In June of last year I embarked on a no coffee journey for 60 days in hopes of alleviating symptoms of anxiety. All of the books I have read about anxiety, including the workbook that has been most helpful in my anxiety journey, the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, said that giving up caffeine would be incredibly beneficial. I always knew coffee had a negative effect on me and my anxiety, however who wants to give up coffee?! At the time, I had already given up gluten and most dairy for my health so giving up one more thing for good was not on my radar. However, after eliminating it for 60 days and seeing how it affected me during reintroduction, I knew it was time to give it up for good. It was fine at first, but after a few months I started missing that part of my morning routine and discovered matcha!
What the heck is matcha?
So, you might be thinking, “what exactly is matcha?” Matcha is a shade-grown green tea from Japan that has been ground into powder. The difference between matcha and regular green tea is that when you’re drinking matcha, you’re drinking the entire leaf, whereas when you’re drinking green tea, you’re drinking brewed water that the leaves are steeped in. Because you’re drinking the entire leaf, you not only get a different flavor, but also get a lot more benefits.
What are the benefits of matcha?
First of all, matcha contains caffeine, so obviously it gives you energy. The caffeine content is about 25mg per serving, which significantly less than an 8 oz cup of coffee that contains about 90mg of caffeine. If you’re a caffeine sensitive person like me, it’s the perfect amount for a nice little boost.
Second, the L-theanine present in matcha has powerful anti-stress properties. This helps you get the energy from the caffeine in matcha without any jitters.
Finally, matcha is an anti-oxidant powerhouse. For example, it contains catechizes, which are antioxidants that help reduce free radicals in the body. It also contains Epigallocatechin Gallate, one of the most powerful antioxidants. With the amount of pollution in the air, the products we put on our body (unless you’ve switched to safer beauty), the plastic we drink out of, and the pesticides we eat on our food, getting antioxidants in our diet to protect us against harmful free radical acclimation is essential.
My Morning Matcha:
After having amazing matcha lattes at different places in NYC and DC, I was determined to make one I liked at home. I’ve figured out that the two keys are having a quality matcha and using matcha tools. Personally, I use Ippodotea that I got when I went to NYC. Will probably try some other brands soon so I will keep y’all updated!
For my matcha tools, I bought this little set when I was in NYC and I love it so much. It’s made my morning matcha routine fun, and also more tasty because the strainer helps the matcha blend better. Here’s one on Amazon that’s similar. It’s a bit of an investment, but has been well worth it for me.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Measure out 2 scoops of matcha with scoop and place in strainer. Use the scoop to swirl around the matcha in the strainer into the bowl until all the matcha is in the bowl.
Add 2-3 fl oz of water heated to 175 degrees. I use this kettle. It allows you to heat to specific temperatures, has a stay warm feature, boils fast, and is perfect for pouring. This might be my favorite purchase of 2018 and the best part? It’s not expensive!
Whisk! Use a figure 8 motion to whisk the matcha until all the clumps are gone and a little foam has formed on top (about 45 seconds).
Heat up 8 oz of your favorite non-dairy milk (My favorite is Whole Foods Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, but I occasionally use Vanilla Silk Almond Milk), then pour matcha mixture into cup.
Step 5 (optional):
If you are going to add sweetener: I add 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. You can add more or less depending on the level of sweetness you like.
Stir it up and ENJOY in a reusable cup. This is my favorite reusable cup from one of my favorite stores, Package Free Shop. Also, you can click here to get $10 off your order! Seriously, this store is so amazing I ran across the NYC marathon to get to it. 🙂
And finally, enjoy your tasty, antioxidant-filled drink!
Have you tried matcha before? Let me know your favorite way of making it in the comments below!