Let’s just say that regular green tea has met its matcha.
As you may know, your typical green brew is overflowing with health benefits: Scientists think it may help reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Matcha is like green tea supercharged, says Jim White, R.D., of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. That’s because this Japanese tea has three times the amount of epigallocatechin gallate, a potent antioxidant, as regular green tea. Plus, matcha contains theanine, an amino acid linked to improved cognitive performance.
Prepwise, matcha couldn’t be easier–no soggy tea bags to toss. Once the leaves are harvested, they’re dried and ground into a fine powder that you stir into hot water. To make a cup, start by boiling 4 ounces of H2O. Whisk 2 teaspoons of an organic matcha concentrate (such as the one from Taste of Kyoto, $42 for 2 ounces, amazon.com) with 4 teaspoons of room-temperature water until a smooth paste forms.
Finally, stir in the hot water. The drink has a clean, grassy sweetness. And at 66 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounces of prepared tea, it has more kick than black tea but less than a cup of coffee.