Herbs & Plants

Clean Energy Drink- Matcha

On the way back home from my most recent rode trip I decided I needed to stop halfway there to get a matcha latte, I needed a little energy for that last leg home.  I stopped in Raleigh, NC and found a wonderful juice bar and cafe called Raleigh Raw.  I was all set to get a matcha latte when I saw something on the menu that made me stop.  It was called Guayusa Tea and it was described as a super leaf tea with caffeine and polyphenols.  I’m always up for trying something new in regards to herbs and plant based foods so this was perfect!  And three things happened when I drank the tea;  (1) I tried something new that was absolutely delicous, (2) I got the energy boost I needed and (3) I had the subject for my next blog post- Clean Energy Drinks.

For the next few posts I will write about drinks that gives balanced energy boosts while providing amazing health benefits.  These drinks I talk about will be drinks that gives you a nice even energy lift and not the spike in adrenaline glucose and insulin that coffee gives.  We’ll start this series with this post and my favorite clean energy drink -MATCHA!

What is matcha?  Matcha is a very finely ground powder made with green tea leaves.  The tea leaves are farmed in shaded areas which allows the tea to maintain its health benefits.  Due to its lack of processing green tea is known to be the most healthiest tea and the tea matcha is known to be very potent due to the whole tea leaf being consumed.

This ancient drink comes from China by the Tang Dynasty and it eventually made its way to Japan by a Japanese named Eisai who was studying Buddhism in China.   He took the seeds and created the ceremonial matcha we know today.
Lets get to the health benefits of Matcha:

  • Contains antioxidants (great for anti-aging)
  • Has antibacterial properties.
  • It hinders bacteria that causes plaque on teeth.
  • Calms the mind and relaxes the body.
  • It’s rich in chlorophyll (detoxifier)
  • Boosts metabolism.
  • Helps with concentration.
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels.
  • Increases energy.
  • Contains fiber, vitamin A, protein and many other nutrients.
If you decide to start drinking matcha (which I strongly encourage), picking the right matcha to start drinking is very important.  You want to get matcha from a reputable source and the matcha should be farmed in Japan.  Also this is an area where the saying “you get what you pay for” is relevant.   I have bought quite a few brands of matcha and I can definitely tell the difference in the quality of matcha when I have tried to save money.  A quality matcha should not taste bitter or have an after taste,  it should taste smooth and will need very little sweetner or none at all.  The color of a high quality matcha should be a vibrant green color and not dull or dark.  Last but not least when selecting a matcha make sure it’s organic and not contaminated by lead or other metals.

There are different grades of matcha.  The two I will discuss are ceremonial grade and culinary grade.  Ceremonial grade is normally the first harvest of the tea leaves which is in the Spring.  The tea leaves are more tender and of premium quality.  Ceremonial grade is your most expensive matcha.  Culinary grade matcha will be tea leaves harvested in the second harvest and have more mature bitter leaves with the harvest being in late June.  Culinary grade matcha is perfect for baking and cooking.

There are two brand matchas in my rotation right now I absolutely love.  I don’t think they’re that pricey considering the quality and taste.  And there’s always promotions going on where you can get discounts.  First one is Matcha Reserve the second one is Encha I really like both although now I’m leaning slightly more to Encha, I really like their latte grade matcha.  It leans defintely more to the ceremonial grade matcha without the hefty price and it has a wonderful smooth taste.
There’s a couple of ways on how to prepare matcha.  You can go the more ceremonial way and use a strainer, bamboo whisk and tea bowl.  Or you can do what I do and use a regular mug and a small battery opperated whisk.  No matter what tools you use to create your matcha drink there are certain principles that should be followed.

  1. Use filtered water.
  2. Boil water to just below boiling point (170F).
  3. Create a paste first by using a small amount of room temperature filtered water.

I typically make my matcha into a latte each morning, which is so delicious!  To get my recipe head over to my recipe tab.  
If you have never tried matcha and are opened to trying it, go to a cafe nearby that sells it (not Starbucks) and ask for a Matcha Latte (preferrably with non-dairy milk), instead of your normal beverage.  Hopefully you will enjoy the taste as I do because the benefits of drinking matcha are too good to pass up!

Peace & Wellness!

*I am not sponsored to promote the above listed matcha companies.  I just highly recommend them from my own personal use.

One Comment