The Green Tea to Rule Them All

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You probably already know that green tea is a superfood, rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and prevent disease. But there is one particular type of green tea that may be the most powerful of them all. Meet matcha, the super food trend of the moment.

Matcha tea leaves grow in the shade and develop a darker color until they turn a wild vibrant green. Then grind them into powder so you can eat the whole leaves and drink all the goodness. Research confirms that matcha tea contains at least three times more antioxidants than other green tea varieties. These great benefits come with great calories—matcha also has higher caffeine than other types of tea.

So, if you're ready to wake up with samurai power and wrap up your morning workout, here are some tips for enjoying potent matcha. Plus, the basic recipe for a regular green latte.

buy matcha green tea
Buying matcha is no joke. Green stuff can be expensive. If you walk into a milk tea shop, or see it at the grocery store, you'll notice two basic levels: etiquette and cooking. Ritual matcha tends to be younger, sweeter, and more delicate leaves. It is also the most expensive and can be priced to the emperor. Boiled matcha is more affordable, but it will be more bitter, and it is most suitable for cooking and baking. But with a wide range of options in stores and online, you're sure to find something that fits your budget. If possible, try a few before picking your favorite. Small jars can go a long way.

Tools for making matcha green tea
Since matcha is powder, you need to stir it into hot water. If you like, you can buy ceremonial bowls, whisks, sieves and spoons made from natural ceramics and bamboo. If you want to make a matcha latte, heating the milk in a steamer or frother is also good. But if you're new to the green tea team, you don't have to go out and buy anything special. A small whisk or fork can break up any lumps and the milk can be heated on the stove.

How to Make Matcha Green Tea Latte
Matcha can add a pop of color to smoothies, muffins, and frozen yogurt. Now, you can drink it hot or cold, with or without milk, or even with pearls. But matcha latte is popular and its appeal is easy to understand. Add in the triple ingredient of protein, antioxidants, and caffeine, and you'll be energized all morning. If you want to whip up a cup at home, here are some tips for mastering the art of matcha latte.

Heat the water, but don't boil it. If you're a regular tea drinker, this feels counterintuitive, as most tea leaves are best steeped in freshly boiled water. But for matcha powder, too much heat can destroy the delicate taste. Heat the water to about 175 degrees Fahrenheit (79 degrees Celsius). You may want to check with a thermometer a few times before doing it until you feel something.

Make a smooth paste. Put 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder in your favorite cup. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of hot water and whisk to a smooth paste. You're breaking up any lumps and letting the flavors bloom.

Fill with your favorite milk. Using a frother or steamer, or in a small pot over the stove, heat low-fat milk or your favorite non-dairy product until hot (but not too hot!). Pour it into a cup along with the paste. Feel free to practice your bubble art.

Add sugar if desired. You know you shouldn't eat more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, right? But depending on the quality of the matcha, a little sweetness may be needed. Add a little honey or a teaspoon of sugar if your teeth need it.

Take your time to pay attention. Matcha is full of tradition, tea ceremony and meditation. Even if you are not a monk, you can enjoy a moment of meditation. Take a deep breath. Observe the color vortex. Smell the fragrant leaves. Take the first sip. One of the most amazing things about tea is that it is calming and refreshing at the same time.