...and I really enjoyed it. If you haven't come across matcha before, it's a powdered tea made from ground organic green tea leaves and until quite recently it was only available in Japan. Unlike other teas which are infused in hot water, with matcha you drink the whole leaf meaning that you get an extra boost of the healthy properties associated with green tea. Matcha is reported to have 70 times the level of antioxidants of orange juice (good for me as I don't like oranges) and gives you a longer energy boost than regular caffeinated drinks, lasting from 4-6 hours. It is also claimed that drinking matcha can aid weight loss as it gives the metabolism a boost. So with all this in mind I set off on my matcha challenge to drink it every day for 2 weeks to see if I noticed any benefits.
First of all I'm sure you all want to know what it tastes like, essentially it tastes like a very green version of green tea, you can certainly tell that you're drinking a powdered leaf but it's not an unpleasant taste, though it is a little bitter if you make it too strong. I quite liked it but I am a green tea drinker anyway especially first thing in the morning, I can't function without a big mug of green tea with my breakfast. I was sent a matcha starter kit from teapigs which included a shot glass, a small spoon (equivalent to 1/2 tsp) a tin of matcha and an electric hand held whisk. The team at teapigs are fans of the matcha shot as a quick energy boost. I couldn't manage this first thing in the morning as I prefer a longer drink to wake me up so I added my daily spoonful of matcha to a mug of hot water and gave it whizz with the whisk. I did try having a matcha shot for a quick afternoon boost a few times at the weekends when I didn't have matcha in the morning and it did work but I still prefer taking the time to drink a mug of tea instead.
For the past few weeks I've been working as a temp doing standard office hours which involves a commute and I am not a morning person at all. The many years spent as a student being able to dictate my working hours hasn't helped this. I did find that by swapping my normal tea for matcha that I was able to cope with the early starts and I was far less grumpy. I still felt the need for coffee by the time I got to work but I drank less coffee during the day than I did before I started drinking matcha. This was definitely a bonus for me as I find that drinking more than 2 coffees a day can make me feel a bit squiffy.
I found that unlike drinking a strong coffee for a caffeine boost which can leave me feeling a bit buzzy and spaced out, the matcha seemed to have gentler effect and I felt more naturally alert and able to concentrate better. I have also lost a few pounds recently but I can't say whether that is just due to the matcha as I have also been more active recently. Normally I would work at home on my thesis for 3-5 days a week (the other days in uni) with unlimited access to the biscuit tin. However as I've been going to work instead for the past few weeks I've been moving more and doing less mindless scoffing.
Overall I would say that I have felt like I have had a little bit more energy whilst drinking matcha which has been essential during the recent busy period I've had. Fortunately things are calming down a bit more now and I will no longer need to do the commute. My only criticism of the matcha is that they didn't send me a big enough pot. I've been converted and now I want to drink it more often as I like the taste and I have seen that you can bake with it though I didn't get chance to try that.
If you would like to try matcha for yourself or anything else from teapigs, they have very kindly offered a 10% discount code for all Blue Kitchen Bakes readers valid until the end of June. Just enter blue at the checkout (excludes cheeky, bulk buys, pick & mix and matcha kits).
Thanks to teapigs for sending me a matcha kit. All views and opinions are my own.