Coffee. The word just brings a smile to your face. There is nothing like the aroma of a fresh pot of coffee in the morning. THEN, you drink it and feel like you can kick down skyscrapers and finally tell your boss how you REALLY feel about him. That’s a pretty great feeling, too.
Amid these pleasantries that coffee provides, I was also experiencing a side effect: anxiety.
For a bit of history, I had been a coffee drinker for about five years. I started with a cup a day and gradually increased to two as the adulting simultaneously increased.
I didn’t realize it for a long time (five years, to be exact), but coffee was making me nervous, causing me to sweat profusely, and was making my heart jump out of my chest. But I would get the awesome feeling of productivity followed by a very confusing, nauseating jittery feeling; I could not settle down.
I ignored it for the longest time. And, I thought that the benefits outweighed the side effects. Finally, I realized for every one cup of coffee I was drinking, I was gulping down twice that in Reishi, Ashwagandha, or Chamomile. I felt like a mess.
So, I decided that I would quit the stuff. But I knew that I couldn’t just exist.. in the world.. without caffeine. So, I looked into Matcha.
Matcha is essentially green tea. However, unlike your leafy green tea tea bags, Matcha is finely ground into a beautiful green powder. It is packed with antioxidants and of course, minimal, yet effective caffeine.
As with many food items, there are different quality levels to Matcha. Culinary grade Matcha is your cheapo stuff. It is made from the lower leaves on the green tea plant. Due to its low quality, it is the kind of Matcha you will find in cooking. It is also probably the type of Matcha used in your Matcha froyo or mochi.
Next up, you have the Premium grade Matcha. This stuff is made from leaves at the top of the green tea plant, so it has all of Matcha’s glorified beneficial nutrients. It’s a great ‘everyday’ Matcha as its flavor is not too harsh or bitter.
Your Ceremonial grade Matcha is the highest quality. It is stone ground by stone mills and traditionally used in Buddhist temples.
So, With Matcha I Went…
When selecting my first bag of Matcha, I settled on the Ceremonial Grade to get the full experience. I typed it into Amazon’s search bar and oh boy, the prices scared me. But I went for it, nonetheless.
When my package arrived, I immediately made the cold turkey switch. No more coffee. Time to experiment with this crazy green powder.
I boiled some water, let it cool a little, and then poured a tiny bit of it into a mug. Then some hot water. Froth. More water. Froth away.
Turns out, it was pretty good! It definitely did not taste like coffee or give me the same results. But hey, that’s what I was looking for.
It has now been a year that I have only consumed Matcha for my caffeine source. I will usually drink 2-3 cups a day. My anxiety has diminished significantly aka I no longer take any mood-boosting/calming supplements!
So here are some pro tips I’ve learned over the year:
~Ideally, you want your hot water to be 175F, but nobody has time for that; do the best you can.
~It is delicious with almond milk!
~I throw my morning collagen peptides in right before frothing to add some extra benefits.
~Places sell it! Starbucks now sells a Matcha Latte!
Even if you don’t experience the coffee anxiety like I had, I highly recommend giving Matcha a try when you want a baby caffeine boost.
CMO of Babes, Books & Bordeaux || Animal Rescue Advocate || GIF Aficionado