Why Drink Matcha Green Tea?
So, you already know what green tea is. You probably know people who drink it – the Yogi from work, your mom when she found out it was healthier than her usual English breakfast blend, or you, if you’re feeling adventurous at Cosco. Perhaps you’ve seen matcha green tea on Instagram and have heard it’s better for you than the tea bags, but the higher price has got you skeptical. Is matcha green tea really any different than the stuff in tea bags you’d pick up from the supermarket?
The short answer is yes – drastically. Instead of being loose leaves in a tea bag, matcha is stone-ground into a powder, meaning that you drink everything you put into your cup. You see, while green tea is famous for its antioxidant content, with brewed green tea you’re throwing most of that away when you bin the leaves or tea bag. The hot water can extract some of these antioxidants, but when compared to matcha, it’s a tiny fraction of what you could be getting. In fact, you’d have to drink approximately ten cups of brewed green tea in order to get around the same amount of antioxidants as in one cup of matcha. Matcha gives you your full dose. And it’s a big dose. You’ve probably heard of ‘superfoods’, and how they are famous for being high in antioxidants as well. Well, put down the smoothie maker, because matcha is higher in antioxidants than blueberries, acai berries, broccoli, and spinach. So instead of struggling through your morning green smoothie, you could be enjoying a cup of delicious matcha instead. Don’t worry, it looks just as pretty on Instagram.
But let’s rewind a second – what exactly are antioxidants?
They’re what keep your body working well. They help boost your immune system and make sure your body is good to go when it comes to fighting both infections and chronic diseases. They also help prevent aging, what’s not to like?
Okay, that all sounds good, but what if you need your daily cup of coffee to get up in the morning? I get it, but depending on the serving, a cup of matcha contains around 35-45mg of caffeine. That’s around 2/3s of the amount you’d get from a cup of brewed coffee or half of what you’d get from a cup of instant. Although technically this is less caffeine, it may not necessarily mean that you end up with less energy.
Many people find that after they switch to matcha, they get more of an energy boost than they did with coffee. There are a few reasons why this might be. For one, coffee gives you your energy all at once. This might result in you feeling jittery, or experiencing a crash after your coffee high. Matcha releases its energy more slowly due to its L-Theanine content, and some people believe that the nutritional content of matcha gives them an energy boost too. The L-Theanine also has calming properties, which is why after drinking matcha you’ll probably find that you feel relaxed as well as alert. This is actually the reason behind why matcha has long been consumed by Japanese Buddhist monks before meditation.
Due to this calm-alert combination, matcha won’t put you on edge or leave you with the coffee shakes either. It’s the drink equivalent of having a handful of nuts instead of a sugary chocolate bar. And while we’re on the subject of coffee, you won’t have to worry about bad breath after drinking matcha, which is another downside of harboring that coffee habit.
You might be wondering by now, what’s the catch? Let’s be honest, we’re not always up for things just because they’re healthy. Wheatgrass shots are also supposed to be healthy… but that doesn’t mean we’re queueing up to get them. But this is the great thing about matcha – it’s naturally delicious. Whereas western drinks like tea and coffee often need sugar and milk in order to improve their taste, matcha is most commonly served by itself. In fact, the taste is so good that it’s often used to improve the taste of other things. As well as being used as an ingredient in baked goods such as cakes, you can find matcha in ice cream, and in Japan, even in KitKats! While matcha cakes might not be quite as healthy as the tea, the fact people are adding matcha to their treat food is proof of its great flavor.
Are you converted? If you’re keen to get your hands on some matcha, head over to matcha.com to pick the best blend for you. You can buy matcha green tea powder on its own, or if you’re eager to do it properly, you can pick up a full matcha starter kit instead.
Team Matcha Kari