I've never been a "coffee person." Despite always loving the smell of coffee, and sneaking Coffee Crisp chocolate bars from my grandfather’s candy drawer, when I was finally old enough to try coffee for the first time, I absolutely hated it. I couldn’t understand the point of drinking it. All I heard were the complaints of tummy problems, being wired for sound and always wanting more. I made it through high school, university and my 20s and 30s, including the birth of two children without caffeine except for the odd cup of black tea. Looking back now, I can’t even imagine. It wasn't until my husband and I were given matcha as a housewarming gift, that I would entertain the idea of being caffeinated.
The first time I was introduced to matcha I became an instant fan. I decided to take my newfound devotion a step further. I’m the type of person who upon finding something new must research the hell out of it. I had to figure out the best way to consume this green goddess nectar. I felt great. I felt alert and grounded. I drank matcha every day for the next week to see if the first drink was just a fluke. Can the energizing benefits be significant enough to add to my morning routine for the long haul?
Finding a good quality matcha was top priority. I spent the next month researching companies and small farms in Japan to find the best matcha. I succeeded and Hachi Matcha was born. I decided to experiment with traditional matchas and also start making my own matcha lattes at home to see if it would improve upon my productivity. I decided to challenge myself to drink matcha everyday for a week to see how I felt. Here's how it went.
DRINKING MATCHA EVERY DAY: PERFECTING THE RECIPE
The most important part in adding matcha to my daily routine involved perfecting my latte recipe. I like my drink to last longer and to fill my belly while I wait for ‘elevenses’ (11am post breakfast snack) I like my matcha as pure as it can be. No sweeteners for this gal. I chose Organic Silk Soy as my favourite milk alternative.
The recipe that I settled on was sifting one teaspoon of matcha powder into my bowl, adding ¼ cup hot water whisking then adding 1 cup of steamed soy milk. I don’t like sweet drinks and it was seemed counterproductive to add anything more to the glorious mixture.
The first day, I couldn't believe how much energy and focus I had. I felt great. I'm a big breakfast person, so in addition to my hearty bowl of cereal and yoghurt, I had a double shot of matcha in my traditional matcha because I wasn't sure how much energy the tea would yield. I had a one year old baby and a 7 year old at the time. I thought that I was plodding through life quite nicely. I had no idea that I was missing out.
I also made a matcha latte in the afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I didn't have the caffeine crash many coffee drinkers do in the middle of the day. I learned that matcha energy is entirely different from coffee or other teas. Throughout my research, I found that the amino acid, L-theanine combined with caffeine gives you a feeling of wakeful calmness. Matcha is created by grinding fresh tea leaves into a fine powder. When you drink matcha you are essentially consuming the entire tea leaf in powder form.
The caffeine in matcha is released over an extended period as you digest the full leaf. The caffeine you are ingesting is still in plant form, so your body breaks it down and makes use of the caffeine much more efficiently. The effect is an extended caffeine release, more mileage with the same fuel. The extended energy has to do with matcha's high antioxidant and L-theanine content.
Toward the end of the week, I started realizing that unlike my Earl Grey black tea which I had to stop drinking by noon, I could have matcha later in the afternoon without ill effects. I know for many matcha drinkers, limiting their matcha intake to mornings only is what must be done. Not this gal, I manage to fall asleep quickly at the end of my day.
Drinking Matcha Every Day: The Takeaways
I was already a fan of black tea before trying matcha. I didn’t like green teas prior to matcha because they always tasted so bitter to me. I realize now, that green tea is very temperature sensitive. Before matcha, my only source of caffeine was black tea, which I usually only had if someone made it for me. Why does tea always taste better when someone makes it for you? But for me, making a matcha every morning was so much more than just getting that boost of energy.
As someone who has trouble settling into a daily routine - setting up my matcha station every morning became a therapeutic moment that I looked forward to every day. I loved having the opportunity to be mindful and to just focus on making something that made me feel good.
I always tell people, try matcha and pay attention to how you feel over the next few hours. See if you notice a difference. Matcha is celebrated for its clean focused energy.
Obviously, the story ends with me being hooked on this psychedelic green powder and being crazy enough to open a business being devoted to this stuff. As my husband and family can attest to, I am not a morning person. Consuming matcha every day has made my mornings something to look forward to, which I can honestly say was never the case before now.
Take your moment.