June 4, 2019

Matcha changed my entire life. Bold statement, I know! Let me explain…

Coffee used to be my lifeline. I never went a day without having it, and felt like I couldn’t have a normal day without my rush of coffee. My go to order was a double shot espresso on ice with a splash (or not) of almond milk.  I lived for that rush of caffeine and how it made me feel (for less than an hour) but it was an illusion. Because I always seemed to feel exhausted, my relationship with coffee was an endless cycle.  If you are a coffee addict like I was you know what I mean!

Now, before I continue, let me just say that I do not think there is anything wrong with drinking coffee! In fact, I still love the taste, smell and peaceful routine in creating a delicious cup of fresh coffee.  But, for me, something had to change.

I finally decided to cut back on coffee when I realized that the anxiety and exhaustion I was experiencing daily was directly related to my caffeine levels. For a while, I was in denial that my sweet coffee addiction could be causing anything negative! When I admitted to myself that a coffee addiction might be a problem… I decided to be brave and to take a week off of coffee and replace it with matcha.

My friend had been on a matcha kick a little before me and raved about her experience with it! So, although I was skeptical to give it a try, (I could have sworn I was going to be a #butfirstcoffee kinda girl) I was willing!  I tried replacing matcha consistently and here’s what I noticed, a deeper sense of mental clarity, stable energy, a happier mindset and anxiety? Gone.

What is matcha?

Well, essentially it is green tea. However, the way that it is grown, harvested and processed is different than other teas.  True matcha comes from Japan and is grown in near-darkness by the time harvest rolls around, which is in May. Because of the little light that the tea leaves are exposed to, they start to create both chlorophyll and amino acids.  Matcha is naturally sweet and should not taste bitter. The youngest part of the matcha plant is picked for harvesting… the two top leaves (the baby leaves) on the plant. From there, the leaves are steamed to hold in the bright color and nutrients. The leaves are then are then dried, carefully ground, vacuum sealed and refrigerated.

TIP: always store your matcha in the refrigerator for longer freshness.

Reasons to feel so cha-cha about matcha:

1. Increase in energy throughout the day- minus the crash

While coffee gives you that sudden caffeine “high” because of its quick absorption into your bloodstream, matcha has a slow release! Matcha provides a slow release into the body, which creates a more substantial energy that lasts throughout the day.

2. Boost in mood/ happiness

Matcha will literally make you happier! Energy and happiness? I’m in! Matcha contains a high level of an amino acid called L-theanine. L-theanine is significant in cognitive performance, mental focus and stress reduction. I have personally felt that matcha makes me feel so much better and clear headed… like my best self, which naturally puts me into a better and more positive mood.

3. I look forward to the process of making matcha every morning.

The process of making matcha is very ceremonial. It is calming and allows me to slow down and focus just on that each morning. Between scooping the matcha powder, to pouring the hot water, to whisking the powder and water… I feel that it sparks my creativity and prepares my mind for the day.

4. Feel healthier overall- healthier choice than coffee

Matcha is full of so many health benefits! Think of it like concentrated green tea. One glass of matcha is actually equal to 10 glasses of green tea when it comes to nutritional and antioxidant value. It slows the metabolism, is a natural body detoxifier and is also believed to prevent certain cancers.  

My go-to matcha order is an Iced Matcha Latte with oat milk (if they have it!) or almond milk PS. I prefer my matcha lattes unsweetened. Sometimes I experience headaches if my matcha is too sweet.  If I am looking for a more refreshing matcha drink that will also be hydrating, I absolutely love iced matcha with coconut water!

When I’m at home, I also love a good matcha latte (if you’re making hot, an electric frother is a MUST!) The best part about making it at home is controlling the caffeine level or including additional beauty + wellness boosting add ins like collagen powder, coconut butter, or adaptogens!  I suggest getting a high grade, ceremonial matcha to try! Make sure your matcha is vibrant emerald green (it should not be brownish) and organic!

Below are a few ways to get creative with your matcha!

How to incorporate Matcha into your diet:

  • Matcha lattes (Iced with Oatly oat milk is my fav!)
  • Matcha with Coconut Water on ice (Harmless Harvest is the best)
  • Matcha with watermelon juice (so refreshing and to die for!)
  • Matcha chia pudding (top with banana and sliced almonds!)
  • Dark Chocolate Matcha cake (made Candice Kumai’s recipe for my bday and it was a hit)
  • Matcha on oatmeal with honey
  • Matcha banana muffins
  • Matcha coconut power balls by Alison Wu

My current favorite matcha spots:

  • Tea Master Matcha Cafe (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Holy Matcha (San Diego, CA)
  • Morning Lavender (Orange County, CA)
  • Alfred Coffee (Los Angeles, CA)
  • MatchaBar (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Cha Cha Matcha (New York, NY)

While I still enjoy coffee occasionally, I do not rely on it to get me through the day. I LOVE the taste of coffee and will still enjoy an occasional latte here and there, or decaf espresso. However, what drives my decision to drink a matcha instead of a coffee is how I know I will FEEL after. When I compare my state of mind, energy level, mood, and focus- it is a no brainer. Matcha takes the cake.

Check out our favorite way to make a Matcha Latte here!

Coffee lovers? We challenge YOU to replace your cup of joe with a creamy matcha latte for a week and see how you feel! If you try this out, let us know how you like it!

Stay tuned for more about matcha! Are you a matcha lover? Let us know what your favorite spot to get a matcha is!