Matcha is a traditional Japanese green tea powder made from finely ground tea leaves that is rich in antioxidants and provides numerous health benefits. It has recently become popular in the West, especially in the form of matcha lattes.
Matcha lattes are creamy and frothy tea-based drinks that are packed with flavour and make for a delicious and energising start to the day. Not only are matcha lattes delicious, but they offer numerous health benefits, as well.
They are versatile and can be customized to suit individual taste preferences. Whether you’re a matcha enthusiast or a beginner, this article will provide you with information about matcha lattes, from their health benefits, to recipes, and tips on how to make the perfect cup!
What is matcha?
As mentioned above, matcha is a finely ground Japanese green tea powder made from the Camellia sinensis plant. It is most commonly served as a tea, but can also be added to recipes and food items, such as baked goods, smoothies, bowl cakes, and even lattes. It is often used as a substitute for coffee due to the fact that it contains caffeine but has less of an impact on blood pressure and is gentler on the stomach compared to coffee.
Matcha tea is grown and produced in the same way as other green teas, but the harvesting and processing are more meticulous. The tea leaves are shade-grown and steamed before they are ground into a fine powder. Since the leaves are not exposed to the same degree of oxidation as other green teas, matcha is much more nutrient-dense and contains up to 137 times more antioxidants than other green teas.
Health benefits of matcha
Matcha tea is packed with antioxidants and other nutrients that are beneficial for your health, including fiber, manganese, iron, vitamins B2, B3, B6, and C, and more!
Here are some of the major health benefits of matcha:
Studies show that the catechins in matcha green tea powder can boost metabolism and promote fat burning, which can help with weight loss. A study found that consuming matcha when exercising increased fat burning by 17%
Improved brain health
According to Healthline, found that matcha boost brain function as well as alertness, performance, memory, and focus. Matcha promotes blood flow to the brain, which can improve mental function and prevent cognitive decline due to aging. Another study found that people who drank matcha performed better on cognitive function tests than those who didn’t.
Matcha can help prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and turning into plaque in the arteries that can lead to heart disease. It can also reduce inflammation in the body and improve blood sugar levels.
Increased energy and endurance
The caffeine in matcha gives you a boost in energy that lasts longer than the caffeine in coffee. The reason for matcha green tea providing a more sustained energy throughout the day is twofold.
The presence of L-theanine in matcha green tea helps to moderate the effects of caffeine, and the alkalinity of matcha green tea as opposed to the acidity of coffee means that the body processes the energy from matcha at a slower rate, contributing to its long-lasting effects.
There are many delicious ways to matcha lattes at home. Here are some of the most popular recipes:
Traditional matcha latte Recipe
This matcha green tea latte is a breeze to make, requiring only three core ingredients. You don’t need to be a barista pro or have any advanced equipment. Here’s how you make this:
- Begin by sifting the matcha powder through a sieve. This will help break up any clumps that may have formed, as it can be difficult to get rid of these lumps when preparing a matcha latte
- Place the matcha powder into a mug, and then fill it with freshly simmered hot water. Stir the powder and water together using a vigorously with a whisk to froth up the matcha.
- Pour some heated coconut milk (oat milk or almond milk could work too) over the matcha and stir again to create a frothy foam.
- Finally, taste your matcha latte and add sweeteners (maple syrup or sugar) to suit your taste.
Matcha Protein Smoothie Recipe
Compared to ordinary green tea, matcha powder has a milder flavor and is much more concentrated, delivering ten times more antioxidants in one serving. This powerful tea can also help in detoxification, and its caffeine content is longer lasting, making it an ideal addition to a pre-workout smoothie. To make this smoothie all you need is creamy milk, protein powder, ice, banana, 1 tablespoon of matcha powder and blend it all up until smooth.
Matcha green tea cookies recipe
A matcha green tea cookies is a great way to incorporate matcha into a traditional afternoon tea or dessert. It is rich and creamy, but also low in fat, making it a healthier dessert option. Here are the ingredients and steps to make the perfect Matcha green tea cake.
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of matcha tea powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup sunflower oil
- 2 eggs
- Gather a medium-sized bowl and whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and the vanilla extract. In a third bowl, mix together two tablespoons of matcha powder with two tablespoons of water, then add this to the wet ingredients. Finally, combine all the ingredients with the flour mix until just well-mixed.
- Take two tablespoons and scoop out dough that is 1.5-inch in size and place them at least 2 inches apart Allow the dough to chill for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 175° celcius. Put the cookies in the oven and cook them for around 10 minutes, until they are solid around the edges and only slightly brown on the undersides. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling tray and ready to serve.
Key factors to ensure when purchasing matcha powder
The most desirable matcha power is a vivid green shade, which usually costs a bit more. Matcha that is made locally (not in Japan) is usually cheaper and of lesser quality, with no genuine ceremonial or culinary grades. The best matcha powder for lattes and recipes is a vibrant green and is in the price range of $20-$30 and is available in Asian grocery stores or even online!