.
Drinking the tea straight up is the quickest way to go. Just add 1-2 teaspoons (depending on grade of tea) and whisk the powder into an 8oz cup of hot water. If you find the taste bitter, feel free to add a natural sweetener or sprinkle some cacao or cinnamon on top! Another way to go is to make a matcha latte. You’ll need to bring your desired amount of non dairy milk to a simmer on medium heat. Boil a small amount of hot water (you only need ¼ cup per cup of tea) whisk in 1-2 teaspoons of the powder with hot water, creating a slight frothy, foamy texture. Pour in the non dairy milk and whisk together. Add optional non refined sweeteners or flavour enhancers. You can also add 1-2 teaspoons of matcha to your smoothies.
Baking with matcha is extremely easy. Go with a culinary grade of matcha and just add 1-2 teaspoons of the powder to cookies, oatmeal, pancakes, or granola. If you want some inspiration, check out our zucchini oat matcha muffin recipe. Add your matcha into your smoothie with any of our Smoothie Boosters for a serious dose of plant based nutrition, energy and vitamins.
If you have any matcha recipes you want to share with us, post them up on social media and tag us in them! Matcha + Pranin Organic = The perfect Match(a).