This blog post is not sponsored in any way. However, it may include content with visible brand names of products I use.
The month June seemed to be the month of Matcha for me. A few months back I decided to stop drinking coffee. I know, that might sound crazy for some of you reading this. Honestly, I wasn’t even super strict about it in the beginning and still had coffee a few times every month. The last month was the first month I didn’t have any coffee at all though. Instead, I drank Matcha every day and I decided to share with you why I stopped drinking coffee and switched to Matcha for good.
Please note: This is my personal experience and not in any way a suggestion that you should give up coffee too. You know what works best for you and your body.
I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever been a “coffee person” in terms of really enjoying the taste or the way it made me feel. In fact, I never liked the way it makes me feel: hyper active, often times jittery and really unfocused. As coffee is a stimulant containing caffeine it’s meant to have an energizing effect and I am sure that many people aren’t experiencing any discomfort drinking it.
Personally, I’ve experienced stomach issues from the very beginning and felt sick countless times after having coffee. It contains various organic acids which, like in my case, can be harsh on the stomach. It also increases your heart rate and elevates cortisol and adrenaline levels in the body. After dealing with some stress related health issues over the past months this just doesn’t work well for me.
Many people experience a sudden drop of energy, an energy crash, only a short time after having coffee. This is something I’ve experienced as well. It felt like drinking coffee always took away more energy than it gave me, so I got to a point where I just want to be more mindful about the ways I am energizing my body and I started to look for a more gentle alternative.
What is matcha?
Simple put: Matcha is basically powdered green tea. By consuming the powder you’re consuming the whole tea leaf, reaping the benefits of additional antioxidants and minerals you’d miss if you were drinking brewed green tea.
Stone Ground Premium Grade Tea
Several weeks prior to harvest in the Spring, farmers cover the tea plants with bamboo mats or tarp, gradually reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the plants. This step increases the chlorophyll content and turns the leaves dark green, giving matcha its distinct green color.
After harvesting, the leaves are steamed and then air dried. Next, the leaves are sorted for grade, and then destemmed and deveined. At this stage, the leaves become tencha, the precursor to matcha. The tencha is then ground and becomes matcha.
Tea grade matcha is ground on a stone mill to achieve a fine powder texture, unlike industrial grade matcha which is ground by machines. The stone grinding produces a specially shaped powder molecule which impacts the taste and mouth feel of the matcha.
Note: Always look for organic Matcha powder – after all you don’t want to consume pesticides along with it.
- … contains incredible amounts of polyphenols – antioxidants that can help protect your body and brain from the damage of free radicals. At 1384 ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity – which is a food, spice, or drinks capacity to neutralize free radicals) units per gram, it’s one of the best sources of antioxidants in the world.
- 1 cup of Matcha has 10 times the amount of antioxidants than brewed green tea.
- … is high in an amino acid called L-Theanine which promotes great mood, learning and memory.
- 1 cup of Matcha (2g) has about the same amount of caffeine than 1 espresso, which can help to improve your focus and mental performance.
- … is rich in minerals like selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium.
- … contains the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) which has potent cancer-fighting properties.
- … provides high amounts of chlorophyll, which makes it great for daily detox.
- …contains fibre & nutrients like Vitamin A & C.
what’s the difference?
Here’s the main difference I noticed: It’s the way Matcha makes you feel. Flint and Kavaliunas call Matcha a “calming stimulant” and that’s exactly how I’d describe it too. It makes you feel awake but at the same time calm & centered, energized but focused. It doesn’t give you that sudden spike of energy. In fact, the amino acid L-Theanine slows caffeine release in the body and gives you a much more gentle, longer lasting energizing experience.
The Zen Buddhists were very aware of the meditational benefits of this “Matcha” green tea, which brought to them a greater sense of clarity and well-being.
They found that in drinking this tea before their afternoon meditations that it enabled them to be much more “centered”, “focused”, and maintain a level of sustained energy throughout the afternoon which they had never experienced before. This special green tea eventually became known as “Matcha, the Ceremonial tea of the temple high priests”.
Even the warriors, the “Shogun,” saw the remarkable benefits of this “ceremonial” tea, for it gave them that extra sustained energy and mental acuity. Whenever possible, this was their “ceremonial” drink prior to going into battle.
From my personal experience, switching from coffee to Matcha has been beneficial for my overall health and my mental state. I love that it’s so versatile and you can use it for warm drinks, cold drinks, smoothies and add it to any meal that could use a hint of green tea flavor. You can use it for baking and cooking, just make sure you don’t heat it over 80° C as nutrients would be lost to some extent.
Scroll down and check out my previous post to see the recipe for this delicious Matcha Smoothie Bowl ♡
MATCHA | Jessica Flint, Anna Kavaliunas