Start your morning with a grassy, green kick!
You may have heard a lot these days about matcha, the bright green powder making its way into mugs, lattes, and desserts around the world, and maybe even a cafe near you. But what exactly is matcha? And where did it come from?
Matcha is a tea, and it has a rich history. Since the 10th century, matcha has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies called “chanoyu”. Matcha and green tea both come from the Camellia sinensis plant, but to grow matcha, farmers will cover the tea plants to avoid direct sunlight before harvest. This increases chlorophyll production and gives matcha its distinctive green hue. After the tea leaves are harvested, the stems and veins are removed, and what’s left is ground up into a powder. This antioxidant-rich powder is then whisked into hot water (traditionally) or milk and sweetener (like you’d find at Starbucks).1,2
Like loose-leaf tea, matcha has a grassy, herbal flavor; however, it is considered to be less astringent and smoother than regular green tea. There are two main grades of matcha available today: traditional or “ceremonial” grade and culinary grade. Traditional matcha is made from the youngest tea leaves, and is the best for drinking straight. Culinary matcha is made from older green tea leaves and is best used for cooking, flavoring cakes, or blending into smoothies.2
Unsure of how to bring this chartreuse comestible into your kitchen? For the best flavor, start by purchasing a high-quality matcha powder. Then, whip up one of these delicious beverages.
How to Make Matcha
- ¼-1 teaspoon matcha (depending on your preference)
- 2 ounces boiling water
- 6 ounces additional boiling water or steamed milk of choice (almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, dairy milk, etc.)
- Maple syrup, honey, or another sweetener (optional)
Sift the matcha into a mug or small bowl to get rid of any lumps.
Pour in the 2 ounces of boiling water. Using a matcha whisk
or small regular whisk, whisk briskly from side to side until the matcha is fully dispersed and there is a foamy layer on top.
Add the remaining 6 ounces of boiling water or steamed milk and whisk again until foamy. Sweeten to taste, if desired.
Recipe adapted from BonAppetit.com2
Vanilla Matcha Protein Smoothie
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 scoops (39.8 grams) vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1 banana
- 2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
- 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
- Fresh vanilla bean, scraped from 1 inch of a pod
Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Recipe adapted from DailyBurn.com3
- Healthline.com, February 25, 2020
- BonAppetit.com, March 20, 2018
- DailyBurn.com, July 13, 2014
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.