Meet your matcha
Everyone's mad for matcha and it's with good reason. Essentially, it's a green powder made from ground-up green tea leaves that has been used by Chinese Daoists and Japanese Zen Buddhist monks for centuries to promote good health. It doesn't come in bags like green tea. Instead, it comes in fine powder form and you quite literally consume the whole leaves, meaning you receive all the goodness it has to give.
To create the best cup of matcha, put a teaspoon or two of the powder (look for the best grade as they're best for using in drinks — the lower grades are better for mixing into other ingredients) in the bottom of your cup, fill your cup with about 1/3 water, and mix it together with a special bamboo matcha "whisk" called a chasen (alternatively, you can use a fork) until the mixture is well combined before adding the rest of your water.
Matcha powder is very high in antioxidants (one cup of matcha tea has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of brewed green tea). Alongside this, it is known to calm the body and the mind, boost concentration and memory, increase energy levels, improve the immune system and increase metabolism. Sounds pretty good for a cup of tea!
Does a cup of espresso get you shaking? The good news is that matcha has a reduced amount of caffeine — 24-60mg per cup compared with 95-200mg in a brewed cup of coffee and up to 70mg in a brewed black tea. Thanks to a natural substance called l-theanine found within, Matcha creates a feeling of calm and mental clarity without the jitters of coffee. What's more, it tastes really good! As it does contain some caffeine though, it's best not to drink it right before bedtime.
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