If you’ve been anywhere near instagram lately, or have read the menus at your local coffee and tea shops, you may have noticed a craze for a bright green tea called Matcha. It is everywhere suddenly! Even my favorite little local coffee shop is offering a matcha latte. And, it’s a pretty healthy craze. Matcha is loaded with antioxidants, even more than ‘regular’ brewed green tea, due to the fact that you drink the whole ground leaf rather than just brewing the leaves and tossing them.
I love matcha as a supplement to my daily routine, but every now and then I’ll go a little further and trade in my beloved coffee for a matcha only month. When I recently did that and started posting pictures of my yummy drinks, I got a lot of comments from people who want to love it, but just don’t.
Well, in all honesty, you don’t have to drink it! Coffee has antioxidants too…and hey, I drink coffee most of the time. If you can handle the super charged feeling of drinking coffee, and it’s your love, go for it. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables have antioxidants too. Red wine… No one superfood can ‘fix’ your health. But, if you really want to drink matcha and are unsure what to do with it, I have a few tips and a recipe that may make you a believer.
If you’re new to matcha and it’s too grassy/bitter/pungent for you, try ceremonial grade. People will try to sell you on the culinary variety if you’re making a latte out of it, but I find culinary matchas rather bitter, and often muddy tasting (and kind of a muddy green color too, as opposed to bright green like fresh spring peas). I like the smoothness and sweet quality of the higher grade. There are many ceremonial matchas that are affordable. Just do some experimenting until you find what you like. Here’s a link to the best matcha guide of all time, you’re sure to find something here.
Make a latte. Yes, it is more traditional to drink it straight up, but tradition isn’t everything. It will be just as good for you in a creamy treat-like latte that you actually want to drink. Though there is some evidence to suggest that pairing matcha with dairy products negates the antioxidant effect, so go for nut milks or coconut milk.
Make it into dessert. Got a favorite vegan vanilla ice cream/smoothie/chia pudding/raw tart recipe? Add a little matcha and turn up the flavor and health benefits.
And finally, here is my favorite matcha latte recipe. To enjoy it hot, use hot water. To enjoy it cold, use cold water and pour it over ice. Like it creamier? Add more coconut oil or cashews. Like it stronger? Add more matcha. Like it sweeter? Add more honey. Or less if you go for that slightly bitter quality.You can’t ruin it. And it’s much faster than brewing coffee.