Although matcha tea has been around for quite a while, I find that this beverage seems to regain popularity in waves. I first read about and tried matcha tea back in college, but over the last few years I haven't come across it too many times on coffee shop menus. After watching a friend order it at an LA coffee shop not too long ago, it inspired me to make an Amazon purchase and get back on my matcha grind! With a few yogis asking me about its health benefits in my recent Ayurvedic nutrition training, I figured I'd share with you all the awesome benefits + a how-to on whizzing it up!
Matcha is a type of green tea that comes from young tea leaves that are usually grown in Japan. The leaves are picked and ground into a fine powder, where it is then flash-freezed and packaged to retain its freshness. Matcha tea touts amazing health benefits; it has a high antioxidant load, contains a variety of amino acids, and contains chlorophyll which is responsible for its vibrant green color. Although matcha has a slightly higher caffeine content compared to regular green tea (70mg vs 24-45mg, respectively), it's known to have a calming effect on the body that helps promote concentration and reduce anxiety.
L-theanine is one of the main amino acids within matcha, and is responsible for this chemical reaction in the body. L-theanine passes through the blood-brain barrier within 30 minutes, promoting stress relief, treatment of anxiety, and improved concentration and focus. It can help stimulate creativity while keeping you relaxed and at ease, both essential for prime concentration. In studies, L-theanine has demonstrated benefit for patients diagnosed with anxiety by increasing levels of dopamine and GABA in the brain. It also improved test performance without the agitation caused by caffeine. -The Cleveland Clinic
Though matcha tea is usually blended with a small bamboo whisk, you can use your own whisk, blender, or hand-held frother if you don't personally own one. I enjoy using my hand-held frother, as I don't believe it's a true latte unless you get that creamy foam waiting for you at the top! You can purchase the one I use here.
Now with all those benefits to gain, let's get to sipping!
Soothing Matcha Latte
1 rounded tsp matcha green tea powder (I use this brand)
1/2 c. hot water
1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp honey (optional)
Directions: Add your matcha powder into a small, relatively shallow bowl. Once your water has boiled, add water to tea. If you are using honey or another sweetener, add in now. Whisk tea and water together, or use your aerolatte frother. In a separate cup, heat your almond milk. Add tea water to hot milk, and froth liquid at the top to produce desired amount of foam. Enjoy in your favorite mug.