MY FIRST MATCHA EXPERIENCE
I remember the first time I tried matcha. It was a few years ago at a tea shop early one morning as I waited to prepare for a meeting. I was overwhelmed by the variety of tea on the walls so I asked the clerk if there was anything he recommended. He said: “Have you tried matcha? It’s like the espresso of green tea.”
I had certainly heard of it because of its nutritional prowess, but had never tried it before. Intrigued by his espresso comparison, I told him I’d go for it.
I watched him sift a bright green powder into a small bowl, add hot water and begin whisking away with a bamboo whisk until frothy.
He poured it into a tiny glass, about the size of an espresso cup, and handed it over.
The flavour was intense, but much fresher and grassier than the green tea I was used to. I then asked for a matcha latte, since I was going to be in the shop for a little while and had already thrown back my tiny little matcha shot. It was a hot day, so he recommended his iced coconut matcha latte, and it was love at first sip. I was sold.
I left with a matcha set and the rest was history.
Matcha, or green tea powder, is made by milling high-quality green tea leaves and is prepared by whisking the powder into warm water. Since drinking matcha means that you’re ingesting the the entire leaf, you reap matcha more benefits than you would from traditionally brewed tea (which remains a very healthy option nonetheless). In fact, the ground tea leaf provides over 100 times the cell-protecting power of brewed tea.The main attraction in this beverage is the compound EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate), a cancer-fighting polyphenol that protects cells against damage and UV-induced photoaging.
If you’re new to matcha, smoothies are another great place to start. But today I’m sharing with you an iced latte recipe inspired by the one that started it all.
ICED COCONUT MATCHA LATTE
- 1/4 cup water, hot
- 1 teaspoon matcha powder, sifted
- 3/4 cup coconut milk, warmed
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 ice cubes
- Cinnamon (optional)
- Add the matcha powder and hot water to a blender and blend.
- Add the warmed coconut milk, coconut oil, honey and blend until frothy.
- Pour into glass over ice cubes, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy.