Matcha tea is made from ground up green tea leaves. It is in a powder form so you are actually consuming the entire tea leaf, not just water that has been steeped in tea leaves, as with regular brewed green tea. That's why it is so much higher in antioxidants. Studies have shown the antioxidants, particularly EGCg, in matcha tea especially effective for cancer prevention and reduced risk of heart disease.
Matcha is a true superfood and I try to drink it everyday...Why?
You can buy matcha tea at your local heath food store, Whole Foods or search to order it online. Make sure you are buying "premium" or "ceremonial" as these are best for drinking. Also organic is preferred. If you see a bamboo whisk when you are buying the matcha, buy it - you will use it to mix the powder with water for tea. It isn't necessary but it does a better job mixing than a fork or spoon.
Its easy! For traditional matcha tea, boil water in your kettle and then let it sit and cool for about 5 minutes - you don't want to use boiling water as it will burn the tea. Put a 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of matcha in the bottom of a large mug - I use a 1/2 teaspoon of matcha but I worked my way up to that (the taste is going to be bitter) so you may want to start with a 1/4 teaspoon and go from there. Pour a little water in the mug to just cover the powder and then whisk it with your bamboo or wire whisk or a fork until it is like a paste. Then pour more water to fill the mug and stir. You may want to stir in a tiny bit of natural sweetener like honey or pure maple syrup to start as the taste is going to be strong. In time you will get used to it and you won't need the sweetener anymore. That's it! You will want to stir or swirl your mug as you are drinking it so that the powder doesn't collect at the bottom.
You don't only have to consume matcha as a tea, you can put a teaspoon in your smoothie, make a latte or even bake with it...
Keep in mind that Matcha tea does have caffeine (but doesn't come with coffee jitters) so if that keeps you up at night make sure to drink it earlier in the day. It is also quite strong - I like to have something to eat before drinking it but feel it out for yourself.
Be careful when ordering a Matcha drink at a coffee shop - most times they are made using a sweetened mixture that has tons of sugar and calories and actually isn't healthy at all (#Starbucks). Ask if they use real matcha powder and what else is in the drink to make a healthy decision.
I would love to hear from you! How do you like to get your matcha? Let me know you favourite drinks, smoothies or recipe ideas in the comments below...