You've seen it on instagram, at starbucks, on people's snapchats, and your mom is asking you about it. Everyone is drinking it and everyone's talking about it, but what is it and what's the big deal?!

Friends, allow me to introduce (or reintroduce) you to MATCHA GREEN TEA 🙌🏾

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which just means that if you shop through one of the links on this page, I will receive a small percentage of the sale :)

What's Matcha?
Unlike your run of the mill tea bag or loose leaf tea, matcha green tea is actually a finely ground powder. Matcha originated as a Japanese ceremonial staple. Matcha grown in an intensive process that includes shade growing to increase the beneficial properties of the leaves. When it's time to harvest, only the highest quality matcha tea leaves are taken and stone ground until they make a fine, bright green powder. Most commercially available matcha is not ceremonial grade (& ceremonial matcha is very expensive/sacred!), but if you're careful about what you buy, it can be really good for you! 

Why is it So Bomb?
It's already been well documented in the literature that green tea has amazing health benefits from its antioxidants to its anti inflammatory effects and metabolic properties (1). Matcha has all of these benefits and then some! Time to drop some science on ya & I'll be sure to cite the references at the end.

When I first started drinking matcha, I discovered that the caffeine content gave me the alertness/clarity of coffee without the jitters or the crash after. This was a huge game changer for me because I was experiencing some test anxiety in undergrad and the coffee I would drink while studying did not help! As it turns out, matcha contains a compound called L-Theanine, which increases the frequency of alpha waves in your brain (2). Alpha waves promote a focused and alert, yet relaxed state of mind and reduces feelings of anxiety that often come with coffee (3). If you're interested in the more nitty gritty details (aka the EEGs that were done & how GABA is involved, yay neuro?), check out the reference!  

Where Can I Get It?
I mentioned being careful about what you buy earlier because some "matcha" products have a ton of added sugar and fillers. Love ya Trader Joe's, but I gotta call you out on this one. I got my first batch of matcha from a local Japanese market. It's not unusual to get a super tiny container for $10+. You get what you pay for! That container didn't last me long enough, so I searched online next. I ended up getting it from a company called Nutri Vita Shop (not spon) and I really like it! I'd definitely get it from there again. It's also sold at Whole Foods and I linked a few products from Amazon at the end of this too! 

How Can I Make It?
The best part about Matcha is that it's super easy to make! My personal favorite way to have it is as an iced latte!

Iced Latte
Just blend  8-12oz of your choice of milk (almond, soy, coconut, etc) with one heaping scoop of matcha and sweeter of your choice (optional), then pour over ice!

Hot Latte*
Simmer 8-12oz of your choice of choice of milk (almond, soy, coconut, etc) on low until it is hot, but not boiling. Combine it in the blender with one heaping scoop of matcha and sweeter of your choice (optional). Blend, pour into a mug, and enjoy!

Hot Tea*
Gently heat 8-12 oz of water on low until it is hot, but not boiling. Blend with one heaping scoop of matcha and as with the other methods, you can add sweeter of your choice. Cinnamon is also a really great addition!

Add It To Your Smoothie
#LifeHackAlert, I add matcha to my regular smoothies all of the time! It gives you an extra boost where you'd least expect it!

*Sidenote for the hot methods, be careful! If your blender is glass, make sure the liquid you pour in is not TOO hot. If your blender is plastic, you should switch around the heating and blending steps (blend first, heat after). 

Have you tried matcha? What's your favorite way to have it?

1. Chacko SM, Thambi PT, Kuttan R, Nishigaki I. Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review. Chin Med. 2010;5:13.
2. . Mason R. 200 mg of Zen: L-Theanine Boosts Alpha Waves, Promotes Alert Relaxation. Altern Compliment Ther. 2001;7(2):91-96.
3. Higashiyama A, Htay HH, Ozeki M, Juneja LR, Kapoor MP. Effects of l-theanine on attention and reaction time response. J Funct Foods. 2011;3(3):171-178. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2011.03.009.

NOTE: The information found in this post does not constitute medical advice. Please consult a physician with questions concerning your health and prior to making any health decisions.