What The Fuck Is Matcha
Ah, Matcha (yes, that weird green drink on instagram).
Pronunciation: Mat – shaaaaahhhhhhh
Translation: powdered tea
Now, before we jump into the whole “do the benefits outweigh the dangers” part of this article, if you’re still wondering what Matcha actually is, here’s a quick summary.
People buy tea, infuse the leaves in warm water, then throw away the rest. Matcha, however, is making said leaves into powder and drinking everything you just paid for.
This means you’re not necessarily getting more nutrients than you would with normal tea, it’s just that you’re drinking those nutrients instead of throwing them in the trash.
How do you drink it?
When it comes to Matcha you can actually add the powder to pretty much anything.
The most common (read: least annoying) way is to just make a solid cup of tea with it.
Obviously that won’t get you many hashtags anymore, but at least you won’t feel forced to spend thirty minutes taking photos of your Matcha vegan gluten free cupcakes until they’re too cold to eat.
Benefits of Matcha
This obviously has it’s benefits, one of them being that Matcha has 10x the amount of antioxidants as green tea.
You heard me.
You also get more fiber, chlorophyll, vitamins (especially vitamin C), selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium.
And some of the benefits include: enhancing mood, concentration and focus, strengthening the immune system, preventing diseases and infections, lowering cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar, rich in antioxidants (specifically polyphenols) which means it curbs heart disease, fighting cancer, promoting blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, anti-aging properties, etc. etc.
The list goes on, but I hope you get my point here.
It’s said to counteract the effects of pollution, UV rays, radiation and other chemicals, as well as having cancer fighting properties.
Con’s of drinking Matcha
Potential lead poisoning (I wish I was joking)
According to Consumer Lab, even organically grown green teas have been shown to contain lead. As we discussed in the beginning of this article, Matcha is made by ingesting the entire leaf.
So when you steep organic tea, 90% of the lead stays in the leaf, just like the nutrients.
With Matcha, however, not only are you getting all of the nutrients, but you’re also drinking all of the lead.
Whatever it contains, you’re ingesting every last bit of it.
Luckily, you don’t really need that much Matcha to get the benefits that you’re looking for, as it’s more nutrient dense than most other stuff, so we can all afford to ingest some lead.
They say not to drink more than one cup a day as an adult, and definitely don’t serve it to kids. Other than that it is totally safe.
Just don’t go downing six Venti Matcha’s on your way to the office.
Sugar content and shit quality Matcha
Ok, so here’s the reality: It tastes like dirt.
There, I said it.
Now, chances are, if you take your health seriously, you’re more than likely willing to go through a lot of shit-tasting leaves as long as the benefits outweigh the taste of dirt.
The problem, however, is that consumerism/capitalism doesn’t agree with you, so most commercial versions of Matcha will contain a shit ton of added sugar to ensure that you’ll come back for more.
Basically, these brands have serious trust issue
More often than not, the commercial versions of Matcha will be sweetened to improve palatability, which in my opinion means they’re just taking advantage of the name “Matcha” to sell something where the sugar contents are cancelling out the reasons you’re buying it in the first place.
People suck, I know.
At the end of the day, it’s like most things in life: the lower the price, the lower the quality.
If you’re a fellow coffee drinker, then trust me, the dirt taste is worth the caffeine related benefits. Like I’ve previously mentioned, the alert calmness this drink creates is magical.
Sugar will cancel this out for obvious reasons, so instead of feeling alert and calm, you’ll be replacing the caffeine crash for a sugar crash instead.
So remember. Sugar will fuck up the calm alertness.
Quality is key.
Accessibility and High Prices
You probably saw this coming, and yes, Matcha is slightly more expensive than coffee, but bonus points for the fact that you need less to get more caffeine.
Honestly, I’d love to say that you can easily find cheaper brands, which of course you can, but as we’ve just discussed, it’s all about quality here.
Here are the best Matcha brands to start out with, all certified organic and 100% pure:
Obviously we haven’t gotten to the point where you have Matcha vending machines yet, so if you’re the kind of person who never prepares for anything, is always late to work, and doesn’t even have time to stand in line at Starbucks, then coffee is probably the better choice.
You’ll either need a coffee shop that sells Matcha, or you have to bring it yourself.
However, if you’re one of the few people who’s been able to jump on the whole meal prepping trend and you strain your own almond milk on the weekends, then accessibility should be no problem.
Conclusion: Is Matcha Worth It?
As for whether or not you should be drinking Matcha, it really is up to you.
All I can say is that it’s fucking great.
I mean sure, stick to your coffee that you can find anywhere, that you can safely chain drink without lead poisoning, but also don’t come crying when your teeth look like shit and your skin is duller than the Jenners’ without makeup.
Disclaimer: You should always consult with you doctor before making any dietary changes, even though I know you won’t. Don’t listen to my advice, and don’t sue me if you do. Even though I’m right. And make really good points.