What exactly is this trendy green drink, and is it really good for you?
Matcha lattes are appearing on more and more Sydney café menus, and they’re big in Hong Kong too (if you follow me on instagram you’ll know I can’t get enough of the stuff). All the answers to your questions on matcha, here 😀
What is Matcha?
More than just a fad, matcha is a unique green tea produced by the artisanal tea growers of Japan, traditionally served as a ceremonial beverage. It’s also not just a cup of your usual green tea, with matcha containing up to 137 times the antioxidant content of your regular green tea.
Be cautious of matcha lattes and frappes from commercial coffee joints though – they can be made with ‘matcha’ syrup, which is laden with refined sugar and artificial colours and flavours.
Is there a Difference Between Matcha and Regular Green Tea?
Yes, because unlike your usual green tea leaves, which are steeped in hot water and then discarded, matcha is made using the whole tea leaf. Good quality matcha – like Change Chai’s – is steamed to prevent the leaves from oxidising or going bad; The leaves are then naturally air-dried and stone-ground into a fine, almost lime-green powder.
What Does Matcha Taste Like?
Matcha isn’t astringent or bitter like your typical green tea can be, so is worth trying even if you’re not a green tea fan. Matcha is much smoother on the palate, with a nice balance of sweet and savoury.
You’ll find quality matcha at the health food store and health conscious cafes. If you’d like to brew your own matcha, Change Chai’s 100% Matcha Chai is worth getting your hands on; premium-grade organic matcha, only the youngest, greenest and most delicate leaves are used. This ensures no bitterness is left behind and that the matcha’s vibrant green is retained (no one wants a dirt-green matcha).
Does Matcha Have Caffeine?
Matcha does contain caffeine, but only half as much as a cup of coffee…Perfect for putting some pep in your step, minus the coffee-jitters, and a nice substitute for your second or third coffee of the day.
How Do You Make a Matcha Latte?
Simply mix a flat teaspoon of matcha powder with boiled water, allow the water to cool a bit before mixing the matcha, so that the nutrients aren’t destroyed by the heat. Top with your favourite frothed milk and voila! If you’d like a little sweetness, sweeten to taste with ½ to 1 teaspoon of raw honey, or 1-2 drops stevia for a sugar-free option.
What are the Health Properties of Matcha?
Matcha is loaded with:
• L-theanine, an amino acid which can promote mental calm and clarity, and in turn, relaxation.
• Chlorophyll – a green plant pigment traditionally used as a detoxifier and internal cleanser.
• Antioxidants, which help to fight cell-damaging free radicals that we’re exposed to in our environment (like pollution), and which are also naturally produced in the body. Fun fact from Change Chai: Matcha has antioxidant levels that are ‘6.2 times those in goji berries, 7 times those in dark chocolate, 17 times those in wild blueberries and 60.5 times those in spinach’… Meet ya for a matcha? 😉
My original post for GoodnessMe Box
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