If you’re a morning coffee drinker, chances are you’ve been hearing a lot about matcha beverages lately. In fact, even if you don’t drink caffeine in any form, you are probably still aware of this increasingly trending form of tea. As with most fads, you may expect matcha’s popularity to follow a trajectory that eventually ends in flatline or that will once again fade through disinterest. But matcha has been around at least as long as people have drunk coffee, and it may even predate that beverage by several centuries.
If matcha has such a long history, perhaps it isn’t such a fad after all. Matcha has long been recognized for its health benefits and its more refined energy boost in comparison to coffee. We believe that matcha wins this competition flat out, and to prove it, we’re providing our top 5 reasons to make the switch from coffee to matcha to fuel your morning. Whether you’re a sworn coffee addict or you can’t stomach the thought of coffee, matcha is a great alternative, without the downsides.
1. L-theanine is caffeine’s calming complement
If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you’re probably used to a familiar pattern: consume, charge, crash. Caffeine is present in both coffee and matcha, but whereas the caffeine in coffee hits your system almost instantly and begins to dissipate almost as instantly (in a measured decline over time), matcha also includes L-theanine—an amino acid that both promotes relaxation and prolongs the effects of caffeine, but in a gentler manner. Thanks to this pairing of caffeine with L-theanine, matcha leaves you feeling alert, present, and refreshed, without the detrimental side effects of coffee, which can disrupt your workday with jitters, irritability, and a racing mind.
2. Matcha has superior health benefits
Matcha contains numerous antioxidants, which limit oxidation of molecules in the body, thereby slowing the effects of aging. Its superiority to coffee in this department isn’t an exaggeration; in fact, matcha contains roughly ten times the antioxidants of regular green tea, which is already considered better than coffee, since it contains catechins (a family of antioxidants believed to fight cancer). The reason for this abundance of antioxidants lies in how matcha is made. Though green tea is brewed to extract nutrients from tea leaves, water can only harvest a finite amount of these nutrients. The rest of the antioxidants are thrown away with the tea leaves. On the other hand, matcha is a finely ground powder of the leaves themselves, which means that all the minerals lost to brewed tea remain in the matcha, which are not destroyed by heating and are far less processed than in regular tea. What’s more, the aforementioned catechins prevent the bad breath and yellow teeth that often accompany heavy coffee consumption.
3. Unique preparation rituals foster mindfulness and meditation
Matcha doesn’t need to be branded as a lifestyle or get discovered through influencer marketing tactics; it’s been part and parcel of a lifestyle that stretches back centuries and intertwines with cultural practices of mindfulness and meditation. Simplicity, health, and craft are traditions that intersect through the creation and consumption of matcha, and the whisking itself can even be considered a ritual of production that supports awareness and involvement. Instead of mindlessly chugging coffee for an immediate and aggressive kick of caffeine, the culture of matcha is more conducive to reflection and concentration.
4. Your stomach needs a coffee break
No really. Coffee is acidic, and this acidity can irritate the lining of your GI tract, including your stomach and intestines. Excessive consumption of coffee can instigate symptoms associated with gastric reflux, heartburn, indigestion, and gastritis. Zoom out even further, and you will find negative effects on other areas of the body as well, including anxiety, insomnia, enamel wear, and irregular heartbeat. If you already suffer from digestive diseases like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, or IBS, coffee can exacerbate these issues.
5. Matcha has a better relationship with food
Because coffee’s caffeine effects attack and decay with sudden urgency, coffee often causes adrenaline glucose and insulin levels to spike and plummet, which can lead to rapid hunger pangs after the initial hunger suppression fades. In contrast, matcha’s phytonutrients sustain feelings of satisfaction for considerably longer, making matcha a better choice for weight loss. And not only does it stave off cravings, it can actually be a delicious ingredient in its own right. Matcha powder fits right in with many different flavor profiles for cakes, pies, smoothies, pastries, frozen yogurt, and more, making it a more versatile kitchen item than coffee.
6. Even more Matcha health benefits
The above 5 points represent the backbone of our matcha evangelism, but if you dig deeper, you’ll find additional benefits to the ones included here. We didn’t mention the effects matcha can have on skin, but if you’re into beauty products, matcha can help reduce bodily toxins when applied through face masks and other products. We didn’t cover the enhanced effects of matcha on your immune system or its stronger ability to metabolize fat quickly, but for the aspiring health guru, matcha can be a useful item in your toolkit.
These secondary reasons help us gracefully round out our catalogue of reasons to make the switch from matcha to coffee, and a quick internet search will reveal endless documentation of every advantage listed above, if you’re keen to do more research. There’s a lot to be said for matcha, and you don’t just have to take our word for it!
If you’re ready to embrace superior health, carve out time for a relaxing ritual, get better mental stimulation with more calmness and less digestive trauma, and maybe even incorporate matcha into your food diet, replacing coffee with matcha might make sense for you.
Getting started doesn’t have to be hard! We’ve got all the equipment you need bundled in a convenient kit, which will jumpstart your own matcha traditions in no time. The kit includes a bamboo whisk and spoon, along with artisanal bowl, which will introduce you to the long and proud history of matcha—one that extends deeply through time and far beyond the current matcha fad.