As if over night, this oddly thick green liquid has taken the world by storm. From restaurants, to the gym, to your local coffee shop, everyone seems to be getting on the matcha train. There is, however, one tiny question some of us are too afraid to ask; what even is matcha? Is it tea, coffee, latte, ice cream, or smoothie? What exactly is this odd green drink? Worry not and scroll on, because we did our research and put together a crash course on Matcha!
Matcha can be traced all the way back to the Tang Dynasty of China which reigned between the 7th and 10th centuries. During this time of the Tang, people would steam tea leaves before roasting and pulverizing them. They’d then mix the resulting tea powder with water and salt forming what we know today as matcha. The chinese did this in order to make tea easier to transport and trade, though what they didn’t realize was that they were creating a brand new drink. As the years went on, many preferred matcha over conventional tea and it became so popular that during the Song dynasty, having matcha was actually a status symbol!
At this point you may be asking; why did this weird 1,000+ year old drink make a comeback in modern society? Well dear reader, like most new food fads, it’s a health thing. With matcha you’re getting a way higher dose of antioxidants than from a regular green tea. For starters, rather than extracting nutrients from the tea leaves via boiling water, with matcha you’re ingesting the entire tea leaf. This is what gives you the extra antioxidants that your body uses to reduce your risk of heart disease, help lower blood pressure, and help boost your metabolism. Not to mention that better-than-coffee extra kick of clean caffeine that matcha offers.
That’s not all matcha does! Since you’re ingesting the entire leaf, you’re getting a more concentrated dose of antioxidants and nutrients. That concentrated dose helps decrease your risk of liver disease, boost brain function, and even helps with weight loss. Best of all, it's super easy to prepare! All you gotta do is throw some powder in your water for some extra flavor and you’re good to go!
Even aside from the many health benefits, matcha is tasty and comes in a variety of forms. Its flavor is a bit bitter, which balances fairly well in ice cream and desserts but the only real limit is your imagination! You could keep it simple by mixing it with water or milk, have a little fun and take a shot at making a matcha latte, or put your skills to the test and try baking it into a matcha doughnut! Matcha powder could be worked into countless types of foods and beverages and with a bit of practice the possibilities are endless!