While in Japan this past summer, I was amazed to see an abundance of matcha shops everywhere I looked. From matcha-flavored ice cream to pastries to drinks, I couldn’t walk more than a block without seeing matcha-flavored treats. Being an avid foodie and health-nut myself, I was excited to try this trending superfood in every shape and form. This began my matcha obsession.
What is Matcha?
Although matcha hasn’t been a trend in the United States until recently, this herbal superfood has been around for centuries and is a huge part of Japanese traditions such as tea ceremonies. Unlike regular green tea, where the leaves are steeped in water and then removed, with matcha, you’re drinking whole tea leaves that are ground up. This process allows you to ingest all of the nutrients and benefits in the leaves, including 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea; that’s a greater quantity of antioxidants than any other superfood. Antioxidants prevent chronic disease and aging, so the more you ingest, the easier it will be for your body to fight off illness. In addition to its health benefits, drinking matcha tea results in enhanced focus, boosted metabolism, and increased energy. It’s no wonder shops like Cha Cha Matcha in New York City are blowing up our Instagram feeds.
Matcha vs. Coffee
As someone who loves the taste of an iced latte, but sometimes experiences jitters and other anxious side effects from the dense caffeine, matcha has been the perfect alternative for me. It energizes me with caffeine while calming my mind, relaxing my body, and nourishing me with nutrients.
Make it Yourself!
The best thing about matcha is that there are so many different ways to consume it and it’s super easy to make at home. For latte lovers like me, all you need in order to make a delicious matcha latte at home is matcha powder, boiling water, milk and your sweetener of choice!
So, the next time you need a pick-me-up and caffeine boost that’s nourishing and won’t leave you with the jitters, opt for a matcha latte. I promise you won’t regret it!
PHOTOS: Cha Cha Matcha