I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about matcha.  We’ve all noticed an influx of matcha on the menu- matcha is so hot right now!  So what is matcha and what are its benefits?

Matcha actually means powdered tea.  So why is matcha so much more powerful (and trendier) than traditional green tea?  When you drink green tea you steep the tea leaves in the hot water, infusing it with components of the green tea.  However, you then discard the soaked tealeaves. 

With matcha, since the tealeaves have been processed into powder, you are ingesting a more potent source of nutrients than steeped green tea.  According to Health.com, “in addition to providing small amounts of vitamins and minerals, matcha is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been tied to … better blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-aging.  Another polyphenol in matcha called EGCG has been shown in research to boost metabolism.”

Another thing putting matcha on the trendy map: its caffeine levels.  Many dedicated java drinkers are ditching their AM fix in favor of matcha.  Matcha offers a natural pick-me up, with no crash later.  Because you’re consuming whole leaves, you can get 3x as much caffeine as you would in traditional green tea, which is equivalent to a cup of brewed coffee.

Like coffee, the flavor of pure matcha can be very potent!  Consider this your warning.  Don't swear off matcha forever, simply because you put too much in, and hate the taste.  Use it sparingly!  Also avoid masking the taste with matcha mixes.  These often contain sugar and powdered milk to sweeten the matcha.  No point in trying matcha if you’re only adding sugar!

To truly reap the benefits of mathca, I recommend starting with a teaspoon of pure matcha in ½ cup of hot water (or almond milk for a matcha latte!).  Beverages are not the limit- you can also add a teaspoon into your cooking or baking. 

There are tons of recipes now for matcha smoothies, matcha muffins, match chia seed pudding, etc.  I encourage you to experiment with this potent powder in your food and drinks!