We get it. With all the new health revelations coming through in the last decade, trying to understand what most of them are and what they do seems like a daunting task. Does it even taste good? Is it even going to help me? Are its health claims a little too far-fetched? These are probably a few of the hundreds of questions that you’re asking yourself right now about the new kid on the block- matcha powder. Don’t worry, we asked ourselves the exact same thing before we jumped onto the bandwagon!
When it comes to matcha, our friends at Matcha Maiden are the go-to experts on the what, why and how of matcha, so they have created this short and sweet list of answers that might make it a little easier for first-time users!
What is matcha powder and how is it different from green tea?
Matcha powder is simply whole green tea leaves stone ground into a fine powder. Unlike regular green tea, where the actual green tea leaves are thrown out once brewed, drinking matcha means that you consume and reap the nutritional benefits of the WHOLE green tea leaf.
Why is it so good?
Because you’re consuming the WHOLE tea leaf when you’re consuming matcha, you can get up to 137x the antioxidants in a cup of matcha than you can in a cup of regular brewed green tea. It’s also got an incredible protein called L-theanine that’s been shown to help calm the mind and the body whilst giving a sustained release of energy. It’s a much gentler way to caffeinate when compared to coffee for great for people that are caffeine sensitive/trying to avoid the jitters!
It’s naturally gluten free, sugar free, very low in calories (like all teas generally are).
What does it taste like?
Since matcha powder is just green tea leaves, it tastes very much like green tea. You should be weary that matcha is a much more concentrated form of green tea so it is much more intense in flavour so we only recommend using ½ a teaspoon of 100% pure, stone ground matcha green tea powder.
How do you use it?
The most common way to use or drink matcha is as a tea or as a latte. Simply dissolve ½ of a teaspoon of matcha powder with a small amount of warm water (not boiling as this will burn the matcha and leave you with a bitter tea!). Once it’s dissolved, add your choice of hot water (for a matcha tea) or hot milk (for a matcha latte).
You can also use matcha in their cooking and baking – we’ve seen matcha banana bread, matcha choc chip cookies, matcha scones, matcha pancakes, the whole lot!
Why is some matcha more expensive than others?
Choosing the right matcha is extremely important as you might finding yourself paying more for a type of matcha powder that you don’t actually need OR on the flip side, paying not enough for a matcha powder that probably not doing the job.
- Many matcha powders from China tend to have a lower price point which is matched by it’s lower quality. Chinese matcha tends to be ground using a metal pulveriser whereas Japanese matcha maintains its traditional techniques of using a stone grinder- using a stone grinder takes MUCH longer but preserves the freshness and nutrients of green tea.
- Matcha can also be bought organic or non-organic with organic being slightly dearer.
- Some matcha isn’t pure matcha- matcha with fillers and sweeteners will be cheaper so make sure to always read the ingredients list!
- Lastly, matcha powder comes in grades- usually culinary grade and ceremonial grade. Ceremonial grade is the highest grade and is traditionally used ONLY for tea ceremonies. Culinary grade however is still great quality and is very suitable for cooking, lattes, making smoothies with and everyday use.
Where to get it?
Check out the Matcha Maiden website to shop for your first bag of 100% pure, organic, stone-ground matcha, sourced from Japan!