If you think all green tea is created equal, think again.
Matcha, a Japanese green tea, differs from Chinese green teas in several ways. With matcha, the whole tea leaf is ground into a fine powder after being picked, whereas Chinese green tea is brewed from whole leaves. Tea drinkers identify matcha by its characteristic vegetal flavor—it tastes a bit like spinach with umami undertones.
Benefits of Matcha Green Tea:
1. Prevent Aging
Matcha is a nutritional powerhouse. Composed of vitamins A, C, and E, along with antioxidants, it helps neutralize free radicals to keep cells healthy, maintain DNA integrity, and prevent aging.
2. Increases Metabolism
Matcha increases metabolism through thermogenesis; your body expends more energy while resting, so your body burns more calories.
3. Detoxifies the Body
The rich chlorophyll content that makes matcha green also helps expel toxins, heavy metal, and hormone disruptors from the body.
4. Buffers stress
Clinical trials found that L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, supports the body's physical and psychological stress response. L-theanine acts as a buffer by suppressing the sympathetic nervous system.
5. Normalizes Blood Sugar Levels
Matcha is composed of whole tea leaves, so soluble and insoluble fibers are unadulterated. The fiber in matcha helps normalize blood sugar similar to how fiber in fruit prevents blood sugar surges.
6. Supports Natural Energy
Naturally occurring caffeine in matcha provides focus and energy without causing an energy crash or shakiness after consumption. L-theanine helps elicit calm, sustained energy to promote productivity.
Aside from the traditional tea preparation, you can cook with matcha. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started!
Matcha and Honey Vanilla Yogurt (Dairy-Free)
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk yogurt (I like So Delicious), divided
½ -1 tsp matcha
1 tbsp honey (local is best)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut milk (optional, to thin yogurt to desired consistency)
Divide coconut milk yogurt, placing ¾ cup of yogurt in a Magic Bullet cup or bowl.
Add ¼ - 1 tsp matcha (depending on how strong you want it), honey, vanilla extract, and coconut milk (if using) to the yogurt. Cover the Magic Bullet cup and process until fully combined. Alternatively, use an immersion blender to incorporate the matcha powder.
Pour the green yogurt mixture into a parfait cup (glass enhances appearance), leaving a little room at the top.
Top the green yogurt with remaining ¼ cup plain yogurt.
Take a teaspoon or butter knife and carefully insert it into the outer rim of the yogurt, tracing the outer rim and moving inwards to form swirls before removing.
Hold a small mesh strainer above yogurt, and s