We could call it a superfood, the epitome of umami, a pick-me-up for modern-day followers of a healthy lifestyle and the most unforeseen star on the global confectionery scene over the last few years...
Welcome to the world of matcha. After years of isolation in Japan, where it was used only in traditional Japanese tea rituals, it is now slowly but steadily gaining its deserved place in our lives.
Matcha is the finely ground powder of whole tea leaves from tea plants that have been shade-grown for three weeks. Once the veins and stems have been removed, it is ground into a powder in a stone mill. The brighter and more vibrant its shade of green, the higher its quality and flavour profile.
Celebrated in the West for the spectacular health benefits gained from consuming the whole tea leaves rather than only its infusion, matcha is an excellent source of catechins, vitamins, amino acids, minerals and fibre, and contains enough caffeine to give the body just the boost it needs.
Recent studies have shown that, among other things, matcha also improves your metabolism, helps you to burn fat and lose weight, offers protection against diabetes and is a powerful antioxidant. Furthermore, it is a mild nervous system stimulant and enhances mental clarity, while research results offer hope that it may even help in the battle against degenerative diseases of the brain.
Matcha is also an excellent pre-workout drink that offers multiple benefits to athletes striving to improve their performance: better focus, greater stamina and improved oxygen intake.
At Tea Route, we offer exceptional quality matcha, ideal as a beverage or for use in cooking.
Recipe 1 Matcha frappe
- 2g matcha (1 level teaspoon) and a little extra to garnish
- 10ml hot water
- 170ml ice-cold water
- 10ml honey or a sweetener of your choice (optional)
- 5 ice cubes
- 1 tablespoon whipped cream
- Dissolve the matcha in the hot water in a tall glass.
- Add the ice-cold water and honey and stir.
- Add the ice cubes.
- Garnish with whipped cream and a bit of matcha powder.
Tip: You can replace the ice-cold water with coconut milk.
Recipe 2 Matcha ice lollies
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon matcha
- 2-3 tablespoons honey (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of sugar
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a smooth mixture.
- Pour the mixture into six ice lolly moulds and place in the freezer. Freeze for at least four hours.