If you follow me on Instagram you might have gauged that I’m pretty much addicted to matcha. I first discovered the green-tea derivate in LA (where else!?) when I was there for a couple of months earlier this year. Coming back to London I couldn’t tell if it was a case of what you look for you find but I suddenly saw it EVERYWHERE and have thus proceeded to guzzle my way around the whole of London.
Along the way I’ve pretty much discovered everything there is to know about matcha including how extremely good it is for you. Finally something I’m obsessed with that isn’t bad for me! Sharing is caring so now that I’m finally comfortable and secure enough in my relationship with matcha to know you can’t steal her from me, here’s the goss…
What The Eff Is Matcha?
First things firssst.. it’s basically green tea except the green tea leaves are ground into a fine powder instead of simply being used to infuse the water then thrown away. The green tea used to make matcha is also grown in the shade which triggers the leaves to better grow in flavour and texture. The leaves are hand-selected, steamed, dried then ground into a fine powder. TA-DA matcha.
According to the 8th century Zen priest Eisai, who introduced the tea to Japan, matcha is “the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete”. I agree.
What Do You Do With Matcha?
Weeell you can actually put it in pretty much anything and everything from sweet to savoury offerings; crepes, brownies, matcha soup, stir fry, even matcha guacamole, apparently. My favourite thing though is the matcha latte which I pretty much have every single day without fail.
How Much Caffeine Does Matcha Have?
A lot, as I quickly discovered when a few weeks into my addiction I realised I was sleeping waaaaay past my bedtime. Matcha has around as much caffeine as a cup of coffee and three times as much caffeine as tea. I get serious heart palpitations from coffee though, which I don’t get from matcha which is probably why I love it so damn much. Others have said the same and it’s thought to be due to the fact it has calming properties which counteracts the jitters. Plus, it’s slow-releasing and can brighten you up for up to six hours after consuming.
What Are The Benefits Of Matcha?
Literally so many things. Matcha provides small amounts of vitamins and minerals, plus it’s rich in antioxidants which have been linked to protection against heart disease and cancer, as well as better blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-aging. Antioxidants in matcha have also been found to boost metabolism as well as slow or halt the growth of cancer cells and studies have found it can help with weight loss. Yet to find a catch, tbh.
Okay So What’s This Matcha Latte You Keep Banging On About?
The best thing everrr. Blended milk with matcha powder results in a bright green, creamy drink. You can have it with almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk and etccc although I like it best with regular cow’s milk.
Can I Get Matcha At Starbucks?
Yeah you can, and I do, but only in beggars can’t be choosers scenarios. Like, if you have the option go somewhere else for your matcha, go there, but also, you gotta do what you gotta do when you don’t have choices, you know? Only thing is it’s super sweet and well, Starbucks-y, which I guess probably reduces quite a few of the health benefits. As in… it’s 350 calories and has 40 grams of sugar in it (!) which is basically as much as a can of Coke.
Where Can I Get The Best Matcha In London?
Where to get your matcha from is a seeerious decision because it can make all the difference in your enjoyment of it, and the taste can vary greatly depending on the quality of the powder used and how it’s prepared. These are a few of my favourite spots in London…
1. Over Under Coffee –
My absolute fave, this is just around the corner from my house in Earls Court and thus my most frequent matcha fix. They serve up a delicious matcha latte, either hot or cold, in addition to a pretty impressive chai and healthy tasty food and snacks. They’re opening a new store in Soho soon so more people can get to enjoy. Plusss they do live music sessions once a month; matcha cocktail soon come. @overundercoffee.
Um so this place literally specialises in matcha. I popped in a few weeks ago and my heart almost stopped in excitement. I mean, it calls itself a matcha bar!! Their award winning range is super high quality and sourced from the foothills of Mt. Fuji so you know it’s the real deal. There is an extensive menu featuring all sorts of dreamy concoctions, including a sundae, lemonades and a whoolee bunch of matcha deserts including icecream, cheesecake, brownie, macaroons, pancakes and more. There are a few all around London aaand they’re doing a Hello Kitty pop-up in their Fitzrovia store for the next few weeks… @tombo_london .
3. Curators Coffee Gallery
A specialist coffee house, no wifi, no frills, they serve up some great quality coffee and matcha, as well as some edible matcha treats, too. It’s probably the most reasonably priced at £2.80. Plus, it’s just off Oxford Street and Regent Street for a seamless escape. You can also sign up to a Matcha Masterclass and learn aaall about it. @curators_coffee.
More on the sweet side for the matcha (which is just to my liking so I’m not complaining at all!) Hally’s in Parsons Green serves up a tasty one. It’s a super cute California inspired cafe and they’ve got lots of yummy things to eat, too. @hallysandlittleh.
5. Dean Street Townhouse / Soho House
The Soho Houses seem to do everything first, and best, and their matcha lattes are fab. If you don’t have a membership though (like me!) Dean Street Townhouse is also under the House umbrella and they’ve got a veery good one, too. Plus you’ll feel like quite a bawse sipping it in their plush surroundings, although it will probably set you back the most out of any of the other ones listed here. @sohohouse.
Have you ever tried matcha? Do you like it? Let me know in the comments below…