I broke off my long-touted love affair with coffee recently because things got too intense during midterms. I saw it every morning, afternoon and night. Sometimes it wouldn’t let me sleep, or it made me anxious and jittery whenever I had too much of it.
Then, I started a casual relationship with green tea. Our rendezvous’ consisted of hot water and a tea bag in the morning and sometimes the afternoon. It provided me with the same wakefulness as coffee without the jitters, while also promoting a sense of calm.
But things started getting serious when I discovered matcha green tea. We were introduced by a mutual friend who said we were each other’s type. She said matcha was 137 times better than my current bagged green tea and provided even more health benefits, long-lasting energy with less caffeine than coffee1. Intrigued, I learnt more about my beverage date between my own research and the information my friend provided me.
Matcha is a powdered green tea considered the purest and most nutritious tea available because the whole tea leaf is consumed when drank, whereas infused tea simply discards them after steeping2. Therefore, regular green tea does not provide the fibre, calcium, iron, vitamin C and antioxidant content that matcha does3. In fact, you would have to drink 10 cups of brewed green tea in order to intake the same amount of vitamins and minerals found in one serving of matcha!4
This tea is produced by grinding up tea leaves that are grown in the shade a fortnight before harvest. This process stimulates an increase in chlorophyll levels, and kick starts the production of amino acids—of note is that of L-Theanine5. L-Theanine is responsible for producing the relaxing properties of green tea by inducing alpha wave activity in the brain that combats the beta wave activity caused by stress6. Matcha contains five times more L-Theanine than conventional green tea7!
8:45 am! I was almost late for my first date with matcha before my 9am morning class. I hurriedly boiled water and mixed a serving of the green powder in a mug and brought it with me as I walked out into the cold.
The smell of matcha, which could be characterized as fresh wheatgrass, wafted from the cup as I took my first sip. The warm, silky, liquid that flooded my mouth tasted of delicate, fragrant green tea that was neither sweet, nor bitter—just right.
I had finished half my mug of matcha by the time I was seated in my morning class. The lecture started and a sense of calm wakefulness pleasantly washed over me. I was also delighted at the end of class to find that time had passed so much faster because I was able to engage better with the material from the focus that the matcha tea had provided me. The energy boost I got from matcha tea was also much longer-lasting than that of coffee, as I didn’t feel the need to have another cup come the afternoon.
And the rest is history! Although I still go for coffee occasionally, matcha green tea is now my favourite way to start the day. If you get energy crashes or the jitters from coffee try matcha tea and let me know your experience!
What do you sip on when you study? Do you consider its health benefits?