By matcha, I mean the antioxidant-packed powdery green stuff that you probably keep seeing photos of on my feed and in advertisements everywhere being made into a tea and all kinds of concoctions.
My preferred method of imbibing this stuff is to make a tasty Vegan Macadamia Milk Latte, which we’ll get to.
Due to the shroud of hipsters and Instagram fitness “models” drinking matcha, I was initially hesitant to try it and assumed it was a fad like many other things we’re confronted with on a daily basis. Since trying it, however, I haven’t stopped drinking it on a pretty regular basis.
Matcha tea has been around for centuries in China and Japan, and is made from the same plant that regular green tea is, except the last few weeks of its growth cycle are treated differently, which makes it develop a higher concentration of antioxidants and a darker color from more chlorophyll. Not only is matcha beautiful in color, it packs 10 times the amount of antioxidants and polyphenols than regular green tea. You can ponder what that means after drinking this latte while in the relaxed state of focus it puts you in, thanks to lots of L-theanine lurking in it’s frothy goodness.
There are so many coffee shops (including large chains like Starbucks), bakeries, and stores carrying and selling what they claim to be “matcha” for a hefty price, but not all of them are genuine in their quest for the best stuff.
The price point of making matcha at home is much more reasonable, and it gives you the opportunity to know what kind you’re taking in.
True matcha tea is in a powder form, and it’s meant to be dissolved and drank in its entirety. Bags on grocery store shelves that boast “matcha” on the label contain trace amounts of actual matcha at best and the rest of their contents are low-grade green tea. Imagine cooking vegetables for dinner in a pot of water, removing the vegetables, and then drinking the water without any of the vegetables. Clearly, the amount of nutrients you get from the vegetables at that point is minimal.
If you do any research into matcha, you’ll notice that there are two major “grades” of matcha tea available on the market; culinary and ceremonial.
Culinary grade is harvested later than ceremonial grade, and best suited for what the name implies: to use as an ingredient in recipes and smoothies. It’s still full of nutrients but has way less caffeine, Theanine, and tastiness. This grade is unfortunately what most coffee shops (including Starbucks) use due to the price point difference and lack of education. You can use it for this Vegan Macadamia Milk Matcha Latte if that’s what you have, but I promise that if you try a higher grade you won’t regret it.
Ceremonial grade matcha has the most delicate, delicious taste. For those of you who have yet to try it, know that all matcha does taste a little…” earthy” (not the kind of earthy that wears homemade pants and doesn’t wear deodorant, the good kind of earthy that makes you feel like sun is shining on you in a garden) at first. My favorite brand lately has been this one (update from 2022: this is still my go-to brand for its quality and price point), but if you’re inclined to try another ceremonial grade matcha or already do, I’d love to hear about it.
Vegan Macadamia Milk Matcha Latte
This latte is my go-to matcha libation on a busy day. It’s not a labor intensive recipe with a billion steps. Matcha tea is delicious when made in a traditional way, with a bowl and whisk. A video on how to achieve that can be found on this link.
-1-2 tsp. of ceremonial grade matcha powder (I like Encha)
-1 tbsp. maple syrup or agave (you could also use honey if it’s something you use) if your milk is unsweetened
-1/4 cup hot water
-1 cup warm macadamia nut milk (modify this recipe of mine with macadamias or use this brand). If you use another nut milk, go for coconut. I personally don’t think that almond and cashew milk jives as well with the flavor of matcha. Oat milk works beautifully here, as does Soy.
-1/2-1 tbsp. cacao butter
Optional add-in: maca powder, cinnamon, cardamom
1. Boil water with whatever method you choose (stovetop, microwave, saucepan, etc.), let it sit for a minute or two before making the latte to avoid bitterness.
2. In a blender or blender cup (I use a Ninja), add water, matcha powder, cacao butter ( I use Navitas Organics) , sweetener, and warm macadamia milk (Milkadamia has been my jam lately, and they just started selling it at Wal-Mart. Way to make moves, wally-world.)
3. Blend until frothy and well combined. Pour it into your favorite mug. Yes, it’s that simple.
Hopefully, this blog has helped to answer some of the questions you may have had about it, and inspired you to try a Vegan Macadamia Milk Matcha Latte for yourself!
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