Wellness: Matcha 101

At Visual Therapy, we’re all about Mind, Body, and Soul. As we work with clients to line up their optimal wardrobes and help them to be the best version of themselves, we’re huge believers that it’s not the dress, but what’s in the dress that matters. And even though clothes can help you feel like a movie star, there’s something that needs to be taken care of first on a deeper level. Welcome to “Wellness Wednesday”: our weekly feature to bring you tips for a healthy, whole and fulfilled life.

Matcha latte nutrition stripped

Photo courtesy of nutritionstripped.com

Move over, avocado toast: matcha is the new health craze that’s taking over juice shops and coffee spots and, naturally, Instagram.

So what is matcha, how is it good for you, how is it different from green tea powder, and what is the best way to consume it? We’ve got you covered.

Matcha at The Matcha Bar | Photo by @breakfastcriminals

The Matcha Bar | Photo by @breakfastcriminals

WHAT IS MATCHA:

Matcha is essentially processed green tea leaves that have been stone-ground into a powder (typically in Japan, where it’s used in the legendary tea ceremonies). It’s different from green tea because you ingest the whole powdered green tea leaf, not just the brewed water. Matcha does have caffeine, but it’s only 5-10% of the caffeine in coffee.

FLAVOR:

Smooth, earthy, green tea-like.

BENEFITS:

Grown in the shade, matcha green tea retains a beautiful color along with an incredible amount of nutrients, including antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, and chlorophyll. It is said that matcha can calm your mind, boost energy and metabolism, detoxify, and help prevent heart disease.

HOW TO DRINK:

Hot Matcha Latte: Bring 1 cup unsweetened milk of your choice (almond, cashew, coconut or hemp milk are perfect) to a bare simmer in a small pot over medium-high heat. Optional: melt one teaspoon coconut butter in the milk. Turn the heat off.

Add one teaspoon matcha to a mug and slowly whisk in 2 teaspoons of the hot milk (use regular whisk or a special bamboo matcha whisk) to form a paste. Add the rest of the warmed up milk, tipping cup slightly to help create more foam. Sweeten with maple syrup, honey or coconut sugar to taste.

Matcha latte nutrition stripped

Cold Matcha Latte: Blend 1 teaspoon matcha, 1 cup milk of choice and 1 teaspoon sweetener of your choice in a high speed blender, serve over ice.

Smoothie: Add a teaspoon of matcha to your go-to green smoothie. Find green smoothie recipes here.

HOW TO EAT:

Update your usual recipes with matcha, especially breakfast bowls! Check out these recipes for matcha chia pudding, matcha oats and raw matcha cheesecake slices, if you want to get fancy.

WHERE TO BUY:

Buy Matcha Powder: Japanese markets, PanaTea Matcha, Do Matcha, Teavana.

Buy Matcha Lattes: Our favorite spots to get matcha in New York are Juice Press for cold matcha and Egg Shop, The Matcha Bar (Brooklyn) and Chalait for both hot and cold matcha latte. Stay away from the Starbucks green tea latte, it has whopping 40 grams of sugar per serving (twice the daily recommendation).