Happy New Year everyone! One of the highlights of my Christmas holiday this year was spending time with my husband at home (just the two of us) before rushing off to visit our family in Ohio for a week. We had our little Christmas gift exchange together, sat by the tree listening to the Elvis Christmas album, had some wine, and put a crackling virtual fire on the flatscreen. One of the coziest moments of the holidays for me. One of my favorite gifts this year came in the form of a small tin can with amazing, vibrant green matcha tea inside - complete with a bamboo chashaku spoon for creating some of the BEST green tea I have ever tasted. Here’s a sampling of my first matcha-making endeavors – quickly becoming a favorite ritual around here.
Green tea is not only good for you (reduces risk for heart disease, improves artery function, reduces risk for several types of cancers, and increases your metabolism) but it tastes great! Matcha, in particular, is a super-fine, high quality, green tea that comes in powder form, and is traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremony. My matcha is springy, fresh, slightly bitter but without any lingering aftertaste - picture eating potent green tea ice cream in a field of green grass. It has powerful flavor and aroma and color - beautiful, magical color.
I love green tea as a substitute for coffee. It has that pick-me-up potential of coffee without any of the negative effects on your body - and making something like matcha forces you to take a moment and slow down and gather yourself. You can reflect, plan, think, relax, whatever you need at the time. I think this is really what most of us are looking for when we grab an afternoon latte anyway - a moment to enjoy and reward ourselves for our work and expended energy. Making a cup of matcha gives you this satisfaction PLUS a real influx of healthy, beneficial resources for your body and mind. To all my coffee-holics out there - give green tea a try. Substitute it for a least one of your cups of coffee in a day and see what happens.