Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How much matcha?

I awoke at 2:30am this morning and didn't fall back asleep until 5:30am. Once I awoke I started thinking about the logistics of driving both boys to their fall destinations (college and post-grad work). Of course they will be in opposite directions and both want to leave during the same week, so I'll be spending my whole week on the road. I tossed and turned while trying to figure out whether I should be renting a car or van and how to minimize some of my driving. As a result, I'm a little foggy this morning so I needed a caffeine boost.

When we were in Tokyo over the holidays, I discovered a new morning drink: Matcha Latte. It is a latte made with the matcha tea that the Japanese use in their tea ceremonies. Unlike the green tea we are used to drinking, where the tea leaves are steeped in the hot water, matcha is finely ground powder made of the tea leaves. So instead of drinking an infusion of tea (where the leaves are discarded), you are actually imbibing the leaves themselves. You get the benefits (and caffeine) of about 6-8 cups of green tea in one cup!

When we returned, my reflux was bothering me and I've discovered that the matcha latte (when drunk in moderation, which for me is one latte every few days), gives me a wonderful boost for the day and doesn't aggravate my GERD. As I've done research, I've found that the matcha gives a sustained boost over the course of the day, instead of the one time big boost of caffeine from a coffee latte.The milk in the latte helps to moderate the acid inherent in the tea. There is even some thought that the matcha helps to heal the esophagus.

The recipe I use is:
one teaspoon of matcha powder mixed with 1/4 cup hot/boiling water
sweetener of your choice (I use 2 stevia packets but you could use honey or agave syrup).
8 oz of milk (heated and foamed)

I use the electric whisk to blend the matcha powder, the stevia and 1/4 cup of water together because the powder is so fine and the electric whisk does an effective job of dissolving the powder. Then I add the foamed hot milk.

I scoured the internet and visited tea shops and found the best price and flavored matcha at (a great site to get the ingredients for my homemade granola as well!). Link to matcha powder

There are matcha latte mixes that you can buy (similar to what you will get at Starbucks if you order one), but it is so easy to make your own and avoid the additives in the commercial mixes.

1 level teaspoon of matcha powder

Add 1/4 cup of water to the matcha and stevia and blend with the electric whisk.

Add the cup of foamed hot milk

Voila! A delicious matcha latte.

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