Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a hard core matcha enthusiast. It’s tasty, it’s nutritious, and it doesn’t flare up my anxiety like coffee does. But let me start by telling you how I got into matcha tea in the first place. Back in high school, I never really felt the need to drink coffee or have any other source of caffeine. However, like many others, once I was faced with the crazy schedule of a stressed out college student, caffeine suddenly seemed very appealing to me. By the middle of my freshman year, I found myself drinking 2 or 3 Starbucks venti coffees each day, just to help with my insane work schedule and study habits!
While this may be fine for some people, this was kind of the perfect storm when you factor in my anxiety. I was constantly on edge with so much coffee in my system, and if something unexpected happened, I was thrown for a loop and usually went into a spiral of panic. Once I realized what all the coffee was doing to me, I desperately tried to cut it out of my diet. But not only would I be tired in the middle of the day, but I would also get bad headaches from caffeine withdrawals. Lucky for me, shortly after my struggles with coffee, I discovered a wonderful drink called matcha tea.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a form of green tea. Essentially, it’s a powder that consists of ground up green tea leaves. Because you’re actually consuming the entire leaf, rather than just seeping it, there are significantly more health benefits than with regular green tea. Matcha tea originated in Japan and was used as a ceremonial drink. In recent years, it’s popularity has spread to the States.
What are the Benefits of Matcha?
The list of matcha health benefits is so long that I’d rather put it as just that: a list. So here they are:
- Contains a type of antioxidant called catechin (specifically EGCG)Protects cells from damage and helps repair already damaged cell
- Can help lower high blood pressurePrevents heart disease and diabetes
- May help lower LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol)
- Contains caffeineStimulant, energizing
- Contains the amino acid L-threonineContributes to matcha’s calming properties
- Promotes relaxation and well being
- Helps boost metabolismmay increase thermogenesis (the body’s ability to burn calories)
What I love most about matcha is that I can still get my caffeine fix, but not feel super jittery and anxious as a result. Instead, I feel energized while also feeling calm and collected. When I drink my matcha, I truly feel ready to take on any challenge the day has for me.
How Can You Prepare Matcha?
I am always getting questions about how I prepare my matcha. And the first thing I tell people is that it’s so easy. On most days, I’ll just do a simple latte.
- Put some honey and a spoonful of matcha in a blender bottle.
- Add a few tablespoons of hot water and mix until the powder and honey start to dissolve.
- Add cold milk (or hot, depending on what you want), put lid on, and shake. (I usually use almond milk)
- If you’re feeling fancy, add some frothed milk on top!
Sometimes, if I’m in the mood for something lighter, I’ll do the same thing, but just add water instead of milk (cold, of course). Then it’s just a simple, refreshing drink!
Another great thing about matcha being a powder is you can mix it in with all sorts of things in the kitchen. You can add it to smoothies, puddings, ice creams, baked goods, and even soups! The possibilities are truly endless!
While I do still drink coffee on occasion, my go-to is, and probably always will be matcha. It provides me with the perfect balance of energy and calmness, while also being super good for me! Some people are completely content with their coffee habits. And that’s ok! (Coffee has a lot of redeeming qualities.) But if you’ve always felt like maybe coffee isn’t for you, go try some matcha! Who knows? Maybe matcha will work better for you too!