Alyssa's Guide to Matcha
I can't tell you how excited I am about this post! I have a little obsession with Matcha... okay maybe a huge obsession. I love talking about and drinking Matcha. Since my discovery of this magical green elixir, I have been perfecting the craft of making it. Making Matcha has become a ritual of mine. It takes presence, and the reward is always delicious.
So let's dive in!
Sustained Energy: Caffeine and amino acid L-Theanine work together to produce a sustained and focused energy. L-Theanine is a calm-inducing amino acid found almost exclusively in teas from the Camellia sinensis plant. Unlike traditional green tea that is steeped in water, matcha powder includes the entire ground Camellia sinensis leaf providing 100% of the leaf’s nutritional benefits to the drinker. Matcha is also sugar-free and less addicting, unlike coffee! It supplies a healthy dose of caffeine without causing you to crash a few hours later. Caffeine in the matcha produces the feel-good effects since it is complimented by the antioxidants and phytonutrients as well as the amino acids that are present in the matcha.
Mental Clarity: L-theanine is an amino acid that stimulates the production of alpha wave activity in the brain, which results in a state of calm alertness. This amino acid is also known to reduce anxiety and lift your mood! L-Theanine and caffeine work together when being combined to produce a sustained and focused energy, lasting up to six hours.
Immune Boosting: Matcha is jam packed full of antioxidants which are a key component of helping your body fight diseases and infections. Matcha also contains polyphenols, catechins and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which help you boost your immune system and promotes overall health. Additionally, you are getting potassium, vitamins A & C, iron and calcium in each cup.
Packed with Antioxidants: Matcha delivers a mega dose of antioxidants in every sip! According to Matcha Source, one cup of matcha tea has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of brewed green tea. Matcha tea contains a unique, potent class of antioxidant known as catechins, which aren’t found in other foods. In particular, the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) provides potent cancer-fighting properties! Sweet!
MATCHA > COFFEE
CEREMONIAL VS. CULINARY:
There is debate over whether or not you need to spend more money on ceremonial grade or just settle for culinary. I personally have ceremonial grade and culinary. I use the ceremonial grade for making matcha americano (just water + matcha, no other ingredients) in the mornings. Just as in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, ceremonial grade should not be mixed with sweeteners or other ingredients. When I am creating delicious green tea lattes, matcha smoothies or green tea based baked goods- I use the culinary grade. It's personal preference!
Pro Tip: To preserve flavor and freshness, always store your matcha in the refrigerator after opening.
FAVORITE MATCHA BRAND:
Matchaful - use code "alyssanicolep" for 10% off any order over $30!!!
Chasen (bamboo whisk)- Essential for making the perfect cup of Matcha Americano! I really appreciate the gentle foam that is created by the bamboo. Using a chasen is part of the matcha making experience!
Chashaku (bamboo scoop)- I use the chashaku when making Matcha Americano since that is the traditional way of preparing it. I use a spoon when making potions or smoothies.
Chawan (tea bowl)- Drinking matcha out of a plain mug or cup would simply not be as lovely of an experience as drinking from a beautiful chawan. I bought mine in a Matcha Kit from World Market.
Fine Mesh Strainer- This is used to take out the clumps! Essential for sifting your tea.
Kettle- Used for heating liquids! Who doesn't love a cute ole kettle?!
Step 1: Fill your kettle up with water and turn on the stove so it can start warming up.
Step 2: Use the bamboo scoop to measure the powder. I usually do 1 or 2 scoops (1-2 tsp). I then sift the matcha prior to putting it in the bowl to remove any clumps of powder.
Step 3: Once the water is hot, pour it into the matcha bowl! For best results use water just under a boil.
Step 4: Take the whisk in one hand and hold the rim of the matcha bowl with your other hand. Whisk the matcha briskly in a "M" motion using your wrist (not arm) until the tea is frothy.
Step 5: Enjoy your tea straight from the bowl! Some mornings I'll transfer it to a mug and make an elixir with coconut butter and an adaptogen. Some people add Stevia to make it sweeter but it's totally up to you! Craft it to your own perfection :)
EXTRA INGREDIENTS YOU CAN PUT IN YOUR MATCHA:
Coconut Butter- Coconut butter is a great substitution to milk! It adds the creaminess that milk would otherwise add. If you want your drink extra, extra creamy, you can use almond milk + coconut butter. Coconut butter also makes the potion ultra frothy, which is an added bonus.
Adaptogens- I personally love putting adaptogens in my potions because it is an easy and quick way to receive the nutrients! Based on what benefits you are hoping to reap, there are SO many options to choose from when it comes to adaptogens! I encourage you to do your research and see which adaptogens call to you. My favorites are ashwagandha, maca, and reishi.
FAVORITE MATCHA BAKING RECIPE: MATCHA MUFFINS!
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons matcha powder (we use culinary not ceremonial grade when baking)
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon himalayan salt
1 cup vanilla dairy-free creamer (So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer)
3 tablespoons oil (melted coconut oil)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
handful of dairy-free dark chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and grease mini muffin wells. I used coconut oil to grease my muffin pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, matcha, baking powder and salt until well combined.
3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the creamer, oil, and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
4. Divide the batter between the muffin wells, they should be about ¾ full.
5. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top!
6. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
7. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely if using cupcake liners.