I use to think of Health Food Shops as musty places with jars of herbs…
Matcha – the green tea energy boosting powder!
I first discovered Matcha at my local health food store. I was intrigued by the little tin of green powder claiming that 1/4 teaspoon of this stuff is the equivalent of 15 cups of green tea.
Matcha is a fine ground, powdered, high quality Green Tea. Matcha tea bushes are grown under shade which dramatically increases the chlorophyll content of the leaf , and chlorophyll is the bright green pigments found in leaves which is rich in antioxidants. As a matter of fact, drinking a cup of matcha will give you 137 times the amount of antioxidants than a regular cup of Green Tea. It also contains two amino acids: theophylline & L-theanine. L-theanine stimulates alpha brain waves for mental alertness but keeping you relaxed at the same time. Combining the two amino acids with the caffeine found in Matcha, results in an energy boost lasting up to 6 hours. And that, yogis & yoginis, is why I have become a fan of Matcha! Even my husband notices the energy boost on the days I make us smoothies or pancakes with Matcha.
How to use Matcha?
I like putting Matcha in my smoothies, it’s easy and turns the smoothie bright green, and if you’re not a fan of the taste of Matcha this is the best way to take it. I use a 1/4 teaspoon per 250 ml.
But having Matcha the traditional way is really delicious, even for me, and I’m not a Green Tea fan at all. Actually I became a bit addicted to these little packets of instant Matcha cappuccino when we were on holiday in Boston – but those were a bit naughty because they had sugar and milk powder in them. So to make your own, healthier version of a Matcha tea drink, use 200 ml of milk (or milk substitute such as Almond Milk or coconut milk). Whisk in 1/4 teaspoon Matcha powder frothing the milk. Sweeten with honey or Stevia. And yes, you end up with a bright green cappuccino!
And then lastly, use it in your baking. I make Matcha pancakes, I have added it to my Almond flour breads and so on. Just be prepared for the green colour.
Where to buy Matcha?
This is probably the trickiest bit about Matcha. Unless you live in Japan, it isn’t that widely available yet, or at least I haven’t found it easy to get hold of, and when you do it’s expensive. I’m lucky that my health food store sells a couple of brands. You can get hold of it online, but make sure you get a good quality one, because the quality varies hugely, a cheap Matcha will taste bitter whereas a good quality Matcha will taste sweeter and have a deeper flavour.
A good quality Matcha in the UK is the Tea Pigs Organic Matcha which you can find at health food stores or buy online.
Amazon UK sells different brands, but once again, quality varies, so read the reviews first. And the same for eBay, which is a bit of a gamble. If you have a Japanese grocery store in a city near you, that will probably be your best bet.
Have you tried Matcha? Where do you buy it from? Let me know.
Hanri & Banjo