Keep Calm and Drink Matcha
If you haven’t guessed by now we are OBSESSED with Matcha lattes. They are a staple in our daily routines so why wouldn’t we want to share the amazing benefits of this beverage with you?
Confession... when we first met we were sixteen and obsessed with Starbucks. If we recall caramel macchiato was Nat’s favourite and chai tea latte was Ceri’s. Fast forward 10 years and although we both love coffee (there’s nothing quite like the smell of a fresh pot in the morning) and choose to drink it occasionally (only organic without any of the added nasty ingredients from our old Starbucks craze of course), a combination of the jitters and energy crashes is not good. Especially when drank in the morning on an empty stomach which left us feeling anxious for hours after; never a good thing!
So what is Matcha? Matcha powder is stone ground powdered green tea. In other words, concentrated ground up green tea leaves. It has been used for thousands of years in Japan and China and has been notified for its health benefits. Matcha contains high nutrients levels including vital vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium. It has also been suggested that the powder is anti ageing and detoxifying.
Matcha does contain caffeine however from our own personal experiences it doesn’t make us feel overstimulated. Without getting too scientific on you, Matcha contains l-theanine which is an amino acid. Its benefits have been studied, indicating a connection to lowered stress levels! The energy we get from matcha is long lasting, helping us to feel more alert in a natural and mindful way as opposed to the hit you would get from an espresso. It’s also long lasting so we don’t get that the mid afternoon slump. You could say it’s a relaxed but energetic mental state. Matcha is actually used by Buddhist monks to help them meditate!
Unfortunately, like many health products there are companies who have attempted to jump on the Matcha band wagon and tarnish it by using low quality matcha combined with sugar and artificial sweeteners. Don’t even get us started on the ‘green tea lattes’ in Starbucks! 21 grams of sugar in their Grande beverage with almond milk!! Always check the ingredients. Don’t be afraid to ask your barista what the exact ingredients of their lattes are. We advise sticking to the places that serve pure organic Matcha powder blended with your choice of non dairy milk. No added sugar, syrups or sweetener hidden in the powder.
Of course the best way to have Matcha is in the comfort of your own home or in your reusable coffee cup (our favourites are Keep Cup). Although Matcha is best when prepared the traditional ceremonial way, if you’re a newbie don’t be intimidated as you can use a teaspoonful of powder added to a small amount of hot water (just before the boil) and mix to form a paste. Then add your chosen warm and frothed non dairy milk. We both love Plenish organic cashew, hazelnut or almond m*lk in an electronic milk frother. We’ve even been known to take our milk frothers to hotels as they are usually pretty light to carry. If you feel the need to add something sweet we suggest stevia, monkfruit (both natural sweeteners) or maple syrup. We make sure the powder we buy is organic and from Japan where the tea leaves have been grown in the shade.
We have tried and tested a great deal of different Matcha powders and our top favourite brand is Tea Pigs, who ensure their organic matcha is top notch by vigorous label testing. They even have sachets of Matcha powder for on the go which is super handy! Tea Pigs packaging is fully recyclable, their cardboard is FSC certified and the ink used on the packaging is vegetable based. They are also members of the Ethical Tea Partnership, a non profit organisation working to improve the environment and the livelihood of their farmers and tea workers. Two thumbs up from Eat Sleep Organic!
P.S right now we're sitting inside listening to the rain pour down outside on an August afternoon and feeling super stoked about a recipe we’ve just come up with for a Pumpkin Spice Matcha Latte. Autumn we’re coming for you…..recipe coming soon!