Lately, I’ve been switching out one of my cups of morning coffee for an antioxidant rich matcha latte. To be honest, it was a hard sell to get me to skip the coffee in favor of matcha but the deliciousness of the flavor and the special ritual that crafting a matcha latte creates got me totally hooked. Plus, I love that bright green color—something about it feels so earthy and natural, like I’m doing something so good for my body.
And I am! Matcha is a huge source of antioxidants (more than goji berries, broccoli and blueberries combined!), helps boost metabolism and packed full of vitamins and minerals. Bonus: It’s a great source of caffeine and energy.
A long standing tradition of Japanese culture, matcha green tea is some of the highest quality powdered green tea available. It’s made from the nutrient-rich young leaves picked from the tips of shade-grown camellia sinensis plants, where it’s then steamed, stemmed,and de-vined before being stone-ground into very fine powder. To preserve it’s brilliant green color and antioxidant properties, the tea powder is then stored away from light and oxygen. This miracle elixir has been consumed for over a millennium in the Far East, and is now considered to be one of the most powerful super foods on the market today.
I love the organic variety from Rishi Tea, a Milwaukee-based tea company with a really lovely mission. It was founded in 1997 by Joshua Kaiser, who found a way to combine his passions for travel, world cultures, global culinary traditions and herbology into a business. Following a series of post-college travels, he landed back in the United States and was stumped by the lack of sources for quality teas. A growing interest among Americans in the origin-driven nuances of coffee and wine led Joshua to believe that the time was ripe to introduce true teas to the American market.
So why is sourcing so important for tea? Just like choosing organic apples over conventionally grown ones, choosing organic tea allows for the product to be of an incredible quality, and for the supply chain to be followed to ensure fewer chemicals end up in the final product. Rishi facilitates direct trade with farmers across the globe to produce high quality tea bags and matcha tea powders like the one I’ve been sipping every day.
Rishi’s matcha is more than just a boost of caffeine: It can actually help fight illnesses like cancer. Green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins. Among antioxidants, catechins are the most potent and beneficial. One specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) makes up 60% of the catechins in matcha green tea. Out of all the antioxidants, EGCg is the most widely recognized for its cancer fighting properties. Scientists have found that matcha green tea contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market. If that’s not a reason to add it to your routine, I don’t know what is!
Here’s my favorite, easy, daily recipe for a matcha green tea latte.
Grab your favorite mug (I got a beautiful matcha bowl from Rishi too), and using your small sifter, sift 1 teaspoon of matcha powder into your mug. Pour 2 ounces of hot water (not quite boiling) over the powder. Take your bamboo whisk, and mix the matcha powder vigorously into the water for 15 seconds, moving your whisk in a “w” shape repeatedly. Add in 2 ounces of almond milk (or your choice of non-dairy milk) and whisk again (or you can pre-foam and steam your milk—your choice!). Mix in ½ tsp of cardamom and ½ teaspoon of vanilla for sweetening. It’s as easy as that!