If I had to choose coffee or tea, without a doubt it would be coffee for life. A strong espresso drink is basically my reward for getting up. But best-quality matcha is one tea that gives coffee a run for its money in my kitchen.
Matcha is a fine premium green tea powder. The better-quality varieties come from Japan. Younger leaves have a grassier, daintier bouquet while older leaves taste earthier. You don't need fancy varieties for baking. But the quality makes a difference when you are drinking the tea
In both appearance and flavor, this tea is a cut above all others I have tried. Look at the difference between Doctor King, the Japanese brand I was using and was happy with. The Zen Spirit matcha is much fuller, rounder and more subtly vegetal There's simply no comparison. It's like tasting Veuve Cliquot after drinking Korbel all your life.
You can drink matcha as a tea or use it to flavor cupcakes, icing, ice cream, etc. My favorite easy way to drink this is to make a super-easy Vegan Matcha Latte (recipe below) which besides being fun to drink, is also fun to say.
Health benefits of green tea
Green tea doesn't just taste good; it's also good for you. According to this literature review and several other scientifically sound medical articles I've read, green tea boasts many proven health benefits, among them:
- Improved carbohydrate metabolism
- Antiobesty effects
- Anti-diabetes effects
- Anti-cancer effects for many types (eg, breast, liver, prostate, colorectal, baldder)
- Cardiovascular benefits
- Lowers cholesterol
- Lowers stroke risk
- Improves memory
Makes you want to drink a gallon right now, doesn't it?
But not all green teas offer the same level of health benefits. The bags of green tea you buy at the grocery store might cost less, but if you're drinking it for the health bennies, it's a case of getting what you pay for. Matcha contains more catechins -- basically, cancer-fighting compounds -- than regular brewed green tea. One cup of matcha contains as many catechins as 10 cups of brewed green tea. Be careful to not overheat your water because it reduces the beneficial properties of the green tea, just like overcooking vegetables reduces the amount of vitamins they provide.
Bags of green tea have their place, and you still get some health benefits from drinking tea brewed with them. I typically use them to flavor kombucha, which I like to make in the summer. Without further ado, try match in this easy recipe. And don't forget, for a limitied time, until supplies run out, Zen Spirit is offering my readers an 80% discount!
Vegan Matcha Latte
- 1 rounded tablespoon matcha powder
- 1 cup hot but not boiling water (*Boiling reduces the nutritional profile of green tea)
- 1 cup of your favorite non-dairy milk (Almond, soy. cashew and hemp milk all work great)
- Sweetener, optional
Makes 1 tall drink or two small drinks
Regular Method: Place powder in cup or divide among two cups. Pour about two tablespoons of hot water into the cup and use a whisk to blend. (You can a spoon, but you will get wee clumps.) Add non-dairy milk then heat in the microwave. Sweeten and enjoy.
OCD Method: If you are really OCD, just whiz all the ingredients in a blender making damn-sure the lid is closed tightly so you do not get burned.