Matcha has been a life-changer for me, and I get so excited to share it with others! Hope you enjoy the resource, and don't hesitate to ask any questions. If you're interested in just checking out the brand I recommend, see Encha's website here! 😊
So, what is matcha?
Matcha is a high quality green tea in which the whole leaves are crushed to become a fine-ground powder. Traditionally, it's whisked in a bowl with hot water to become a rich, frothy beverage (my favorite way to enjoy it!) Matcha is special because it's the only form of green tea in which the entire leaf is consumed (as opposed to brewed tea bags which you steep then throw out the bag). Ingesting the entire leaf makes it an antioxidant powerhouse, providing amazing health benefits that far exceed other teas or beverages. What's also exclusive to matcha is "zenergy" - the feeling of being calm yet energized and focused at the same time (so amazing!) The zenergy feeling comes from the unique combination of caffeine and theanine. It provides a long-lasting mental calmness and clarity without the jitters or crashes that are often associated with coffee. Just pure, good, clean energy!
What are the health benefits?
Long ago in ancient civilizations, tea began as a medicine. Only later did it turn into the casual daytime beverage that we enjoy today. But modern studies continually reveal the huge range of health benefits of matcha, and it turns out they're awfully impressive! One study states a single cup of matcha contains 137 times more antioxidants than a cup of brewed tea bag. What's uniquely special is that matcha contains a certain kind of antioxidant called catechins (of all antioxidants, catechins are the most potent and beneficial). Matcha is especially high in one specific catechin, called EGCG, which is recognized for it's cancer fighting properties. To learn more about the health benefits, check the graphic below and this resource.
How do you make pure whisked matcha?
Preparing ceremonial matcha is quick and easy - just 5 minutes! You'll need three simple tools shown below: a bowl, bamboo whisk, and measuring scoop (or teaspoon). Since you'll whisk vigorously to achieve the beautiful froth, it's best to use a wide and deep enough bowl (if you don't have a matcha bowl, a soup bowl works great).
Start by measuring 1 teaspoon matcha powder in a bowl. (If you're using a bamboo scoop, it's about two scoops.) Heat 5 oz. water (~2/3 cup) just under boiling, around 160-170 degrees, and add it to the bowl. Using a bamboo whisk, stir a few times to make sure all the clumps are off the bottom and side, then whisk very briskly back and forth in a straight line for about 20-30 seconds (trying not to scrape the bottom of the bowl with the delicate bamboo prongs). Then whisk in a zig-zag pattern to calm the waves and create delicate "microfoam". That's it - pure frothy bliss! I just rinse my whisk, and set it upright on the counter for next time. For a visual, check out the short video tutorial below:
Whisking pure matcha is my favorite way to enjoy, but I also love lattes, smoothies, and iced matcha (see recipes below for a few ideas). Some people even cook and bake with it. One of the great things about matcha is it's versatility! You can enjoy it pure, creamy, or sweet - it's all about finding the best way it fits into your own daily routine 😊
What's my personal experience with matcha?
Matcha is truly unlike anything I've ever experienced. It gives me laser-sharp focus and a happy, positive energy. (Zenergy!) My mind is so much more relaxed - dissolving negative energy and leaving my thoughts clear for positivity and production. Before matcha, I didn't really drink coffee because it didn't settle well and almost always caused a crash. I've been a long-time fan of regular green and black tea but it doesn't provide the unique zenergy like matcha. I drink matcha daily in the mornings, and often enjoy it in the afternoon as well if I'm needing a boost. It really helps with that late day slump, significantly reducing my stress and giving plenty of happy long-lasting energy while I make dinner, clean up, chase a toddler, etc. ;) I also noticed after a couple months of daily matcha that my skin tone improved. It's a lot smoother and more radiant (yay!)
My husband's experience (a coffee lover)
I never thought I'd be able to pry the coffee from my husband's hands long enough for him to try matcha. But he agreed to do a week-long experiment with me to test the effects. Surprisingly, he hasn't brought coffee back into his routine since! He makes matcha in the morning before work, and usually after lunch to give that calm, steady alertness throughout the day. One morning he drank matcha before studying, and said he couldn't remember the last time he studied that well. (How cool is that?) He loves how "clean" matcha feels over coffee.
Where do you buy matcha?
Finding high-quality organic matcha is very important. Many companies sell inferior powder, some of which is not even organic. As a result, taste and health benefits lack. Always look for organic matcha that is a bright, vibrant green color. My absolute favorite is Encha Organic Matcha. I can't express just how much I LOVE this company! They work directly with the farm in Japan for quality assurance to provide us with the best organic matcha - truly "farm to cup". The Encha team has visibility into the entire process from growing to grinding. I encourage you to check out their farm page, complete with a beautiful video! Encha's founder, Dr. Li Gong, has a passion for matcha that absolutely radiates, and I really admire his focus on creating a matcha community (@MyEncha on instagram).
Matcha is so versatile - here are a few recipes to get you started!
Come join me on Instagram and share your matcha pics! I LOVE seeing them!