Today we are following up Friday's interview with Lauren Danson of Mizuba Tea Co. to bring you some of the cold and hard facts about what matcha, why you might want to consider trying it and of course, a recipe for my favorite drink—an iced honey matcha. If you follow me on social media, you probably know how often I like to drink matcha. I'm totally obsessed. If you are a newbie to the world of matcha, you are in for a real treat. It is rich in antioxidants and is a fabulous alternative to coffee. While on the autoimmune protocol, I only missed coffee until discovering the exciting world of tea. After dabbling with whites, black, and herbal teas, I've been having so much fun experimenting with matcha. I love using the vibrant green powder to make coconut lattes, coconut ice creams and as an added nutrient boost to smoothies. What is matcha?
Matcha comes from the same plant all tea comes from (save rooibos and honey bush, or botanical “tisanes” like Tulsi, Chamomile, etc). What makes Matcha the pearl of Japanese tea is that it is shade-grown for 4 weeks before harvest, than stone-ground into a fine green powder. Beautiful!
Matcha Health Benefits:
SO MANY. Because the tea is stone-ground and the powder consumed, the drinker receives 100% of the nutritional value of the leaf! Shade-growing inhibits photosynthesis to the plants. This causes the plant to concentrate all of its nutrients in the leaf. Matcha is a exceedingly concentrated source of:
— Chlorophyll, a fantastic blood-oxygenator that helps regulate the circulatory system; some say this is anti-inflammatory. And chlorophyll is why Matcha is so incredibly, vibrantly, and PURELY naturally green! — Amino Acids, most notably L-theanine. Theanine contribute sweetness to the tea, but also combines with Caffeine to not let you spike or jitter! Slow release energy! It definitely gives you a “calm alertness.” :) — Catechins, are the super-anti-oxidant most found in açai berries, blueberries, and pomegranates. But Matcha is a power-punch source of them. — Vitamins A & C — Blood sugar regulation, Matcha also significantly lowers blood pressure and sugars, and has been found amazingly effective in cancer treatments. Essentially, the numbers say Matcha has 10x the amount of benefit from 1 cup of bagged green tea.
When is the best time to drink matcha?
Oh, anytime in my book! I like to start with it mid-morning, take a moment to whisk up just a plain hot cup, or froth up some hot almond or coconut milk to put in a latte. Otherwise, if it’s hot in the afternoon, I love to sweeten it with honey, and pour it over ice! Breakfast, I’ll throw a tablespoon in my smoothie. Mattole Valley Naturals actually makes an extremely high-quality whey protein powder from grass-fed cows with my Matcha and it is amazing in smoothies.
How do you prepare matcha properly?
1) Start with pure, high quality Matcha. If it says it's from China, looks a dull yellow-brown, or is stored in any container that lets in light or air, it’ll be sad, sad “matcha.”
2) Boil water to 160-175º. If you accidentally let the kettle boil, just add some cool water in.
3) Measure out 1/2-3/4 teaspoon for hot matcha or 1 full teaspoon for a latte.
5) Use traditional chasen whisk to eliminate large clumps, or sift matcha into vessel if you don’t have a bamboo whisk. Enjoy the aromas of the bloom and the leaves “waking up” to the water.
6) Pour the rest of your water in.
7) Use your chasen bamboo whisk to aerate and froth your tea in an ‘m’ shape motion. Alternatively if using a mason jar, make sure you put on an airtight lid and give it a nice hearty cocktail shake for about 30-60 seconds.
8) Matcha should be beautifully bubbly and frothy!
How to prepare an Iced Honey Matcha (Charlotte's favorite way to enjoy!)
Make Matcha traditionally, following steps 1-4, but before you pour in the rest of the water, add in honey to taste (approx. 1 teaspoon). Then, pour in rest of 160º water and whisk. Pour over ice. Voila!