I'm proud to say that 'no matcha for me' is not a true statement any longer. As of recent weeks, I've consumed the nutritious green tea powder a number of times. Prior to these recent tastings however, I admittedly had no idea what the heck matcha was. What have I missed and why all the buzz about it? The matcha images I'd seen only added to the mystery. They either resembled a finely ground spice or looked like very thin, green and sometimes frothy soup, none of which appeared appetizing. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and do some research-not the scientific kind of research-just trying to figure out what I may be missing and share it with others who may also be in the dark. And since my daughters tend to steer away from even a mention of consumable green products, their enthusiasm was lacking. By default, you are the lucky recipient(s) of my non-scientific findings.
And so it began like many other quests. At the end of the day, I snuggled up with my laptop, typed 'matcha' in the google search field and started my research, which may or may not have involved sipping on a glass of wine. Looking back, perhaps a glass of matcha, which has been said to improve focus, would have been a better choice because my investigative efforts didn't last long and I was left feeling uninspired. But when realizing that matcha could be purchased on Amazon, my research gained new traction. I could have the green stuff here in 2 days, get up close and personal and taste it for myself. Amazon rocks.
The matcha options were many, but I chose an organic one that costs about $10 for approximately 1 oz (my matcha choice). Through my very extensive, wine-induced research, I also learned that a bamboo whisk is used in the traditional preparation of matcha. Amazon came through here as well for only $12 (my bamboo whisk choice). To pass the time while waiting for my prime delivery, I compiled some key notes about matcha and felt compelled to share, then quickly came to my senses and decided not to bore you with the details. Yes, matcha contains caffeine and more nutrients than the traditional green tea (*the tea leaves contain all the nutrients, which are discarded with traditional green tea). But I'll let you dig into those details on your own. You're welcome!
Delivery day was here and my matcha arrived as expected. It was super easy to prepare: mix 1 to 2 tsp of matcha with hot water (not boiling) and whisk away until tiny bubbles form on top-this part took some muscle so thank goodness for my barre workouts-and I'm only slightly joking. Anyway, I tested it unsweetened first and was expecting bitter. It wasn't, but had a hint of a 'grassy' taste, which wasn't good or bad. I added honey next, which is the sweetener of choice for my coffee as well. Overall, the flavor was subtle and smoother than expected. Since tea is not a typical drink of choice for me, there wasn't a baseline comparison but I was pleasantly surprised. And I'm not sure why the surprise element, but perhaps all the nutrient-packed hype I'd heard about was leading me down a familiar path-disappointment in the taste category. Not this time.
The only other matcha variety I tried during this journey is Matcha Now, which is a no-prep, cold water version of the tea (think refreshing, lightly sweetened organic iced tea). You can simply throw one in your Studio Tote and grab it on-the-go, super convenient. The matcha leaves are stored in the cap and released into the water bottle with a simple twist of the cap-just shake and enjoy. I've been asked (on several occasions) from passersby, 'What is that?!' I think it's the green color that throws people off-it looks different-but once you get past that, you can savor the fresh tasting goodness you're feeding your body.
Now that we've consumed a few matcha drinks, you may be wondering whether I've experienced any positive effects from partaking matcha...increased focus, feelings of calm? The honest answer is I haven't noticed any significant difference, but matcha hasn't become part of my daily routine. Replacing my morning coffee with matcha isn't happening as of now, but I'll continue to look for ways to incorporate it into my diet. One idea that I haven't attempted yet is cooking and baking with matcha. And someone who is a great resource with some amazing looking matcha recipes is Candice Kumai. This woman is responsible for inspiring my matcha curiosity, and let me tell you, she's the real deal. If you haven't already, you gotta check her out!
And with that, it's time to wrap-up. Although my matcha journey isn't over, this newbie chapter is coming to a close. I'm still learning so as part of my continued exploration, I would love to hear from you about your matcha experiences, or lack thereof. And if it's the latter, hopefully I've inspired you to give it a try. Go ahead, be adventurous.