Zen-Like Elevation with Good Matcha
Japanese tea culture is ancient. It’s about embracing the moment. Appreciating complex flavors. Respecting tradition. And although it’s been around for so long, the green goodness is only starting to take part in western lifestyles as an alternative to foamy cortados and pumpkin spiced lattes.
During the last decade or so, the game has seen a big shift with artisanal or third wave coffee shops offering a deeper selection of Japanese green teas. And although there are quite a few varieties, from the sweeter and milder Sencha to the roasted rice-flavored and veggy-like Genmaicha, the resurgence is being fueled by one specific top shelf commodity: Bright Green Matcha.
And for good reason. Matcha has gained such an acceptance in coffeeland due to well-balanced flavor notes, the right amount of caffeine, and it’s versatility in a variety of drinks (think iced-almond milk matcha lattes or a double shot in a small can).
Even the process of cultivating the plant is unique to the tea game. The leaves get serious shade during the growing process, allowing them to develop good amounts of chlorophyll and their signature green color. Once harvested, they are steamed and then dried, sorted for grade, destemmed and deveined, and finally ground up via traditional stone mills.
The final product is an umami-rich and well-balanced fine powder that’s packed with antioxidants and meant to be entirely consumed, creating an epic flavor sensation.
And the quality? The koicha style of matcha is the thicker and syrupy style synonymous with ceremonial grade product. It’s got the iconic green appearance, and along with the pleasant and full-bodied sweetness, drinkers get a bigger umami flavor profile and longer finish. Kind of like a decent Bordeaux.
Ceremony-grade matcha is the ideal go-to on the beverage side, but for the non-traditional options, the culinary-grade fits the bill. And especially in sweets, where it’s being used in a variety of products, from gummy-textured ice cream mochis, to buttery chocolate chip cookies, to even plant powered smoothies that just need a few spoons of the green goodness.
Although the bright green sweetness is nice, there is nothing like a traditionally brewed cup of the good stuff. Just the process of ordering and waiting for it creates a sense of fulfillment. One that allows us to break away from the daily hustle and reflect. It’s the ideal disconnect. Watching that foam build up and smelling that rich aroma creates a moment of harmony. It’s a mood enhancer even before the first sip.
And drinking it provides the right amount of energy and clarity to get back to the next task at hand. Along with a calming effect that helps balance out the caffeine, a cup of matcha creates an all around feeling of balance suitable for the aspiring zen warrior.
With street cred like this, matcha is definitely on a different level. And none of the bullshit snobbery like in the small-batch coffee scene. Just a need to have an alternative option with a distinct flavor profile and the right amount of energy.
Of course, it’s fun to order a stack of green pancakes or a bowl of matcha gelato, but at the end of the day, it’s the simple approach that wins. Doesn’t matter if it’s in a cast iron tea cup or in a chilled bottle. Purity is purity and that’s what fuels the daily hustle.
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