Alyssa's Guide to Matcha
There is a little obsession with Matcha that is present in life... okay, maybe a huge obsession. Since discovering this magical green elixir, it's been a hobby perfecting the craft of making it. Making matcha has become a morning ritual, just like oil pulling has. It takes presence, and the reward is always delicious.
Sustained Energy: Caffeine and amino acid L-Theanine work together to produce a sustained and focused energy. L-Theanine is a calm-inducing amino acid found almost exclusively in teas from the Camellia sinensis plant. Unlike traditional green tea that is steeped in water, matcha powder includes the entire ground Camellia sinensis leaf providing 100% of the leaf’s nutritional benefits to the drinker. Matcha is also sugar-free and less addicting, unlike coffee! It supplies a healthy dose of caffeine without causing you to crash a few hours later. Caffeine in the matcha produces the feel-good effects since it is complemented by the antioxidants and phytonutrients as well as the amino acids that are present in the matcha.
Mental Clarity: L-theanine is an amino acid that stimulates the production of alpha wave activity in the brain, which results in a state of calm alertness. This amino acid is also known to reduce anxiety and lift your mood! L-Theanine and caffeine work together when being combined to produce a sustained and focused energy, lasting up to six hours.
Immune Boosting: Matcha is jam-packed full of antioxidants which are a key component of helping your body fight diseases and infections. Matcha also contains polyphenols, catechins and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which help you boost your immune system and promotes overall health. Additionally, you are getting potassium, vitamins A & C, iron, and calcium in each cup.
Packed with Antioxidants: Matcha delivers a mega-dose of antioxidants in every sip! According to Matcha Source, one cup of matcha tea has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of brewed green tea. Matcha tea contains a unique, potent class of antioxidants known as catechins, which aren’t found in other foods. In particular, the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) provides potent cancer-fighting properties!
CEREMONIAL VS. CULINARY:
There is debate over whether or not you need to spend more money on ceremonial grade or just settle for culinary. I personally have ceremonial grade and culinary. I use the ceremonial grade for making matcha americano (just water + matcha, no other ingredients) in the mornings. Just as in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, ceremonial grade should not be mixed with sweeteners or other ingredients. When I am creating delicious green tea lattes, matcha smoothies or green tea-based baked goods- I use the culinary grade. It's a personal preference!
Pro Tip: To preserve flavor and freshness, always store your matcha in the refrigerator after opening.
FAVORITE MATCHA BRAND:
Matchaful - use code "alyssanicolep" for 10% off any order over $30
Chasen (bamboo whisk)- Essential for making the perfect cup of Matcha Americano! The foam that is created by the bamboo is simply divine. Using a chasen is part of the matcha making experience!
Chashaku (bamboo scoop)- A chashaku is typically used when making Matcha Americano since that is the traditional way of preparing it.
Chawan (tea bowl)- Drinking matcha out of a plain mug or cup would simply not be as lovely of an experience as drinking from a beautiful chawan. You can buy a Matcha Kit from places like World Market.
Fine Mesh Strainer- This is used to take out the clumps! Essential for sifting your tea.
Kettle- Used for heating liquids! Who doesn't love a cute ole kettle?!
Step 1: Fill your kettle up with water and turn on the stove so it can start warming up.
Step 2: Use the bamboo scoop to measure the powder. I usually do 1 or 2 scoops (1-2 tsp). I then sift the matcha prior to putting it in the bowl to remove any clumps of powder.
Step 3: Once the water is hot, pour it into the matcha bowl! For best results use water just under a boil.
Step 4: Take the whisk in one hand and hold the rim of the matcha bowl with your other hand. Whisk the matcha briskly in an "M" motion using your wrist (not arm) until the tea is frothy.
Step 5: Enjoy your tea straight from the bowl! You can spice it up and transfer it to a mug and make an elixir with coconut butter and an adaptogen. Some people add Stevia to make it sweeter but it's totally up to you! Craft it to your own perfection :)
EXTRA INGREDIENTS YOU CAN PUT IN YOUR MATCHA:
Coconut Butter- Coconut butter is a great substitution to milk! It adds the creaminess that milk would otherwise add. If you want your drink extra, extra creamy, you can use almond milk + coconut butter. Coconut butter also makes the potion ultra frothy, which is an added bonus.
Adaptogens- Based on what benefits you are hoping to reap, there are SO many options to choose from when it comes to adaptogens! It is highly encouraged to your research and see which adaptogens call to you. Some of our favorites include ashwagandha, maca, and reishi.
FAVORITE MATCHA BAKING RECIPE: MATCHA MUFFINS!
- Preheat oven to 400ºF and grease mini muffin wells. You can use coconut oil to grease the pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, matcha, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the creamer, oil, and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the muffin wells, they should be about ¾ full.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top!
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely if using cupcake liners.