Go Gaga Over Matcha

Weeks ago, I had a memorable flavor encounter in one of the popular coffee shops in town. As I headed my way to get the daily dose of Caramel Macchiato to awaken my sleeping brain, I decided to take a look at their savory cakes to pair with my caffeine shot. I was astonished by the cake displays on their fridge, all Matcha’s!

Call me late bloomer or anything you want, but the truth is I haven’t tried Matcha cakes and Matcha coffee before! I’m always reluctant to try new flavors because aside from the change of taste, I’m afraid that my hard-earned money will put into waste (It sucks, I know right?). However, as I spent my few precious minutes inside the café, I noticed a lot of people grabbing slices of Matcha cakes and grande cups of Matcha flavored drinks, and out of curiosity I bought a single slice for my loyal taste buds.

At first bite, it felt weird, there’s a lot going on in my mouth. I definitely had a burst of flavors, and a dance of both bitterness and sweetness. But as I devoured the whole slice, surprisingly, it’s really scrumptious! It’s addicting in a good way, definitely a Matcha-made in heaven for a first timer like me!

Conversely, lots of people have very diverse ideas of what Matcha is, the origin of the product, and the countless benefits that it can offer to the consumers. To feed my inquisitiveness, I did some research on the product. Here it goes…

A Matcha Throwback

According to  Solaris Botanicals

Matcha is a delicately pulverized Green Tea which originated in the Wei-Jin Era (220-559 AD) in China starting from the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) until the eclipse of the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD).

It was Rinzai-Zen, a Japanese monk, who brought back the method of making Matcha during the Japanese Kamakura Period (1185-13692 AD). He was also the one who planted the very first tea tree in the mountain of Uji. Right then, Matcha greatly gained its fame all over Japan because of its sundry uses — from meditation teas of monks to countless prestige tea ceremonies held on the said country.

Various Uses of Matcha

Matcha, since then, became popular not only in the western countries but all over the world. The Matcha powder is mainly used as a cooking ingredient and as time goes by, diverse ways of utilizing Matcha were discovered.

Here are the few ingenious ways to use Matcha (from AIO Tea Company):

  • Matcha Inspired Pastries
  • Matcha Flavored Energy Bars
  • Matcha Confections
  • Matcha Seasonings
  • Matcha Smoothies
  • Matcha Frozen Yogurt
  • Matcha Shakes
  • Matcha Cereals
  • Matcha Ice Cream
  • Matcha Appetizers
  • Matcha Mixed Alcoholic Drinks
  • Matcha Flavored Pasta

Its immense popularity not only resides on its great flavor and versatility as an ingredient but also to its health benefits.

Why is Matcha Good for Your Health?

 

Below are some of the extensive benefits that you can get in using Matcha.

  • Anti Oxidant Powehouse – Since Matcha is a tea, it has a great amount of anti oxidants that detoxifies the body effectively and naturally.
  • Cancer Preventer – Matcha Green Tea holds over 100 times more Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCg) than any other tea. EGCg is renowned for its cancer fighting properties.
  • Memory Enhancer – Matcha tea has a component called L-Theanine that produces serotonin and dopamine, both responsible for sharpening memories.
  • Calming Effect
  • It is believed to promote peace and tranquility.
  • Rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins.
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration.
  • Amplifies endurance and increases energy levels.
  • Lowers cholesterol and can regulate blood sugar.
  • It has anti-aging components.
  • Strengthens immune system.

Matcha VS Other Teas

Matcha presents you with powerful reserve of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids in a way no other green tea can. However, aside from the quality that you can get from it, the one thing that separates matcha from other teas is the handing out process. The technique exploited for preparing the leaves for fine use is what really sets it apart.

Before green tea leaves are packed and dispatched, they are rolled for a couple of times to eliminate dampness. These leaves are normally are fried, roasted, and sundried or baked.

Whereas, there is a precise way of assembling Matcha. For three weeks, the plants are protected from the heat of the sun in order to achieve a natural sweet taste. After harvesting, usually in the month of May, leaves are steamed and left to dry. After the intricate process of drying the leaves, careful selection comes after. Only the tenderest part of the leaves will be chosen and then grounded into fine powder.

With that being said, Matcha is undeniably has excellent value than any other teas.

Final Thoughts…

Definitely, Matcha can offer you more than you could ever imagine! And right now, I am starting to think of patronizing the product! Maybe, baking a dessert with Matcha on it will be a good start.

So folks, I would like to share with you a recipe from “Bake To The Roots” that I am planning to do afterwards.

VEGAN MATCHA CUPCAKES

For the cupcakes:

  • Baking Powder – 2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1 pinch
  • All-Purpose Flour – 1 1/4 cup
  • Brown Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Coconut Rice Milk – 3/4 cup
  • Vegetable Oil – 1/4 cup
  • Apple Vinegar – 1 tablespoon
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Matcha – 1-2 teaspoon (you can add more)

For the buttercream:

  • Vegan Butter – 5.3 oz.
  • Matcha – 1-3 teaspoon
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Confectioner’s Sugar – 10.5 oz.

Instructions:

For the buttercream:

  1. Add the vegan butter to a mixing bowl.
  2. Beat the butter on high speed until it becomes light and fluffy.
  3. Divide the confectioner’s sugar into three batches and add them accordingly. Mix until well blended.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and a good quantity of matcha and combine well.
  5. Load the star tipped piping bag of about 2/3 of the frosting.
  6. Sprinkle with matcha powder for more flavors.

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven (350˚F).
  2. Prepare a muffin tin or cupcake tin with baking paper liners. Set aside.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients such as flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.
  4. After mixing the dry ingredients, add the oil, coconut rice milk, vanilla extract, vinegar and matcha. Mix until the batter will be quite runny.
  5. Fill the paper liners about 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes.
  6. Take out the cupcake tin of the oven and let it cool down.

Enjoy baking everyone!