If you read my site and follow me on facebook, you know how much I love tea. I’ve written before about its many benefits. I drink tea daily, typically starting my days with green tea or pu-erh. But if I really want an antioxidant-infused pick-me-up, I reach for matcha. I use Pique brand matcha because I believe in their quality.
Like all caffeinated teas (green, black, white, oolong), matcha is made from the the leaves of Camellia sinensis. Other teas are fermented, but for matcha, after the leaves are picked, they are steamed and ground into a powder that’s a vibrant green color. In traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, matcha is whisked together with hot water until it’s foamy on top. You get more of a benefit from the tea because you’re ingesting the entire leaf versus steeping and removing the leaves. Matcha is also used in baked goods, lattes or smoothies (in the Western world at least).
Matcha’s Amazing Benefits
- Very high in cancer-fighting antioxidants called catechins
- May promote weight loss
- Contributes to longevity and anti-aging
- May lower LDL cholesterol
- Rich source of chlorophyll
- Aids in detoxifying
- Gives you a great boost!
Matcha has a grassy, spinachy taste and comes sealed in a small tin (or this company offers you single serving size packets). In general, matcha is more expensive than other tea but lasts quite a while. You only need about a teaspoon of the powder to mix with 1/2 cup or so of hot (not boiling) water. Then it is whisked with a special bamboo whisk (pictured above) til it foams, about 30 seconds. It’s ready to enjoy!
Around these parts, I’ve seen matcha used in cupcakes, frosting, smoothies, and lattes (made with almond milk). Just be careful not to ingest too much at once or you may be in for too much of a boost. It’s strong! Give it a try in the mornings or when the 3pm crash hits. I think it helps one refocus and combats sugar cravings.
I like this brand. You can prepare it traditionally using a whisk, or just add hot or cold water. I like this matcha because it comes in single serving size packets for easy measurement and travel. All you need to do is add hot or cold water!
Here is the bamboo whisk you’ll need if you choose the traditional preparation. You can also get a wooden chashaku to scoop the appropriate amount, but I typically just measure out about a teaspoon or less, or this brand (my fave) is pre-measured. Add hot water, enjoy!
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. In addition to her coaching practice, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and kick nagging digestive issues for good. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.