Matcha: The New Craze and How to Love It
Matcha. I know you girls have heard about it, maybe some of you have even tried it. I mean, it’s everywhere- from Starbucks lattes to ice cream to cupcakes- this fancy type of green tea is having a moment. So, what’s the big deal? Isn’t it just green tea?
Well, yes and no. Matcha is green tea, but green tea isn’t matcha. (Remember grade school math: a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle isn’t a square? Yeah, same type deal here.)
How is matcha different?
Matcha literally means “powdered tea”, and that’s exactly what it is. Pulvarized green tea leaves. The leaves used to make it are the cream of the crop of green tea- they’re grown in the shade and only the best buds are chosen for matcha making. Fancy, huh?
We all know that green tea is good for you, but when you brew a cup of green tea, even from the best loose-leaf tea, you’re only getting some of the green tea goodness. You’re not consuming the whole leaf and hot water can only do so much. Since matcha is the whole leaf ground into a powder, you’re getting all that good stuff. Yay!
Matcha is green tea, but green tea isn’t matcha.
What’s in it?
Amazing antioxidants like l-theanine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These mouthfuls help fight inflammation in the body (including relieving sore muscles!). Bonus: EGCG is linked with helping boost your metabolism! Gotta love that!
CAFFEINE! But it feels different. Matcha has about three times the amount of caffeine as a cup of green tea, or about that of a cup of coffee. But the buzz is different thanks to l-theanine, which induces relaxation without causing drowsiness. That’s why a cup of matcha feels like “alert calm”. AKA: you’re energized without feeling jittery. Win-win, if you ask me!
How to LOVE it?
Unless you’re a matcha conossieur, or a big fan of umami flavor (one of the five tastes, it’s strong, savory… think soy sauce or Parmesan cheese), you’re probably not going to drink matcha in the traditionally Japanese way (literally just mixed into hot water with a bamboo whisk). So, what’s a girl to do? Don’t worry, I’ve got three different recipes for you to get your matcha love on with. Plus, they’re all totally #LSFapproved
- 1 teaspoon matcha powder
- 1 ½ tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon raw honey (to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice, but I find coconut works best)
- Heat water to 160°
- Put matcha into mug and pour water over
- Whisk to combine (you really want to make sure it’s whisked vigorously til it’s completely dissolved)
- Add honey and vanilla extract. Whisk furiously again!
- Heat the coconut milk (use a frother or heat on the stove top)
- Pour into the mug (be sure to channel your inner barista, because now’s the time for latte art!)
This is SUCH a yummy fall beverage and a great way to spice up your morning (or afternoon) coffee habit! Warm, cozy, and delicious! If you’re still feelin’ the heat of summer, this can totally be served over ice!
You can always omit the honey and vanilla extract, but it will definitely be more savory. And remember: you have to find quality matcha. The higher quality, the better it will taste without sweetener.
Skinny Matcha Mocktail
- 5 cups hot water (160°)
- 1 teaspoon matcha
- 4 cups cold water
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6 medium lemons)
- 1 tablespoon stevia
- Stir hot water and matcha in a mug and whisk to combine, making sure the matcha is fully dissolved; set aside
- Combine water, lemon juice, stevia in a pitcher and stir until the stevia has completely dissolved
- Add matcha mixture to skinny lemonade
- Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes and enjoy!
*You can feel extra fancy by garnishing with a sprig of mint! (Yields 5 servings)
Skinny Matcha Marg
Summer is technically over, but are we ever really over margs? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
- 1 ½ ounces (1 jigger) tequila
- 1 freshly squeezed lime
- 2 slices jalapeno
- 1 cup hot water (160°)
- ½ teaspoon matcha
- Combine hot water and matcha and whisk to combine; set aside (pop it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process)
- Muddle jalapeno and lime juice in shaker
- Pour tequila, matcha mix into shaker; shake vigorously
- Pour in a glass. Garnish with lime wheel and additional sliced jalapeno.
There ya have it, ladies! You are now offish matcha experts, complete with three awesome recipes to show off your matcha skills for friends and fam. Make sure to let me know which ones you tried out! I wanna see your barista and bar tender skills on Insta! Be sure to tag me @lovesweatfitness so I don’t miss them!