The Summer Taste of Matcha

Never heard of matcha? The green tea powder has been at the centre of Japanese tea rituals for centuries. Made from the powdered leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, it’s now caught on the West because of its refreshing taste, versatility and health benefits.

Although from the same plant as green tea, matcha is grown differently and as a result has a unique nutrient profile. The plants are covered with bamboo mats during most of the growing period, which increases the amount of chlorophyll in the leaves and results in its characteristic bright green colour.

Matcha is rich in caffeine and amino acids. Like green tea, it is high in antioxidants, including catechins, which may help prevent cell damage and lower your risk of certain diseases. Some studies also suggest that the catechins and caffeine ingredients may have a mild benefit in weight loss and management. Its antioxidants and caffeine may boost your brain performance and reduce your risk of some diseases. Antioxidants in green teas protect your cells against damage from free radicals and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound thought to reduce inflammation, aid weight loss, and help prevent heart and brain disease is also an ingredient.


Buying matcha for the first time can be confusing as there are many brands and they vary widely in quality. The most significant distinction is between ceremonial and culinary grades – the ceremonial kind will be pricier as it’s made from the youngest tea leaves and has a more mellow flavour.

If you make it often, you should invest in a bamboo whisk called a chasen. Its special design breaks up clumps and creates a frothy layer of foam on top of the tea. If you don’t have one, use a regular whisk or an electric milk frother instead – whisking or stirring with a fork or spoon will not work.

Here’s a recipe for a matcha mocktail from Sana:


  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  • 2 tbsp warm (not boiling!) water
  • 100ml Nio Violet Vamp Mocktail 
  • 100ml sparkling/soda water
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • Garnish with mint and/or raspberries
  • Ice


  • Make your matcha shot – add powder into 2 tbsp warm (not boiling!) water in a bowl, or small cup. Whisk until frothy. Set aside. (Optional – mix in the maple syrup for some extra sweetness).
  • Add ice to your glass and add Nio’s Violet Vamp mocktail.
  • Top with sparkling/soda water and a splash of lemon juice.
  • Pour over your shot.
  • Garnish with raspberries (or lime wheel, fresh berries, mint leaves or anything you fancy).matcha

– and a recipe for a more conventional matcha tea:

  • Add your matcha powder to a small sieve, and sift over a bowl.
  • Pour ¼ cup of hot water into the bowl and use a bamboo whisk to whisk vigorously in a “W” pattern for about 30 seconds. You’ll know it’s done when the tea becomes frothy and there are no chunks of matcha powder in the water.
  • Fill the mug all the way up with hot water and enjoy.Tip – if you’re in a rush, you can always “whisk” the matcha powder straight into your cup with hot water and an electric frother, but don’t try to stir with just a spoon as you’ll end up with clumps of matcha! If you find matcha a little bitter, you can add a touch of maple syrup, honey, or your favourite sweetener to keep the flavours balanced and enjoyable.

Image: Jason Leung/Unsplash

See also: Everything You Need to Know About Veganism










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