A warm cup of zen. This is matcha to a tea.
Literally translating to “powdered green tea”, matcha has ancient roots in Buddhist monk tradition, zen meditation and the Japanese tea ceremony.
When whisked with pure warm water, it’s an emerald sea of nutrients. Cheers to that.
I personally love matcha as a gentle morning kick in the pants.
While a serving of matcha does contain caffeine (about ⅓ the amount found in coffee), it brims with an awesome amino acid called L-theanine, which serves to mitigate caffeine’s jolt and promote alpha brain waves.
7 Health Benefits of Matcha
- 137 times the polyphenols (such as epigallocatechin gallate) than regular green tea. Studies on polyphenols have demonstrated major anti-cancer properties, DNA protection and free radical scavenging.
- Over 60 times the antioxidants found in spinach.
- High in chlorophyll, which supports detox pathways, alkalinity, reduces inflammation and helps build red blood cells.
- Polysaccharides in matcha can help buffer insulin spikes and promote blood sugar stability.
- Contains two unique xanthines: theophylline and theobromine. Theophylline relaxes smooth muscles in the airways, and theobromine acts as a diuretic and blood vessel dilator. Unlike caffeine, they release their effects over a gradual period (8-10 hours).
- Ergogenic aid. Studies have shown that green tea extract can improve athletic performance and endurance by up to 24%.
- Rich in selenium, zinc, chromium, magnesium and vitamin C.
When it comes to sourcing out your matcha powder, quality is queen.
Your ceremonial grade matcha should be hyper-green in colour (thanks to high levels of chlorophyll), organic (if possible) and sourced from Japan (I’m a big fan of the brand DoMatcha). Sadly, many coffee shops like Starbucks add sugar to their matcha mix.
To whisk up your own homemade matcha, you’ll need a few simple tools:
- Bamboo whisk (or latte frother)
- Small bowl
- High grade matcha powder
- 1-2 cups hot water (plus warm nut milk if desired)
- Boil water. Let water sit for several minutes. It should be within the 165 to 180 degree range.
- Measure your matcha. Traditionally, matcha is measured with a bamboo scoop called a chashaku. Spoons work well too – measure about 1/2 to 3/4 of a teaspoon of matcha into your bowl. Use a fine mesh strainer to sift the matcha powder (optional).
- Add about a ½ cup of warm water to your bowl. Start whisking slowly, then faster in a back and forth motion (not circular). Keep whisking until small bubbles begin to form. Pour in additional hot water, or nut milk to create more of a matcha tea latte.
- Option to add a sprinkle of raw stevia or honey/pure maple syrup to sweeten, although the traditional matcha flavour is distinctly smooth and slightly bitter (umami).
In a traditional tea ceremony, the whisk is only used once and discarded. For a more sustainable (and informal) option, simply rinse the whisk and let it dry upside down.
Happy meditating! xo