Would You Ditch Coffee For This Buzz-Inducing Superfood?

premium_matcha_resized_2Photo: Courtesy of Aiya.
Coffee and I have a long, storied love affair. While my habit peaked at eight cups daily (in college, predictably), I still feel sub-optimal with anything less than four or five in my system over the course of a day. And, honestly, no matter how many health benefits are supposedly associated with a cuppa Joe, I think my withdrawal headaches are as good a sign as any that it's time to make a change.
Enter matcha, a high-grade, finely-ground green tea powder that's slowly coming back onto our collective radar as a healthy alternative source of caffeine. Traditionally, matcha has played a crucial role in tea ceremonies in China and Japan and has been prepared continuously by Zen Buddhist monks for over 1,000 years. It also happens to be packed with vitamins and polyphenols — incredibly useful antioxidant molecules that help to prevent cancer, heart disease, and aging. According to nutritionist Shira Lenchewski, matcha has "7x more antioxidant action than regular green tea — it's great for improving immunity function and reducing inflammation."
Plus, preparing it couldn't be simpler. Just dissolve the powder in water or milk (hot or cold both work, but it dissolves most easily in hot water). The result is a fresh-tasting, herb-y, creamy concoction that's sort of like a thicker, richer, more indulgent form of green tea. My favorite way to get my matcha fix, though, is in smoothies — just add it to the blender like any other powdered supplement.
Could matcha really replace that daily coffee? I didn't expect to get much of a jolt from from the green tea, but I've actually been blown away at the calm alertness I feel after my morning matcha. And, at 70mg of caffeine per cup (versus coffee's 100mg) Lenchewski says, "Matcha gives you a real energy kick, but without the jitters." We'll drink to that.
Advertisement

More from Diet & Nutrition

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.