For those of you who don’t know, now you know: Matcha is the new kale. And I’m here to help you get on board. From the outstanding health benefits, to how to place your order at Starbucks, to the recipe for the best matcha latte at home, fear not my friends: you’ve come to the right place.
First and foremost, let’s get the facts. Matcha is not the same as green tea. Additionally, matcha is not the same as maca. Confused yet?! Matcha is a more potent version of green tea, also known as matcha green tea extract. Essentially, it takes all the stellar health benefits of green tea and squeezes them into a powdered form. Green tea utilizes the tea leaf by steeping it in water and then discarding the leaf, while matcha powder is the actual leaf broken down into powder form and mixed into the beverage, therefore providing all of the health benefits of the whole leaf. Matcha is a traditional Japanese tea which has rapidly gained popularity in the U.S. over the past decade. It has been a popular beverage amongst monks for meditation, believed to provided a more ‘alert and calm’ effect than other caffeine sources, such as coffee. As if it didn’t already have enough going on, matcha is also rich in antioxidants called polyphenols which aid in the fight against cancers and other diseases and has been associated with fat burning and anti-aging effects. Cue stampede to the tea aisle of target.
Let’s talk caffeine. Since matcha is a very condensed and potent form of green tea, you don’t need to use as much to get the same ‘kick’. We’re talking 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of matcha powder whisked into 1 cup of liquid here, people. Which is helpful, because this tea ain’t cheap, so using a smaller amount per cup helps make your money last a little bit longer. Comparing apples to apples, matcha has about 3 times as much caffeine as a regular brewed/steeped cup of green tea, or as much as a cup of coffee. Homegirl, say what?! YOU HEARD ME RIGHT. This caffeine containing, disease fighting beverage is the real deal, y’all.
So how do I use this beautiful green beverage in everyday life?! Well, my go-to matcha coffee shop order is a nonfat matcha latte (if you are craving a hot drink) or an ice water with 4 scoops matcha powder (if it’s already hot and you want to cool off). Don’t ask me why I prefer one with water and one with milk, because there is no rhyme or reason, I’m just weird like that. If you’re making it at home, check out the matcha latte recipe below, and allow your mind to be blown. If you’re really feeling crazy, google matcha ice cream, or matcha soup, or even matcha guacamole. I double dog dare ya.
Almond Milk Matcha Latte
1 cup almond milk
1/2 – 1 teaspoon matcha powder
1 – 2 dash cinnamon (optional)
1 – 2 dash nutmeg (optional)
Heat almond milk to desired temperature. Whisk in matcha powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg (whisking allows proper mixing, eliminating lumps of powder). Enjoy on the patio, contemplating the meaning of life, under the warm sunshine on a front porch swing.