5 Reasons to Drink Matcha Instead of Coffee

raw and as tea

I’ve said it many times before, but I’ll say it again: I have always loved good coffee, still love it, and will likely always love it. But I don’t love it nearly as much as I love matcha. Here are five reasons to kickstart your day with matcha:

1) ¬†Matcha has a better caffeine high. By “better” I mean that coffee’s caffeine high wreaks more havoc on the body. It starts off with a blast, and ends in a crash.¬†Coffee causes spikes in adrenaline glucose and insulin levels, which in turn create jitteriness, nervousness, and, at least for me, often crazy hunger pangs.

Matcha, in contrast, does a better job of creating a calm alertness, with just a quarter the caffeine. There are no spikes and crashes, it just comes on gently and leaves just as gently. No adrenal weirdness, no glucose spike, and no need for pastry; it satiates like nothing else, making it the perfect treat for anyone worried about their weight. The 25 mg (or so) of caffeine bind with matcha’s phytonutrients (especially L-theanine) in a way that slows the body’s absorption of the caffeine; it typically lasts at least three hours, though some people report feeling it for as long as six or seven.

2) Better breath. There really is no comparison here. Matcha is also better for your teeth: it thwarts the bacteria that causes plaque, making it a powerful ally for everyday oral hygiene. Coffee breath and enamel staining? This is a no brainer.

3) Better skin. Ever notice the skin of hardcore coffee drinkers? Matcha helps clear up acne, and has been used for centuries by Japanese women as a facial mask. Matcha’s antibacterial properties help to give skin a natural glow.

4) More antioxidants. Matcha is ridiculously full of catechins, flavonoids, and polyphenols, especially the mighty epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been linked to so many health benefits and has therapeutic applications to the treatment of so many disorders, including cancer.

5) Great matcha is WAY easier to make than great coffee is.

Matcha has the reputation of being difficult to make, but seriously: scoop sifted tea into cup, add hot water, froth. All of 30 seconds to perfection (assuming you’re starting with great matcha, of course). Great coffee should be measured (20 grams seems to be the most common weight), freshly ground, then steeped or steamed, using a variety of complicated and expensive machinery. And then there’s the waiting for the machine to do its thing.

Needless to say, matcha is not intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease; it’s just green tea, albeit a very special one that has all kinds of interesting health properties. And because there are no known downsides or side effects to regular consumption of matcha, there is little to lose in making the switch from coffee to matcha, at least some of the time.

You needn’t give up coffee altogether (unless your doctor tells you to, of course) — I sure don’t plan to. But do give matcha try; you have nothing to lose but stained teeth, bad breath, and heart-pounding jitters. And you might have a whole new world of wellness to gain.

Matcha Shot, Glass of Water

matcha near iron grate

 

By now everyone knows that you need to drink more water than you think you need. It’s amazing what a cool glass of water will do for a fatigued mind; the pep-up is near instant, and everything suddenly feels better. I’ve taken to drinking a large glass with a squeezed lemon half upon waking, and there’s nothing like it to jumpstart the day.

But It’s even better with a shot of matcha. One two-ounce cup, chased by a tall glass of agua, is big hydration and big nutrition. I also like pouring water into my matcha cup when I’m finished with the matcha; it not only gets every last bit of matcha in the cup, it rinses out the mouth and leaves a tasty trail of goodness going down. This is a ritual I repeat several times a day.

I also keep a little “mindfulness bell” near the matcha tools. A light tap of the bell keeps it singing for a good 20 seconds. There’s nothing like morning quiet, a fading bell, matcha, and plenty of water. Simple, powerful, and immensely enjoyable.