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Favourites: Claire – Matcha

Favourites: Claire – Matcha green tea

I know how this sounds. But, I really love matcha. I mean, sure, it’s a similar shade of green to all those veggies that you grow up being pretty suspicious of. And some people don’t really get the taste. But here’s two reasons to love it: it’s really good for you, and, it’s about more than just tea. Don’t follow? Let me explain.

Matcha actually translates as “powdered tea”, the highly concentrated green tea kind. Stoneground. Most green tea leaves are steeped in water and then the leaves are discarded. With matcha, you’re actually drinking the whole powdered leaf. It’s strong, so you only need 1/2 teaspoon per serving. Unlike traditional green tea, matcha preparation involves covering the tea plants with shading cloths before they are harvested. This triggers the growth of leaves with better flavor and texture, which are hand selected, steamed briefly to stop fermentation, then dried and aged in cold storage, which deepens the flavor.

Health benefits

It also has health benefits. As the whole leaves are ingested it’s a more potent source of nutrients than your regular green tea. It provides not only vitamins and minerals, but is also a rich source of antioxidants called polyphenols. These have been linked to protection against heart disease and cancer, as well as better blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-aging effects. Another polyphenol in matcha called EGCG has been shown to boost metabolism, and slow or halt the growth of cancer cells.

The Japanese tea ceremony, also called the Way of Tea, is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha. It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving matcha together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance the bitter taste of the tea. Preparing tea in this ceremony means pouring all one’s attention into the predefined movements. The whole process is not about drinking tea, but about aesthetics and preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart. The host of the ceremony always considers the guests with every movement and gesture.

You can also use matcha in all sorts of ways, and I’m going to be trying this wintery recipe in the next couple of days. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Coconut Matcha Lattematcha-1

Chuck a big handful of coconut flakes in enough water to cover.

Soak overnight, or at least 20 minutes until soft.

Blast in blender with 500 ml more water and strain.

Blend with a tbs lecithin & a tsp of coconut oil for creaminess.

Add ½ tsp of matcha into mug full of blend, ¼ tsp cardamon powder, tiny pinch of salt and some coconut sugar to taste.

Heat gently on stove.

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