What is matcha? Any why is everyone obsessed with it?
The simplest answer to this question is that matcha is ground up green tea. As you may have guessed, however, there are a couple key differences between the stuff you can steep in a bag for a couple of minutes and the bright green powder that is matcha. The main differences are:
- The tea plants that grow what will become matcha are moved out of the sunlight about a month before harvesting. This raises their chlorophyll levels, increasing the amount of L-Theanine — the amino acid in green tea that can help alleviate stress, enhance focus, and aid maintaining a healthy weight.
- The leaves are then steamed, dried, and aged before they are ground into powder.
- Unlike normal green tea, which is steeped and then removed, when you consume matcha you are consuming the whole leaf! This means that every benefit of green tea is boosted just a little bit, including caffeine.
Wondering where you can take part in a bit of the matcha madness?
You can snag some matcha at INFUSE, the exclusive craft coffee + juice bar inside River North Gym at 600 West Chicago Avenue. If smoothies are your go-to, we have a smoothie called Drop and Give Me Matcha, which features matcha with blueberry and banana and some protein powder to round out a great pre-workout drink with a boost of caffeine. If you’re more interested in something a bit warmer to combat the winter temperatures, Daniella at the front desk recommends a Matcha Latte. It can be made with a variety of milks — her personal favorite is oat milk!