Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend!! We’re celebrating all weekend with one of our favorite green ingredients—MATCHA! By now, you’ve probably seen the green lattes floating around your local coffee shops. Even Starbucks has joined the bandwagon. But other than a pretty, ‘grammable color, what is matcha exactly? We’re so glad you asked…
What is matcha?
Matcha is green tea powder, made by taking young tea leaves and grinding them until a powder is formed. Matcha is different from regular green tea because it is a lot more potent and is dissolved rather than steeped when making tea.
What are the health benefits?
We already know that green tea is good for us. But unlike regular green tea, with matcha, you’re getting 100% of the nutrients from the tea leaves. Matcha is packed with antioxidants that enhance your mood, health and energy level. It is rich in chlorophyll—making it a natural detoxifier—as well as fiber and vitamins. Matcha has also been linked to boosting metabolism, burning calories and lowering cholesterol and blood sugar. Sign us up.
Does matcha have caffeine?
Yes. Matcha is like the Goldilocks of caffeine—neither too much nor not too little, but just right. Aka, matcha falls somewhere between coffee and regular green tea on the caffeine scale.
Ceremonial grade vs. culinary grade
Just to make things more complicated, there are different “grades” of matcha powder. Grades are determined by the quality, ingredients and processing method. Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality—it’s bright green in color and very fine in texture. It has a mild, sweet taste and is suitable for drinking just mixed with hot water. Culinary grade matcha, while not necessarily lower in quality then ceremonial grade, is used more for cooking and baking (don’t worry—you can still drink it). It has a more robust, bitter flavor profile and may be a lighter, duller green color.
Ways to use matcha
As mentioned above, the most common ways to drink matcha are mixed with hot water or milk in the form of tea or a latte. However, the possibilities with matcha are endless. More on that later…
This post is part of our WTF series—where we’ll break down some of the latest food, fitness, and health + wellness trends blowing up your Instagram feed.