By now, you've heard of matcha -- the potent green tea that's popping up in Instagram feeds and coffee shops from LA to NYC to DC. It's touted as an alternative to coffee, with less caffeine and a heavy dose of anti-oxidants, and a recent study showed that it might help people lose weight by kicking your metabolism into high gear.
The first time I tried a matcha latte was at Chalait, a bright cafe in Greenwich Village, NYC. The atmosphere could have had something to do with it -- it's one of my favorite stops in the Big Apple with a chill vibe and a delicious menu. The hot drink was smooth and I drank it more quickly than I had ever consumed a cup of brewed java. I ordered it with almond milk, added a touch of honey and noticed a gradual buzz, unlike the quick jolt I get from coffee.
I figured it was just another form of green tea, but it’s so much more.
The benefits include improved concentration, detoxification and improved energy levels (as well as a calmness), but the most impactful are its levels of anti-oxidants. Known to have five times as many as any other food, matcha is loaded with organic compounds called catechins, more specifically epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg). Out of all the antioxidants, EGCg is the most widely recognized for its cancer fighting properties. Scientists have found that Matcha Green Tea contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market.
Matcha comes in vibrant green powder and when whisked with hot water, becomes frothy and smooth. I have a matcha tea set that I use to make it at home, although it never turns out quite the same as when I order it in a tea house or café. I’ve put it in the blender with hot water to try and emulate the smoothness, but it’s not the same. I recommend giving it a try if you’re out and see it on the menu – the caffeine kick is nice and it’s fun to try something new, especially when it comes with such incredible benefits.
Have you tried matcha? What are your thoughts?