To coincide with our recent Matcha launch on the site, we published a blog discussing its unique history, processing, and much more. You can read all about that here. As the second part of this matcha series, we wanted to go at a more casual approach and give our reasons why we enjoy drinking this fine tea, besides its green color and one-of-a-kind taste. Perhaps after reading this, your love for matcha will grow or even begin its new journey.
1. It’s full of antioxidants and other health benefits.
Matcha is chock-full of antioxidants and vitamins. Green tea has always been touted for its health benefits, and if you think about it, green tea is steeped, which means you only get some of the antioxidants and vitamins it offers. The antioxidants you ingest can be multiplied with matcha because you’re consuming the entire tea leaf. With ceremonial grade matcha, stems and leaves are separated during processing, so only the best part of the leaves are used. The way that ceremonial grade is shaded encourages the development of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll levels are lower in culinary grade matcha, but both offer a high level of antioxidants. Chlorophyll has antioxidant properties which may benefit your health.
2. It doesn’t taste like grass clippings.
If you read my previous blog on matcha, you’ll know that I am new to the experience. I was pretty reluctant to try it because it looked like grass, so I thought it would taste like grass. I was wrong. I’m pretty much committed to coffee, so I found it unbelievable that I would like anything else. Since I was writing about matcha, I decided I should probably try it. To my surprise, I didn’t just like it. I loved it! I have to say, it does have a leafy flavor to it, but it’s a tea leaf, so of course, it tastes like tea. I’ve always liked black tea, but this is a whole new way of experiencing tea. I have it regularly now, which may be one of the biggest surprises I’ve had this year.
3. You get to know Japanese culture.
Matcha brings with it centuries of culture. When matcha started to grow in popularity, only the wealthy could enjoy it, or those that participated in Japanese tea ceremony, it wasn’t something that the general population could enjoy. Things have changed so much that it’s now reaching mainstream culture, but it has a long history. When you drink matcha, it’s like you get a little taste of what Japanese culture has to offer. It’s an opportunity to learn about how different cultures enjoy their unique drinks, which is fascinating to me.
4. You can enjoy matcha in different ways.
As it has grown in popularity, creative ways of drinking are popping up. If you’re a purist, you’ll enjoy matcha the traditional way with ceremonial grade matcha stirred in water at the right temperature, whisked to foamy perfection using the traditional bamboo whisk. You can enjoy it iced, hot, or as a latte with milk. You can add sweeteners to soften the flavor if you choose. You can even add it to smoothies, but I wouldn’t use ceremonial grade for that. Culinary grade matcha is perfect for mixing with other ingredients.
5. It’s a unique tea.
I love how unique it is. The growing, harvesting, processing, preparation, and benefits are unlike any other tea. Only the best experts grow the best matcha. It’s truly an art form. I love that I can share in the uniqueness of matcha when I drink it.
6. It's calming and gives energy and focus with no jitters.
Ceremonial grade matcha contains five times more L-Theanine than lower grade matcha. L-Theanine helps your brain with alertness. That’s how matcha enables you to gain focus and stay alert without the jitters. Matcha comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, which naturally has caffeine. Since you ingest the whole tea leaf, the concentration of caffeine is higher than a traditionally steeped green tea. The combination of caffeine and L-Theanine appears to produce a kind of alert but calm feeling. I won’t go into detail on the chemistry behind matcha. I’ll be thankful that’s how it works and that there’s an alternative to coffee if I want one.
7. It's great for your skin.
Did you know that you can apply matcha directly to your skin? Green tea is known for being great for your skin. The catechins in green tea deactivate free radicals in the skin, which may slow the signs of aging.
8. You can use it for baking, cooking, or in other food.
Matcha goes beyond just drinking it. You can use it for cooking and baking. The range of food you can make is astounding, from protein bites to doughnut glaze to matcha banana bread. Good thing there’s culinary grade matcha which gives you the ability to try all kinds of recipes.
Shop our ceremonial grade matcha and check out this delicious recipe for making sugar cookies with matcha.
Matcha Neapolitan Sugar Cookies
- 2 tbsp matcha powder
- 3 tbsp strawberry, freeze-dried powder
- 1 Egg, large
- 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set the baking sheet aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and 11⁄4 cups (250 g) of the sugar on medium speed until they are smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until just combined and no more streaks of the flour mixture remain about 45 seconds.