Making green tea takes a bit of patience and finesse in itself even when using a tea bag. Most of us, myself included in the beginning, make green tea with water that’s far too hot, which actually ruins the delicate flavour of green tea and doesn’t allow the nutrients to slowly release and open up as it should. Tea leaves need a little love during the process of making with their delicate flavor and antioxidants that they require time and the right temperature to create the perfect mug of tea.
The entire process of making matcha tea is very therapeutic and I respect and wholeheartedly understand the ritual and
ceremonies surrounding this simple task – making tea. Matcha green tea powder is the one of the most healthy green teas out there due to you drinking the powdered form of the actual tea leaf unlike regular green tea, which is simply an infusion of the leaves. Matcha goes perfectly with milk thanks to its smooth taste and is delicious hot or cold. It also contains some caffeine, so it will give you an instant pick me up at any time of day.
Let’s start with the basics, what is matcha tea? Matcha is a young delicate tea lea variety typically grown and processed in Japan. Matcha tea is typically used in Japanese tea ceremonies. One of the greatest things about matcha tea though, it’s not just for lattes! You can actually add matcha tea powder to smoothies, cakes, cookies, muffins, pancakes, soup, and so much more.
Matcha tea is very high in antioxidants, amino acids, and chlorophyll, which is responsible for it’s beautiful bright green color. Of the amino acids contained in matcha tea, L-theanine is the most prevalent and is known to have a relaxing effect on the mind and body; hence why traditionally monks would sip matcha tea to help ease their mind for meditation while the subtle caffeine content creates focus (this could be because theanine increases serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and glycine levels in the brain). Unlike normal teas, you’re actually drinking the entire matcha tea leaf, not just the tea water; this is one of many reasons why matcha tea is much more nutrient dense than standard green tea. Because of the many steps, care, and time it takes to create matcha tea, matcha tea tends to be more expensive than standard teas, but beyond worth it!
Remember this when you’re storing matcha tea: it’s extremely sensitive to both light and heat. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a very delicate young tea and most of these are hand picked in Japan, ground into a powder, then flash frozen to preserve the freshness as soon as they are picked in Japan, and then flash frozen to preserve freshness before grinding, then packaged into a container. Most matcha tea brands store it in foil, or in a dark container. It’s natural that the matcha will oxidize, that’s naturally what happens when the package is opened and it’s exposed to light, the goal is to keep it as dark and airtight as possible to decrease the time it oxidizes. Another way to keep it fresh it to store it in the fridge or freezer- I find this optimal for those of you who don’t drink it daily.
MATCHA TEA LATTE
A delicious dairy free matcha tea latte using creamy almond milk and high quality matcha tea.
Author: Emma Olliff, Dip NT CNM
Recipe type: to drink, beverage
You may also use coconut or hazelnut milk
Your guide to living whole and well. Emma Olliff is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, wellness expert, food lover, and advocate for healthy living!