By now we’ve all heard of Matcha Green Tea – or to be more on trend, a Matcha latte. Yes, it’s the latest in must-have hipster accoutrements; you’re nobody ’til you’ve gotten one to go from KC Peaches*. While there’s something oddly stylish about sipping on one of these bad boys as you swap your naked festival stories with some bearded individual (hopefully male), there’s so much more to this super drink than its of-the-moment image.
Having recently experienced its benefits in full, Matcha green tea, for this writer, has replaced a daily cup of coffee. Here’s why.
First of all, one Matcha green tea per day for a week, will obliterate your daily fatigue in the most beneficial of ways and almost instantly. Unlike a sugary quick fix or a shot of Espresso, this Japanese favourite gives you an energy boost that can last 3-6 times longer, but not in a way that will leave you feeling flummoxed and craving your next coffee break, thanks to Matcha’s theophyllines. It’s not a stimulant in the same way that you’ll feel buzzed up and almost jittery with coffee, it just uplifts you, makes you feel awake yet calm and focused. Your productivity will improve. Best of all, as it’s loaded with Theanine, you’ll feel calm and relaxed as it soothes your nervous system.
Theanine is a unique amino acid that nourishes and calms the brain whilst at the same time enhancing your mood. Add to that the fact that it won’t negatively affect your sleep at night, but rather, enhance it, and we’re on to a winner. Much research has also been done to link Theanine as a helping hand for anxiety sufferers. So for anyone with daily stresses, which includes, well, all of us, this might be your new best friend.
Matcha green tea also stabilises your blood sugar levels, which stave off unnecessary hunger cravings, allowing you to eat the right amount of food and avoid diving headfirst into a pack of chocolate covered biscuits. (Not that we’ll be denying ourselves of that daily rare pleasure any time soon.)
Apart from the immediate effects of our new favourite beverage, there are some long lasting benefits to it too. Most interesting of all, it boasts 137 times the antioxidants of your regular steeped green tea. Impressive.
It also has over 10 times the nutrients of steeped green, black white and other herbal tea. Over time, swapping from coffee to Matcha tea could even help your digestive system, as its pH balance is almost neutral, whereas coffee’s is acidic. Another (yes, the list goes on) benefit includes its anti-biotic and anti-viral activity, strengthening up your immune system so you won’t wind up in the doctor’s waiting room with every cough and cold that passes through your office. Lastly, where coffee can raise both your blood pressure and cholestorol levels, Matcha can lower them.
Get all of that? Now all you have to do is figure out which way to take it. We take half a teaspoon in a cup of hot water and, you’ll be glad to hear, it doesn’t taste like muck. In fact it tastes quite lovely. We recommend the Dublin based Koyu Matcha, available at most health food stores or online. Those with time to stop by a Matcha-making cafe such as Kaph, KC Peaches, Insomnia or Wall & Keogh enjoy theirs as a latte. You can also mix it into juices and smoothies if hot drinks just aren’t your thing. And don’t forget the Matcha ice cream.
*That’s not true, you’re deadly.