I’ve always been a green tea addict but matcha has been a fairly recent discovery for me, and probably many of you guys too! Despite that, it’s actually been around for centuries with the Japanese (not the New Yorkers, as Instagram may have you believe) holding the title of matcha masters! Today, tea ceremonies, involving the preparation and consumption of matcha tea, are still a core part of Japanese cultural life lasting up to four hours in total. Sadly, my morning matcha tends to last all of 10 minutes and is usually drunk whilst answering emails, but it still provides a good dose of greens so get me through the morning (and compensate for the over consumption of bites that often follows).
I love a matcha latte but it’s also a really great addition in bakes and when there’s an opportunity to eat my caffeine, I’m obviously all about it! Despite appearances, matcha is actually incredibly versatile as you can sneak it into almost anything – as long as you aren’t afraid to turn it green. However, the key to using matcha in recipes is remembering that a little goes a long way. Too much, and it can taste like you’re eating grass! This is what puts a lot of people off, I think. But with just the right amount, the flavour is great.
Matcha is a great addition to breakfast, and I think it works especially well in granola bars. These Matcha Granola Bars from the blog are one of my favourite matcha recipes. The cashew butter and vanilla really complement the matcha, making it taste incredibly creamy. There’s also a recipe in the book, which is a great on-the-go energy boost in the morning.
For more recipes, there a quite a few matcha-inspired treats in the book. I would especially recommend the Raw Matcha Chocolate Slab. Or for some sweet bites, both the Matcha and Cacao Truffles, and the Pistachio and Matcha Balls are dangerously delicious!
Matcha Lattes are really simple to make at home. Just add a few drops of warm water to 1/4 tsp matcha powder, heat up some milk and stir together. I love to add cinnamon to mine, too. You don’t need any fancy equipment for this, either. Although if you make matcha lattes regularly, then I would recommend investing in a matcha whisk which helps to get rid of any lumps.
During summer, iced matcha lattes are my favourite, refreshing drink. When I make my own, I like to blend in some fresh mint and frozen banana for a creamier milkshake. Even better is using frozen bananas to make your own matcha ice-cream!
But, like I said, matcha can be added to a lot of things. For breakfast, try it in overnight oats, porridge and smoothies. Even in savoury dishes it can work well in dips and dressings.
Out and about
New Yorkers beat us to the matcha craze and whilst we are now slowly catching up with matcha bars and lattes popping up all over the place, NY is still a hot spot for the green powder. If you’re planning to visit any time soon, then Cha Cha Matcha and Matcha Bar NYC are the spots to head to.
Here in the UK, the matcha fan club is growing. There are so many places that offer matcha now, with a massive variety of alternative milk options too. If you’re around London, Planet Organic, Amanzi Tea and The Good Life Eatery are always a safe bet for a good matcha latte. For somewhere a bit cosier, I really like the matcha lattes Store Street Espresso in Bloomsbury. They even have matcha sweet treats if, like me, you’ve become slightly obsessed!