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16 February 2015

A Matcha Made In Heaven – the magical green stuff we just can’t keep our hands off!

Before we talk about the many magical qualities of matcha, first we’ve got to address a few issues; what even is it, and where did it come from?

Here’s the answer:

Matcha has been a fundamental component in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies for around 1000 years. It is a Japanese premium green tea which is panfired, steamed or baked to prevent oxidization. The leaves are then rolled and dried to form traditional green tea. This tea is then ground into powder. Matcha leaves are freshly picked by hand, so the production process takes a very long time. Although matcha is traditionally drunk as a tea, more and more we see it being incorporated into other drinks, smoothies and recipes.

So why is matcha so great?

Matcha green tea is roughly 10-15 times stronger than traditional green tea (one glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 cups of regular green tea). This is because rather than simply letting the leaves brew and removing them from the cup, the whole leaf is ground and ingested.

Matcha that we sell:

Green: Green jasmine tea matcha is probably the most well known/popular form of matcha, commonly drunk as tea or used in smoothies and recipes.

White Matcha: Less common than green matcha, white matcha is made from luxury green tea and holds equal health properties. Again this can be drunk as a tea in its own right but it tastes particularly good with maple syrup and soy milk in a smoothie or latte.

Rooibos Matcha: This matcha comes from rooibos tea, a common tea grown in South Africa which is naturally caffeine-free, red in colour, and vey rich in flavour. Rooibos matcha is much rarer than the other two and is commonly used in recipes.

Major health benefits of matcha: (The real reason we are all buying the stuff!)

– boosts energy

– improves concentration and mental awareness

– reduces stress

– helps burn fat/calories

– speeds up metabolic rate

– acts as a superb antioxidant (detoxing and great for skin)

– lowers blood pressure

– helps PMS symptoms

– boosts immune system

– detoxifies blood

– some say it has cancer-fighting antioxidants (due to EGCg)

– rich in fibre

– lowers insulin levels

– mediates cholesterol

Matcha Recipes you may like to try:

(We’ve gathered together our top 5 fave recipes including matcha for you all to try – trust us, they’re great!)

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White or Green Matcha Coconut Latte

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon white matcha powder

1/4 cup of boiling water

1/4 cup of coconut milk (warm)

sweetener (optional)

Method:

– Spoon the matcha into a mug and add water and coconut milk.

– Whisk well until frothy.

– Taste and adjust accordingly – you could add more water/milk or a sweetener like honey.

Green Matcha Vanilla Smoothie

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas

1 cup almond milk

1 tablespoon green matcha

vanilla bean (scrape from pod)

handful of ice

1 tablespoon of honey (or any other natural sweetener eg. agave)

Method:

Blend all ingredients together and taste and adjust to your liking.

Matcha Green Tea Muffins

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Ingredients:

2/3 cup soy milk

1 tablespoon ground flax

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/4 cup coconut oil

½ cup maple syrup

1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons matcha

handful of blueberries/chocolate chips

Method:

Combine milk, flax, lemon juice and vanilla in a bowl and whisk. Set aside and allow to thicken for 5-10 mins.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and matcha.

Melt syrup and oil in a large mixing bowl, then pour in milk mixture and stir.

Slowly fold in the dry ingredients (flour etc) and finally add blueberries.

Spoon the batter into cupcake holders and bake for 20 mins.

Rooisbus Matcha Sweet Potato Brownies

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon rooisbus matcha

100g butter

200g raw chocolate

200g baked sweet potato

2 eggs

50g ground almonds

100g chopped walnuts

125g sugar

150g gluten free plain flour

Method:

Grease or line a baking tray and preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Melt butter in a pan, break up 100g of chocolate, add and stir until melted.

In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and soft baked sweet potato

Add the butter chocolate and whisk

Then add the eggs

Sift in the flour and matcha and keep stirring

Add ground almonds and finally fold in the walnuts and the remaining chocolate.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 20-25 mins.

Let it cool and eat away!

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Matcha Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 cup almond milk

1 tablespoon rolled oats

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

½ teaspoon matcha

Method:

Put one tablespoon of the chia seeds into blender with milk, oats, lemon juice, syrup, vanilla and matcha

Pour mixture into pudding bowl and stir in other tablespoon of chia seeds

Place in fridge covered in cling film for 3 hours

To serve, top with a dusting of matcha and a drizzle of syrup

Happy matcha making!

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