Find out how to make an easy matcha latte and learn why this green gold is not a fad. It’s here to stay and for a good reason.
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Have you tried matcha yet? Green gold is what they call it. And lately, I’ve been getting my fill. I’m now on my summer schedule, and so far I’ve been spending a lot of time writing and sitting in front of screens. I’ve never been a coffee drinker, but now I see why people love it. I’ve found that caffeine helps me get into a more creative flow. It helps my brain function a little better in the early morning hours. (I know I’m late to the perk party.)
I finally get why coffee drinkers are so serious about their morning cup. Even in this summer-like heat, we’re having, I’ve been making all varieties of matcha lattes a few times a week. I promise. I’m not hooked. I can stop anytime I want. But right now… I don’t want to.
Matcha is a powdered green tea native to Japan. The flavor is rich and earthy and not nearly as bitter as other green teas I’ve tried. Instead of brewing or steeping tea leaves, you drink the green tea powder that’s been dissolved in water. Nothing is left behind, so it’s a more potent drink. For more on the history of this green gold, check out the article I wrote for Food & Nutrition magazine last year.
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Here are three reasons to make matcha a regular part of your routine:
- Like other green teas, research shows that matcha may help boost mental alertness. A potential plus? Some people report that unlike coffee, you don’t get the jitters after the caffeine wears off.
- Rich in polyphenols, matcha (like other green teas) may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and other conditions and may even have some anti-aging benefits. Yes!!
- It makes you slow down. It’s quick and easy to steep a tea bag in a mug of hot water, wait 3 minutes then sip. With matcha, there’s a process. It forces mindfulness at the start of the day.
If it’s new to you, I encourage you to give it a try. However, it’s not a new trend. I’d say it’s here to stay. According to Google Trends, matcha has been trending up since 2011 with the biggest spike seen last year. Now you can find matcha bars in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, iced drinks at Starbucks and matcha lattes all over Instagram.
I’ve been chatting about matcha for a while now, and I’m often asked which one to buy. I’m still in search of my absolute favorite, but I like the tin I got at Teavana. There are several organic ones available on Amazon that I want to try. I’ll come back and update this post with a complete list once I pick my favorite three.
In any case, just make sure you buy pure matcha powder, not a mix. The mixes are typically sugar-sweetened and of poor quality. Skip those. The real deal will have a beautiful bright green color, and it will not be cheap – sorry. You’ll also find matcha flavored everything – from donuts to pancakes and candy. These are usually just added for flavor and color – don’t depend on these treats to get the health benefits I shared earlier.
So here’s my current favorite way to prep a matcha latte.
NOTE: I’m aware that this recipe is not the traditional way of preparing matcha. I accept that it is Americanized and yet still quite delicious! Bon Appetit magazine has an excellent tutorial on How to Make Matcha that’s a little closer to the traditional Japanese preparation method.
Coconut Ginger Matcha Latte
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder
- 1/4 cup warm unsweetened coconut milk (the refrigerated one)
- 3/4 cup hot (not boiling) water
- honey and ground ginger to taste
- Whisk the matcha with about 1/4 cup water until all lumps dissolve. Here you can use a wire whisk or (what I prefer) a bamboo whisk for a more traditional preparation.
- Once smooth, add honey and ginger to the mixture. Whisk until well incorporated.
- Pour in the remaining water and coconut milk. Whisk or use a milk frother until you reach the desired consistency. Enjoy right away.