Monday, August 2, 2010
Matcha is a high-quality Japanese green tea traditionally used in ceremonies but has now found its way into the American mainstream. I discovered it first not in a Starbucks latte but in a BrainReady podcast. The podcast introduced the incredible benefits of this tea that are still being uncovered, and they encouraged the listener to switch from standard green tea (that you find in tea bags everywhere) to matcha.
One immediate differentiator that separates matcha from the usual green tea is that rather than steeping the leaves in water, matcha is a finely milled powder that you actually consume. So you're ingesting the leaf itself. No tea bags or infusers here.
Green tea, in general, is very good for you, and studies have found that it contains EGCg, a serious antioxidant. Scientists are still studying the cancer-fighting properties of this catechin (and probably will be for a long, long time). EGCg is particularly concentrated in matcha.
I've started adding matcha to my daily routine in the hopes of garnering some of its specific health benefits. I tried adding it to my morning smoothies, but I already have too many things in my smoothie to make it really tasty. So I'm drinking it straight up with a little honey. The flavor without a sweetener, for me, is a little too earthy or leafy. But with a little help, it's great.
Dissolving or mixing it is a bit of a challenge, because the powder tends to clump together and settle to the bottom of the glass. I've ordered a hand-held milk frother (rather than a traditional bamboo whisk, so that it's a multitasker) that I'm hoping will help me out.
I may not be following the ceremonial steps to preparing my morning matcha (check out the process in the video below), but I'm enjoying it nonetheless!
Camera: Canon 40D with 60mm macro lens and 430EX Speedlite, 1/125s, f/2.8 at ISO 100