We were obsessed with wheatgrass shots in 2008 then we devoted ourselves to juice cleanses that promised detoxed summer bodies in exchange for a little bit of hanger. Then spirulina and chia seeds had a brief flash of fame. After that we started blending anything that can fit into a Vitamix but America’s collective attention span is onto a cult worthy beverage, Matcha tea!
It’s about half way through 2016 and by now if you’re not already in love with Matcha, most of you have at least seen or heard the word Matcha. Considering America’s habitual love of coffee consumption it’s not surprising that this magical green powdered tea caught on so quickly, especially with its long list of health benefits. It outperforms other beverages and has been said to scare off cancer, better skin, improve metabolism while burning calories, cure hangovers, provide natural energy, and enhance mood as well as concentration and focus. As an antioxidant powerhouse, Matcha is capable of combat free-radicals from UV rays, pollution, and radiation – the same free-radicals that cause cell damage that leads to rapid aging, activation of cancer cells, and disease. Also notable is the L-theanine amino acid, studies show that it provides a perfect calming balance to the caffeine. Imagine sustained, positive brain activity with no jitters, no anxiety, and no stress. Americans ask a lot from our beverages and Matcha has fully delivered.
Matcha’s rise to superfood superstardom is an ultra-trending topic for the US but has been perfected and ritualized in Japan for thousands of years. From those ceremonies in Japan, it made its way to New York in 2013 via Ippodo Tea. After fostering a neighborhood and internet following Matcha became the star at Marc Jacobs’s spring 2015 show at NYFW - models were taking hot shots of the green, nearly calorie-less miracle drink backstage to stay energized throughout the hectic work day. This trend is not going away anytime soon. Pinterest is littered with different ways to incorporate Matcha into your life – “baking with Matcha,” “Matcha culture,” “Matcha facemasks,” “Matcha ice cream.” Celebrity blogs like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and Jessica Alba’s Honest have given their thanks to the tea with articles on recipes and best places to grab a cup on the go. Health and beauty publications have complied endless lists of why Americans should be drinking Matcha. Oprah and Dr. Oz have also provided their seal of approval.
That bright green cup is here to stay and it’s definitely worth a try. Matcha is now becoming a solid staple at home with bottles of it to-go and single serve cups for automatic brewers for a more modern zen.