Self experiment: Matcha vs. coffee
For a couple of years now, I’ve suspected that coffee is not my best friend. I noticed that it often made my stomach hurt, aggravated my gallbladder, made me feel jittery, and quite often made me feel anxious when I wasn’t actually anxious. So, finally after literal years of contemplating trying a new beverage in my morning routine, I decided that January would be my no coffee month. Enter matcha.
If I’d suspected that coffee was the culprit for all the issues above, why did it take so long for me to enter this self experiment? It’s a hard one to answer because a matcha latte isn’t hard to make (recipe below). I also enjoy the taste as much as I do coffee. I think we have to chalk this one up to habit. Coffee was part of my habitual morning routine and I love routine.
No longer, however. I have pretty successfully switched over to my matcha latte as my morning beverage. I’ve even taught my husband how to make it. So why did I choose matcha over say another type of tea? Matcha has many health benefits.
Because it is a powdered tea, you consume the entire tea leaf (as opposed to just steeping it). You get an extra dose of catechins, a powerful antioxidant. It is estimated that you get 10x the catechins in matcha as you do in one cup of brewed green tea.
With matcha, you also get a slower rise and fall from the caffeine due to the natural presence of l-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid that has been clinically shown to calm anxiety. Put those two together and matcha gives you what is referred to as an “alert calm.”
Matcha has many more health benefits, but the two above are why I choose it.
Since January 1st, I’ve had a few cups of coffee. Mostly because I thought I missed it or because I wanted to see how I felt now that I’ve been away from it. Each time, I noticed my stomach hurt almost immediately, I could feel my gallbladder later in the day (not something you normally do), and my jitteriness would come back full force. I’d say I’m pretty well converted at this point.
Of course, I had to find a recipe for a matcha latte that I enjoyed drinking every morning. Here is what I came up with (the links are the brands I am currently using):
Cacao Matcha Latte
Spoon together in the bottom of a mug:
1 tsp matcha powder
1 tsp cacao powder
1 scoop collagen powder
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Cover this mix with hot, but not boiling water (I use as little as possible since I prefer a more milky tasting latte). Combine and aerate using a bamboo whisk (or use whatever whisk you have...I love the ritual of using the bamboo version). Finally, I fill the rest of the mug up with unsweetened vanilla almond milk that has been frothed in my Bodum milk frother (my newest favorite kitchen gadget). *for the record, not all almond milks seem to froth well, but Almond Breeze does, so we stick with that one.
You can also make this by blending the ingredients in your high-speed blender. That will serve to dissolve any clumps from the cacao and the matcha and will add a little frothiness.