The Benefits of Matcha for Breakfast
Image: Unsplash and Matcha And Beyond
What is matcha and why should you be having it for breakfast? We catch up with Matcha and Beyond founder and nutritionist Oliva Nottin to find out.
There are plenty of wellness fleeting trends about these days. They dominate the wellness scene then disappear as quickly as they appeared. However this isn’t the case one superfood, matcha. After all, what we call a ‘trend’ has actually been around for millenia! The origins of matcha can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty in China, which spanned the 7th – 10th centuries. Even though it originates in China, Matcha tea has been a part of Japanese culture for over 800 years, and during these centuries, the Japanese perfected the matcha cultivation process.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is the result of stoneground green tea leaves, which are unheated to preserve their nutrients. They are less processed than regular green tea leaves. Green tea features an impressive level of antioxidants and is considered the number one hot beverage alternative. One cup of matcha equals 10 cups of tea! In fact, when one brews their usual green tea, most of the goodness is actually lost because water can only extract a fraction of its benefits. Most of the valuable antioxidants and minerals remain trapped in the tea leaves. This however doesn’t happen when you’re drinking matcha tea. Matcha has a natural sweetness, grassy overtones, a lovely creamy texture and a subtle hint of astringency. However, it should never taste bitter. This is actually a sign of poor quality matcha.
We met up with Olivia Nottin, founder of Matcha and Beyond, to talk all things matcha. Olivia is passionate about healthy food and a certified French Natural Chef. When working with her clients, she advised them to avoid processed food and unhealthy habits such as sugary coffees, but she noticed many couldn’t cut down on the lattes. After discovering matcha green tea, she felt it was the perfect alternative to coffee with it’s delicate taste, texture and many health benefits. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find the perfect matcha in London, as most of the beverages were poorly prepared using low-quality matcha lost in large amounts of milk and added sugar. The taste and the health benefits were just not there. Olivia went to New York and Japan to get some inspiration, and that’s how her business was born.
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Now, Olivia (right) only uses premium ceremonial tea leaves from organic tea gardens in Kyushu Island in the southwest of Japan. There, matcha is in season in the Spring and is the result of a meticulous process, which starts with extracting the most tender leaves of tea trees grown in the shade. These leaves are steamed, air-dried, de-stemmed, de-veined and finally, stone-ground into a fine powder by artisan farmers.
Starting the day with the right nutrients is crucial, so why not start it with matcha? Here are Olivia’s tips for getting the best out of your matcha for a healthy, not mention delicious breakfast.
The Vendeur: What makes matcha such a great ingredient to include at breakfast?
Olivia Nottin: Matcha is a delicious healthy alternative to coffee, providing a balanced caffeine intake and a high dose of antioxidants, among many other health benefits. It also supports the immune function and boosts metabolism. You can either have a matcha drink instead of coffee or include it in breakfast dishes. We have some great breakfast recipes on our blog. (We have included our favourites below.)
TV: If someone doesn’t have time to prepare a delicious matcha breakfast, what would you recommend instead?
ON: Yoghurt with fruit or porridge is a great way to start your day. If you’re looking for a matcha fix, without making a drink, you can drizzle some of our matcha honey over the yoghurt and fruit or porridge. I also love adding chia seeds to my breakfast bowl but also, sometimes on weekends, I can’t resist a pastry – I am French after all.
TV: How can matcha in the morning help someone be more productive?
ON: Matcha definitely helps us to be more productive and enables us to concentrate. Matcha is also very high in l-theanine, a unique compound that reduces stress and helps produce a state of calm. Together, the caffeine and l-theanine present in matcha work to increase focus and alertness, making Matcha an ideal for aiding studying and boosting brainpower. It also enhances energy levels naturally without the jitters you get from coffee.
Matcha Breakfast Recipes From Matcha and Beyond
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Disclaimer: The content of this article is for general advice only and should not be used as a substitute for professional healthcare or beauty advice. We make every effort to ensure we only recommend safe products however you should always do a patch test when trying new products. This post may contain affiliate links.