The Style Chicks have long enjoyed a good cup of green tea: a tasty warm treat that does wonders for the skin, metabolism, and energy. Green Tea aids in hair growth. Green Tea contains Vitamin B, and its’ anti-inflammatory properties are significant. To get skin glowing the day before an event, we started drinking a minimum of 2-3 cups of green tea per day as was recommended in Dr. Nicholas Perricone’s 3-day “Anti-inflammatory Diet.” When you drink 3 cups of green tea in a day, your skin is luminous, dewy and glowing.
But sometimes it is tough to consume 3 cups of green tea a day when I really feel like I just want a double espresso with whip to get over my afternoon energy slump. An easy fix for this problem is to drink Matcha. Matcha tea has about half the caffeine of an espresso shot. AND it makes you extra pretty.
WHAT IS MATCHA & WHY SHOULD I DRINK IT?
Matcha is ground tea leaves which make for an intensely concentrated tea, something of a super tea, which has more than 100 times as much Polyphenols as regular green tea. One cup of matcha tea per day is enough for a jitter-free time released energy boost, glowing skin, weight management, increased metabolism and maximum health benefits. Matcha has highly concentrated green tea benefits, but you can get too much of a good thing. Drinking too much of any green, white or black tea can deplete iron in the blood, and all natural tea leaves, like anything else grown in soil, can have minuscule traces of lead. After one cup of matcha per day, you have gained all the Polyphenols, Amino Acids, and metabolism boost that you need.
A cup of Matcha in the afternoon can be an easy alternative to drinking multiple cups of green tea or a coffee substitute when you need some energy. Personally, I can use as much caffeine as I can get, but I do enjoy the energy boost from a good cup of Matcha because there is no “crash” from it like I get from some other caffeinated drinks.
HOW TO MAKE MATCHA TEA
To make Matcha tea, add 1 gram (just shy of a 1/4 teaspoon, .20 of a teaspoon to be exact) of Matcha powder to 6-8 ounces of hot but not boiling water and whisk until the powder dissolves. If you don’t have a matcha whisk, use the smallest whisk you have. Whisk the tea until you have a light froth, probably 30 seconds to a minute. To froth, quickly move your whisk in an M motion (remember: “M” for Matcha!)
A RECOMMENDED MATCHA TEA FOR DRINKING
Nature’s Nectar Ultra Premium Natural Matcha Green Tea is a ceremonial grade Matcha that is delicate and sweet without tasting artificially sweet. If you already drink green tea, you will notice it has a superior flavor of not tasting ‘vegetable-y’ or bitter, just a warm and delicate flavoring. The intensity can be richer depending on the amount of powder and water used, but this tin is a 30 day supply, 1 gram a day. Some brands are an entire teaspoon of Matcha per cup; that is too much powder for a fine grade Matcha such as this one. There is no need to over-do it with this Matcha as it has 137 times more Polyphenols than regular green tea, so you don’t need more any powder than suggested to optimize your green tea benefits. Nature’s Nectar Matcha is also organic and gluten free.
Something else I noticed about Nature’s Nectar Matcha is it is a much brighter green than the other Matcha’s I have. When I select a Matcha, I look for the most vivid green I can get not just because it makes for a prettier cup of Matcha but the colorful green means it is also packed with Amino Acids.
While this Matcha can be added to smoothies and drinks, but since it is such a high-grade matcha, I only drink it straight as a tea and use my less tasty Matchas for including in Matcha-based beverages.
DRINKING GRADE VERSES BAKING GRADE
Here is where Matcha can get tricky: a Matcha powder suitable for drinking as a tea should be a pure and high-quality matcha powder with an intentional blend of green tea leaf varieties. These Nature’s Nectar Matcha leaves are the preferred “first harvest” leaves which make the freshest tea and the highest levels of green tea benefits. A quality Matcha is often labeled as “ceremonial grade”. These Matcha powders often come packaged in a relatively smaller tin than those sold in bulk or bagged. They are also more expensive than those intended for making beverages featuring Matcha. For example, Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix is a larger container of powder best suited for use in lattes and recipes because the Matcha is pre-mixed with sugar cane, coconut and milk powders. Good in a DIY latte but not suitable as a matcha powder for tea. A pure matcha suited for drinking as a Matcha tea can be pricey but costs far less per cup than an afternoon run to a coffeehouse for a double espresso. And it is super simple to make.
Matcha TIPS and HACKS:
Once opened, store matcha in the refrigerator to maintain its fresh taste and vibrant green color.
Is your Matcha tea too bitter? Bring water to only a near boil, or wait for one to two minutes after boiling before pouring the water into your cup. Water at 194 degrees Fahrenheit (90 Celsius) and below will produce sweeter Matcha tea than when mixed with boiling water.
Need an extra brain power boost? The lower the temperature of the hot water, the more Theanine that brews. Theanine is the part of green tea that causes brain focusing and mental alertness. Can you tolerate a little extra bitterness for the sake of beauty? Then brew up a nice extra hot cup.
Matcha makes for a great pre-workout caffeine boost that will give you sustained energy without the mid-workout crash.