Matcha is a big part of my life.
When something is good and works, why wouldn’t it be?
Matcha adds more energy to my day, fuels my brain and body, and helps me get me through the day.
I love it so much I add it to all kinds of recipes and wrote a book filled with them. If you are a fan of this healthy green tea, then you’ll love my book. And, if you don’t know much about matcha, then read on!
But what brands should you buy?
I have excellent recommendations in this post! I’ve tried many and found my favorites based on smoothness, origin, and seeking companies with high standards of quality.
I also have a special Bulletproof -style matcha recipe to share!
But… first… What is matcha?
It’s a beautiful green tea where the tea leaves are ground and consumed whole (as a powder mixed in drinks and food). It’s health benefits are astounding. Describing this green tea as a life-changing drink is appropriate.
It’s lush color reminds me of my recent trip to Kauai (more on that another day).
Tea is liquid wisdom.
Matcha is the Japanese tea ceremony beverage.
I’ve been drawn to this tea for many months. But not knowing much about it, I did a lot of research before selecting the brands I ultimately chose.
I felt a high quality option would be from Yuuki-Cha because of their standards and my ability to pinpoint from exactly what region of Japan I wanted.
This company addressed potential issues of Fukushima Daichi radiation and shared a helpful map to assist my selection. (This brand is excellent and I’ve since found a couple of other brands… read on for details.)
I selected two kinds from Yuuki-Cha:
When I bought them, I ordered small sizes and chose two (each hailing from a different region in Japan).
I opted not to get the whisk or special drinking bowl because, honestly, I didn’t know if I’d like it. This type of green tea has a reputation where sometimes it’s grassy in flavor, which I’m not craving. I wanted to make sure I liked it before investing more money.
I was elated with the result of the Organic Yame.
My first sip I knew I’d be drinking matcha for the rest of my life.
I didn’t even make it the classic way with the bamboo whisk. Instead, I heated my water on the induction hot plate, used an instant read thermometer to achieve 175 degrees F, poured the hot water into my blender, added the Organic Yame Matcha, and blended it.
(UPDATE: I later found another highly reputable company called Pique Tea which is what I’m drinking now. It’s an easier ordering process! I also like the individual packets which keep it fresh.)
I knew there were plenty of options for making this intense green tea tasty in the event of grassiness.
For example, I knew I could soften the flavor by making it Bulletproof with butter and Brain Octane MCT oil. I also have some delicious stevia extract in my arsenal. Those are great ingredients for kicking your ass into high gear!
And, I knew I could always add it to my green smoothie in the event that drinking it as a tea wasn’t awesome. But, I’ve learned that when you have a high quality matcha green tea, it should be smooth and even refreshing tasting. So if you try one and don’t like it, don’t give up. Keep trying different ones, especially my recommendations in this post.
Here’s another option…
Drink matcha green tea iced!
I discovered that drinking matcha green tea “iced” helps make it extra refreshing and less grass-like. I simply blended my water with 1 teaspoon organic matcha tea. Then, I poured it over ice. (You can use less matcha, too. If you’re starting out try it with 1/2 teaspoon, or even 1/4 teaspoon.)
Iced Matcha Green Tea
Protein Iced Matcha Green Tea
Here’s another iced option where I used a 1/2 teaspoon of matcha blended with temperature-perfect water (175 degrees F) and 2 tablespoons of Upgraded Collagen Protein. Adding this protein boosts satiation and also helps fight wrinkles!
I served it over ice. Yum!
No blender needed!
I’ve learned you can simply shake the hell out of a mixture (1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons) of matcha with ice cold water in a bottle with the lid on. That’s a cold-brewed iced matcha. In other words, just toss that green tea powder into a shaker bottle with some cold water. Shake! Shake! Shake! and Drink! No blender necessary. :)
SO… I am clearly loving matcha green tea.
3 reasons I’m drawn to matcha green tea:
I have a few reasons that matcha keeps coming onto my radar.
1. Meditation and Alpha Brain Waves for Feeling Great
You see, our brain produces different brainwaves based on our mood and state of mind during the day. These can be measured using an EEG machine.
Alpha waves are important because they help you flow through life with less stress and agitation. You feel better. Happiness and calm abounds. Further, we experience a deep sense of relaxation and wellness when our brains are producing alpha brain waves. Ommmmmmmm.
Alpha brain waves are also associated with creativity. This is why artists and smart entrepreneurs are found to exhibit alpha brain waves more often than not.
Meditation creates more alpha brain waves in your life.
In meditation, we strive to reach the alpha brain wave state which is harder for newbies. But…
Green tea has the reputation for making meditation more accessible because of the alpha brain waves you create when drinking it. We can more quickly alpha brain waves by drinking green tea.
And, drinking green tea as matcha, where the whole leaf is consumed amps this up big time.
In other words, drink green tea to help increase your alpha brain waves. Then, find it easier to meditate because you’re already in an alpha brain wave state (from the green tea).
As meditation is becoming a big part of my life the past couple of years (read why here with some great tips to get you going), I was eager to take it another step by drinking more green tea.
2. Energy (or Zenergy)
I’ve come to the realization that no matter how awesome my diet is, I can still get run down in the afternoon.
I’m a mom. Do I really need to say anymore? :)
My 5-year old daughter is home with me all day, and when one part of my brain and soul are constantly “on” it can be draining. It’s funny, when my husband watches her for anything over 3 hours, he gets a taste of it and commends me repeatedly. It’s not that she’s extra active or anything, it’s just that big thing called responsibility for a little one (is she fed? safe? happy?) and, let’s be honest, playing dolls is exhausting.
That’s where matcha could play a role.
It seemed the perfect early afternoon drink to give me just the perfect amount of energy boost to get me happily through the afternoon. Matcha is known for offering a slower release of energy due to being absorbed slower in the body.
Dave Asprey writes, “It contains l-theanine, a relaxing amino acid that smooth’s out the stimulating effects of caffeine.”
Therefore, consider the timing of matcha.
Perhaps it’s wise to not drink it too late in the day, or if you do, make a smaller amount.
Many say it enhances mood and increases concentration. It must be true since I’m happily writing this post after drinking it.
Turns out there is some science to this, as evidence suggests L-theanine and caffeine in combination, like in green tea, are beneficial for improving performance on cognitively demanding tasks. (source)
Since practicing yoga can produce alpha brain waves, I think this would be the perfect drink before yoga to amp up the alpha-ness. Though, I’d be sure to drink it over an hour before yoga starts so you can empty your bladder if necessary.
Seriously, yoga and matcha tea? A perfect marriage.
Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants (more than coffee), notably as the powerful polyphenol, catechins.
By drinking green tea as matcha, where the whole leaf is consumed, you get a mega dose of them.
There are a lot of other claims about this green tea, such as it’s the equivalent of drinking 10 cups of non-matcha green tea (for antioxidants), its ORAC value is extremely high and it can boost metabolism.
Check out this website, where I grabbed the following image for more details.
Dr. Weil writes, “Studies either strongly suggest or confirm that the antioxidants in green tea can reduce LDL cholesterol, promote fat burning, reduce the risk of several forms of cancer, and alleviate depression.”
I’ve given you many good reasons to have matcha and here’s a great recipe to try.
Keep in mind, plain is great, too, if it’s not too grassy.
Bulletproof -Style Matcha Tea Recipe
I love this recipe unsweetened as the matcha flavor is still front and center, but it’s more delicate. That said, if you’d like a bit of sweetness to round it out, add some raw honey (once it’s cooled to 115 degrees F) or a drop of stevia extract.
- 10 ounces hot water (temp 175 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon (unsalted) butter
- 1 tablespoon Brain Octane MCT Oil
- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons organic matcha
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
Blend all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender (I always use a Vita-mix).
Dr. Weil says, “I take the act of drinking matcha seriously – or perhaps I should say, I take the pleasure of drinking matcha seriously.”
Ditto for me.
UPDATE: I recently tried a new matcha, which comes from one of my favorite tonic mushroom companies, Four Sigmatic. They entered the world of matcha and created a blend including brain-powering Lion’s Mane. Exciting. I learned they get their matcha from China though so keep that in mind.
I also found Pique Tea and it’s my new favorite matcha. It’s organic tea and they source it from Japan. It’s fabulously smooth, pure, and of the highest standards. Get it here!