July 17, 2015
It’s 11 a.m. and you’re already three cups of coffee deep into your day. Caffeine addiction much? (Yeah, you and the rest of America.)
We feel you, but if your love for coffee borders on full-blown obsession, it might be time to look for an alternative fix.
Enter matcha. This powdered green tea has 25 mg of caffeine, about a third of what’s in your morning coffee. But even though matcha contains less of the stimulant, you’ll feel more sustained energy because of the other nutrients in your cup.
Matcha is basically the upgraded version of your typical green tea. It’s name literally means “powdered tea,” and it comes from green tea leaves that are grown in the shade to retains their color and nutrients. The leaves are handpicked, dried, and aged for nearly six months before they’re pulverized into a bright green powder.
To make a cup, whisk 1 ½ teaspoons of matcha with about two ounces of hot water. The result? A frothy, green drink that tastes vaguely earthy and sweet. If you like a creamier latte, try adding some steamed almond milk, coconut milk, or even half-and-half. Even if the taste of matcha alone isn’t reason enough for you to forsake the coffee pot, the nutrients in this little green powder will blow your latte away.
Because you’re ingesting the entire tea leaf (stems and all), you’re getting even more antioxidants, fiber, and nutrition than your typical cup of steeped green tea. Matcha contains catechin polyphenols, a type of compound loaded with antioxidants. These powerhouses of nutrition are known to fight heart disease, cancer, and slow down the aging process.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the catechin that gives green tea its superfood status, is found in high amounts in matcha. This overachieving nutrient has been heavily researched, and has positive effects on your metabolism, fighting cancer, and even regulating blood sugar.
Because matcha has slightly less caffeine than coffee, it’s a perfect afternoon pick-me-up that won’t disturb your sleep later. And if you’re cutting back on your morning habit but want to avoid the dreaded caffeine headache? Try matcha as your second cup mid-morning to keep yourself energized all day long.
Plus, matcha’s delicate earthy flavor lends itself well to all kinds of desserts—like this frozen matcha “ice cream” cake—and even savory dishes, like this salmon rice bowl with matcha tea.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont
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