Some years ago I was a coffee junkie. During one of my trips to South East Asia, I tasted matcha for the first time. I was fascinated by the metabolic effect it had on my body and the alert calmness it promoted on my mind and I was hooked! I incorporated it into my daily diet and my whole world changed. I replaced coffee with matcha and today I am more healthy, full of energy and my metabolism is better than ever.
Matcha has been the latest rage on the market over the past year. There are many trends which come and go but we believe that this one is here to stay.
So What Is So Special About Matcha?
It is a stone-ground powdered green tea used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. Buddhist monks created the tea hundreds of years ago as a mediation drink and the tea is nowadays considered Japan’s finest and most precious variety of tea. According to the 8th century Zen priest Eisai, who introduced the tea to Japan, matcha is “the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete”.
It contains small amounts of various vitamins and minerals, but is most prized for being rich in polyphenol compounds called catechins, a type of antioxidant. You can find out more about its health and spiritural benefits here.
Where Can I Find High Quality Matcha?
Unfortunately, it is getting more and more difficult to find high quality matcha on the market. A lot of brands are coming up every day claiming to deliver premium matcha. But in fact most of them sell low quality Chinese matcha. First, make sure the tea was grown and processed in Japan. Other countries simply don’t have the right environment to make a high-quality product. China and Taiwan also produce matcha, but Japan has the right climate, traditions and know-how.
If you want to try good quality matcha, try Youmatcha’s ceremonial grade. Their tea tastes silky and smooth, and is subtly sweet. I am sure you would love it.
You probably wonder if it is easy to prepare it at home…The short answer is: yes! But you want to get it right, then I really recommend getting a bamboo whisk to stir the powder with the hot water. Alternatively, you can use a milk frother or an egg beater but if you want to have the full ceremonial experience, then it is worth investing in a bamboo whisk.
So How to Prepare It At Home?
To prepare it the traditional Japanese way, measure 1/2 tsp of powder into a tea bowl. Add hot but not boiling water – 80°C is about right. Then, using a bamboo whisk, whisk vigorously to a froth. I personally am a big fan of having it pure and unsweetened or adding just a splash of milk. And that’s it – simple, healthy and sooo yummy!