If you're not familiar with matcha, it may sound like a reductive form of tea, a powder? It's not the instant coffee version of tea. It's quite the opposite actually. Matcha is one of the highest forms of tea enjoyed for centuries in Japan. The powder is actually ground tea leaves. A full bodied experience, that offers so many benefits you'd hardly believe it.
The antioxidants aren't the only benefits matcha tea provides. It offers sustained energy levels throughout the day, providing a caffeine arch rather than a spike (which coffee does). This is great for the business person, student, anyone on the go. Not only that, but it also has a positive affect on clarity and calmness (monks have used it to achieve higher levels of meditation for centuries). Matcha also acts as a metabolism stimulant. It's green tea after all, and you're ingesting full leaves, in powdered form. There have also been studies linking matcha to greater memory recall! (Source: http://bebrainfit.com/matcha-green-tea-benefits/)
While all this is great and dandy, it's also extremely versatile. You don't have to just drink it.
First, you can use it for a face mask. This is the easiest to delve into first, because you literally mix some of the powder with water, coconut oil (for moisturizing) and that's it. Nothing to it. The consistency will slightly remind you of goose droppings. That's how you know you've done it right. I'm sorry, that's the best visual I could give, but it's what I've got.
I personally have done this many times, and can tell you it is extremely refreshing. However, watch the hair line, because you will struggle to get that out, and you might be questioned about what you're doing outside of work. That or mistaken for Shrek. But the rest of your face will be GLOWING!
When making the mask, you can either make it in a small dish, or your hand. Depends on how quick you want to be or how much of each ingredient you need. Only make how much you're going to use, as this won't keep in a container outside of the powdered form.
One way to help liquefy the coconut oil while you're washing your face to prep for this glorious mask, is to place the dish you concocted the mask in a shallow bowl of warm water. This will warm the mask (liquefying the coconut oil) to help with mixing and will open pores when rubbed on.
I typically let it set and dry on my face for about half an hour and rinsing with warm water, moisturizing immediately after.
Now, to other things you can do with matcha that don't involve goose poop references, selfies, or ogres.
Green Tea Lattes are one of my favorite orders at cafes. It's matcha powder mixed with vanilla almond milk (or soy!) and that's it. Delicious. Filling. And not terrible for you, plus the antioxidants make up for it, don't they?
Green tea baking. Any recipe can be enhanced with matcha powder, and you'll have green tea cookies, green tea ice cream, green tea frappes, green tea bread, you name it.
Now, to enjoy matcha the traditional way, you'll need a few things.
Firstly, your matcha tea. Second, some measuring spoon, a ceramic mixing bowl, and a bamboo whisk. This is how matcha has been prepared for centuries, and you might as well not fix what's not broke.
Start by boiling your water. Once that's boiling, poor the boiling water into the EMPTY mixing bowl. Swirl it around a bit. Empty the bowl back out, this is to warm the bowl, and dry it with a clean towel.
Add your matcha powder to the warm, dry bowl, followed by a gentle pouring of the hot water. Grab the bamboo whisk, and whip it til frothy. Now, enjoy slowly and reap the benefits of this tea.
Have you ever had matcha tea before? Or green tea baked goods? Let us know in the comments below! :D