Matcha is a powdered version of green tea that has been used for thousands of years, but it has only become truly popular over the past decade because of increased awareness about its many incredible health benefits.
It’s a vibrant, velvety powder produced from stone grinding the entire green tea leaf. Traditional green tea is made by steeping tea leaves, which cooks out most of the nutritional value of the tea. With matcha, you consume the entirety of the leaf so nothing is wasted or cooked out.
The benefits of traditional green tea have been passed down through the generations, but matcha is a purer, higher quality with 137 more antioxidants than the more mainstream steeped green tea. It has all the benefits you know and love, and plenty more.
Increased energy, concentration and focus, reduced blood pressure and even weight loss have all been linked to regular matcha consumption. Since it tastes great, you can easily indulge in 2 to 3 cups of matcha tea every day for all the excellent health benefits.
The traditional method of drinking matcha tea is generally considered to be the best, but this article is a complete guide to many, many other options to help you enjoy your matcha every day.
The Traditional Approach to Matcha
The time-tested, traditional approach to making the perfect cup of matcha green tea may be a bit more in-depth and time-consuming than tossing a little bag of crushed leaves into a cup of boiling water, but the minute or 2 of work is satisfying and relaxing making it well worth the wait.
There a few steps to make the perfect cup of delicious matcha green tea and if you want to really devote yourself to the art, you can find a complete matcha kit which will have a ceramic bowl, a bamboo whisk, and a scoop. I really love this set from Amazon.
- Warm some water to about 176F.
- If the water boils, let it cool to the optimal temperature before making your tea. You can use it to warm the ceramic bowl by pouring a bit of the warmed water into the bowl and letting it sit for a minute.
- Pour out the water and use the scoop to measure out your matcha powder. Carefully sift the scoop of matcha into the warmed bowl.
- Add a little bit of the hot water to the powder in the bowl and use the bamboo matcha whisk to blend into a paste.
- Add hot water to the paste in the bowl. Use the whisk in a quick zigzag motion to mix and aerate the tea. It will make a nice light froth.
Traditionally matcha is sipped directly from the bowl and even though transferring the tea from the bowl to a cup might more socially acceptable, it takes something away from the matcha experience.
Best (aka Easiest) Ways to Drink Matcha
To make the perfect matcha tea at home you should start with the highest quality matcha you can get your hands on. Matcha powder can be purchased almost anywhere these days but be wary of brands and where the powders have come from.
Look for an organic top-quality powder from a vitamin or health food store. (Our favorite matcha powder is this organic one from Amazon.)
The matcha powder that’s imported from Japan is typically the highest quality. If you can’t find any that originated from a reputable company in Japan, look for organic, additive-free matcha green tea powder made in the country you live in.
It may seem overwhelming or intimidating to make matcha tea the traditional way every time. Or perhaps just too time-consuming because you may be too excited and want that cup of tea right now!
Keep reading to learn how to make scrumptious matcha green tea in a few different modern ways.
Make Matcha Hot
One step always remains the same: never just dump matcha powder into a bowl or cup of water. The powder compacts over time in its storage container, so it needs to be loosened up, preferably with a whisk.
Always mix the matcha powder with a little water first, then add the remainder of the heated water. Matcha powder will not mix properly if you just dump it into a cup of hot water, it will make weird little clumps that are not that appetizing.
If you want to mix it up, you can customize matcha to suit your taste buds. Be mindful if you’re drinking matcha to assist with weight loss. Adding cream and sugar will not only alter the flavor and texture, but they will also add calories and extra fats.
Try adding a nut milk to make it creamy and comforting. If you want to add some sweetness try a little honey. Adding fruity flavorings is another lovely way to add variety to your matcha teas.
Here are some other great variations of matcha green tea.
Prepare Matcha paste as usual but use warmed sweet milk to mix with the matcha instead of hot water. Whisk together to make a gorgeous light green with a bit of froth. If you’re feeling fancy, decorate with a sprinkle of the matcha powder on top.
Prepare a matcha green tea latte and add a shot of espresso. This charming duo is the best of both worlds. You get your caffeine kick and all the health benefits of matcha green tea.
Coconut Latte with Matcha
This latte is made just like the other matcha lattes except this one has an exciting tropical flavor. Sub the milk in this latte for heated full-fat coconut milk.
Add a spot of honey or maple syrup for added sweetness. For an extra boost drop in a few drops of coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon and/or vanilla. Whisk or blend until mixed well and frothy. Enjoy your cup of paradise!
Mocha Green Tea
When you are starting to mix up your matcha powder, make the paste with some cacao powder and ground vanilla bean. Make sure these are all well blended with no lumps. You can make this drink with the traditional hot water or you can make it with your favorite milk. Give almond, cashew or coconut milk a try. Whisk or blend like normal.
Drink Matcha Cold
On those hot summer nights, or after the gym or really any time of any day, sometimes you just want a cool refreshing drink. Try one of these revitalizing cold matcha drinks.
Iced Matcha Tea
Make your favorite matcha tea and put it on ice. Simple, energizing, and delicious. Adding a few mint leaves can give it an even more refreshing hint of flavor.
Iced Matcha Lemonade/Limeade
Whisk up matcha powder and your sweetening agent of choice with some hot water to make a matcha paste. Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice in enough cold water to fill your cup. Whisk the matcha paste into the lemon or lime-flavored water. Refrigerate to get it cold or serve over ice with a pretty twist of lemon or lime peel.
Iced Matcha Latte
Are you craving a matcha latte, but really need something chilled? Well, you’re in luck because iced matcha lattes are even easier to make than their coffee cousins.
Start by adding a bit of hot water to your matcha powder and whisking until it’s a paste. Now, instead of warming your favorite milk, just use it cold. Right out of the fridge. Whisk or blend well until frothy and pour over ice. Toss in some cold or frozen berries to mix up the flavors.
If you’re looking for a healthy drink with a bit more of a kick to it, try a match mojito.
To make matcha-infused simple syrup:
- Heat up a mixture of sugar and water on high heat until it boils and all the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Remove from heat.
- Measure your matcha powder into a matcha or other small bowl, add the simple syrup, and whisk it up until it’s silky smooth.
- Refrigerate until cool.
In a tall glass muddle a few mint leaves. Stir in some lime juice and 2 tablespoon matcha-infused simple syrup. Fill the glass with ice, add a shot of rum, and fill the rest with club soda, giving it a good stir. Don’t forget your sprig of mint and lime twist for the perfect garnish.
Adding Matcha to Your Food
Did you know that you can add matcha to any meal?! That’s right, you don’t just have to drink it, matcha is truly a versatile superfood. Check out just a few of your favorite ways to use matcha as an edible addition to your day, and use it as inspiration to come up with your own culinary adventures.
If you’re like the millions of people who chug a smoothie for breakfast, why not add all the healthy benefits of matcha to your breakfast drink. Make your smoothie as normal but sprinkle in a scoop of matcha while it’s blending. So easy, so healthy.
If you eat granola frequently, or even just as a treat, make it extra nutritious by sifting a scoop of matcha powder into the granola container and give it a good shake. Your mouth might not notice the difference, but your body certainly will appreciate the boost.
You can sprinkle in your dose of matcha into pretty much any breakfast food you could imagine.
For egg or tofu scrambles and quiches, just mix some matcha powder in the mix and cook as usual.
Give pancakes and waffles a beneficial kick by adding a couple of pinches of matcha powder to the batter and cook like normal.
Everyone loves snacking. Let’s be real though, we want snacks that aren’t always the healthiest of choices. Matcha powder is one the easiest things to add to snacks to enhance their benefits without taking away from the comfort aspect.
When you’re yearning for chips and dip, or crackers and spreads but feeling a bit guilty for indulging in something that doesn’t have much in the way of health benefits, try adding a dose of matcha powder. It’s so simple you’ll be wondering why you haven’t thought of it before.
All you need to know how to do is mix.
Any sort of dip or spread, guacamole, hummus, pesto, nut butter, and even cream cheese can be matcha-fied. Just sprinkle from your little scoop and mix well. You’ll be enjoying the same delectable treat, just with more nourishment.
You can also sprinkle matcha powder onto crunchy snacks like popcorn, chips and trail mix. The snack opportunities are endless.
Dinner is the easiest way to add matcha powder to your diet when tea just isn’t what you want. The wholesome meal at the end of your day is the most comforting and rewarding meal of the day and holds infinite prospects to sneaking in the superfood.
If you make your own pasta of any kind, mix in some matcha to the mix. Top your pastas with matcha infused sauces. Red, alfredo, rose, Vodka sauce, any pasta topper you can think of, stir in some matcha powder.
The same goes for soups and broths.
Matcha is particularly great in any Japanese meals. Miso, sushi, and so tasty in ramen. Toss some matcha on lentils chickpeas and in with any grains you desire.
You can add matcha powder into any baking that you do. Cookies, cakes, muffins, cinnamon rolls, you can hide matcha in any baking, skeptics will never even know.
For cold treats, you can mix your matcha powder in with yogurt and freeze, for a healthier fro-yo. Add matcha to ice cream for those who have an insatiable sweet tooth, they won’t know they’re loading themselves with a variety of beneficial antioxidants unless you tell them.
Especially if it’s mint-flavored to disguise the tell-tale color.
You can even add matcha along with a dollop of honey or maple syrup into any spreadable or scoopable cheese, like cream cheese, ricotta cheese or cottage cheese. Just stir and enjoy.
Health Benefits of Matcha
It seems like matcha green tea is trending right now and there is good reason. Although it has been gaining popularity and awareness in recent months, this superfood has been around for centuries.
Remember when regular green tea, the leaf kind you steep in boiling water, was all the rage? Well, that was because of all the amazing health benefits. You really can’t go wrong sipping on a yummy cup of green tea.
Matcha is also made from green tea leaves but the main difference is that it uses the whole leaf. Nothing is wasted, including nutrients.
The younger green tea leaves are bursting with antioxidants, one cup of matcha tea is approximately equivalent to 10 cups of green tea made by steeping leaves.
Antioxidants help protect against free radicals, heart disease, certain cancer, arthritis, aging, cataracts, memory loss, stroke, inflammation, and different types of infections.
Matcha has a unique source of caffeine, it will give you energy and stamina throughout the day but doesn’t give you the jitters and other negative side effects that coffee drinkers sometimes experience.
Matcha is calming and energizing simultaneously. It’s said to aid in meditation because it calms and focuses the mind.
Matcha also invigorates and energizes the body, resulting in endurance and stamina. The boost of energy that matcha gives will help you make it through workouts or any regular activities that require you to be awake and functional.
For those who are trying to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight, matcha is an incredible tool.
Matcha green tea has a variety of nutrients that boosts metabolism, which helps burn more fat in a day than just plain water or even brewed green tea.
Matcha is a great natural detoxifier. The high levels of chlorophyll in matcha green tea helps to rid the body of toxins built up from unhealthy choices in food and drink.
Matcha green tea powder supports a healthy cardiovascular system and promoting a healthier heart. Matcha raises good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol.
Everything You Need to Know Before Consuming Matcha
Whether you are trying to control your weight, improve your health or just because it’s yummy, it is absolutely a terrific idea to add a healthy amount of match green tea powder to any aspect of your diet.
Can I Drink Matcha Every Day?
Absolutely! It is safe to drink up to 5 cups of matcha green tea a day. However, because of the caffeine content and the price point it might be more beneficial to try to stick to about 3 cups a day. This amount should keep you energized and focused all day and provide all the health benefits while not overdoing it.
When Should I Drink Matcha?
You can drink matcha green tea at any point in the day. To reap the benefits to their full potential, have a cup of matcha tea in the morning to give you that boost and get your metabolism off to a good start. Having a cup of matcha green tea before workouts or strenuous activities will aide in endurance and reduce the amount of fatigue you may experience.
Can I Drink Matcha at Night and Before Bed?
You bet! While matcha will energize you throughout your day, it will relax and help to destress your mind. Matcha tea has amino acids that encourage alpha brain waves and quietens beta waves. This shushes that part of your brain that gets tense and runs wild reminding you of what you could have done or said that day, right when you try to relax.
Can I Have Matcha on an Empty Stomach?
Drinking matcha on an empty stomach is actually the best time to consume it. On an empty stomach, your body absorbs the maximum nutrients that matcha has to offer. A few people may experience mild nausea or stomach upset if they’re not used to it.
How Long Does It Take For Matcha to Kick in?
Most people start to feel the effects of matcha green tea within minutes of consuming it. The benefits of matcha can be noticed for as long as 2 to 6 hours.
Can I Have Too Much Matcha?
Unfortunately, in the case of matcha, you can have too much of a good thing. But that is based on the caffeine content that’s in it. It is best to limit yourself to 5 cups of matcha tea per day.
Is There Lead in Matcha?
High quality, organic, properly cared for matcha leaves should not contain lead. Sadly, there is an abundance of matcha that is be grown and harvested on land in China that is contaminated with lead. When the soil is contaminated, so are the crops.
This is why it’s so important that you search out the highest quality matcha imported from Japan, or organically grown locally. Always check to see where your matcha comes from and be sure it doesn’t contain any additives.