I used to be addicted to coffee. I've been there, and I know exactly what it's like to wake up and reach for a coffee first thing in the morning to get my day started.
I hadn’t touched coffee until the day I started my first year at University, in 2012. Stress started to creep in, my classes were loaded with work, my serving job was stressful enough on its own, and I spent my evenings fitting in a workout before I passed out anywhere between 10pm-12am. And that cycle was on repeat for 2 years. I was (what I thought) super healthy. I would wake up every morning at 6am and down 3 espresso shots in my almond milk latte just so I could stay away during my morning classes, only to crash again at noon and reach for another coffee to fuel my evening work shift until midnight or my workout session after class. I was eating a whole-foods diet, only to simultaneously run my body down with poor-quality caffeine, stress and binge-drinking on the weekends.
Fast forward a few years later (at this point my hormones were completely out of whack and I was not doing so well) to the summer of 2015 where I decided to quit cold-turkey and heal my body. I stopped drinking coffee and instead fuelled my body with tons of cold-pressed juice, raw fruits and veggies, smoothies, rice bowls and salads. I felt amazing and am seriously proud of myself for being able to make such a difficult switch.
I began re-integrating coffee into my diet once a week or so as a special treat, only to find my body react even more negatively each time. I loved the taste of a good almond milk latte, but I would always feel insanely dehydrated and woozy after drinking even just a small amount of decaf. I still felt defeated in the caffeine world and new there had to be an alternative.
And that’s when I found matcha. My very very best friend of 2017 – a drink that brings me energy and light and clarity. I didn’t start drinking matcha religiously until the Summer of 2017. I got hold of a good quality matcha, finally, and really felt the difference with this one. I decided to make it a morning ritual for a week and to see how I felt after. And guess what? I had never felt better!
Not only did matcha make me feel amazing, but it also reaped a huge amount of benefits that I wasn’t fully aware of until I started doing some research. And this is why I drink matcha:
IT’S A GREAT SOURCE OF CAFFEINE
Generally, a cup of coffee has much more caffeine than a cup of matcha. Matcha does contain caffeine, but your body metabolizes it in a different way. Caffeine from matcha is more sustained, creating a steady energy over 8 hours, where with coffee we often see a caffeine spike and then a crash 2 hours later. Matcha creates a focused, clear energy, which allows for concentrated thinking. Which leads me to my next point…
IT’S AMAZING FOR CONCENTRATION
The main reason I personally became so hooked on matcha is that it gave me a clear, focused and concentrated energy throughout the day. It reduces my brain fog and allows me to stay motivated throughout the day. Matcha contains L-Theanine, which is an amino acid that promotes alertness in the brain.
IT’S PACKED WITH ANTIOXIDANTS AND CHLOROPHYLL
I was blown away when I heard the benefits of a good quality organic matcha. Not only is matcha a wonderful alternative to clear, focused energy, but it is also packed with antioxidants to help fight free radicals in the body which can be produced by stress or inflammatory foods. Matcha is also packed with chlorophyll, which is wonderful for detoxing the body, especially the liver.
IT TASTES DELICIOUS
Look for a good quality matcha (this is the one I use by withinUs – it’s my favourite!). Good quality matcha will have a bright green colour and will turn to a dark emerald green colour when mixed with hot water. There are so many ways you can drink your matcha. If you prefer something sweeter, I recommend blending your matcha with some raw organic honey. If you prefer your matcha more natural, like I do, drink it as is or mix in some adaptogenic herbs like maca powder and cinnamon to sweeten a little. You can also add your matcha to some homemade almond milk to make a delicious latte, or blend it up with your smoothies.
IT MAKES A LOVELY MORNING RITUAL
I love having matcha tea as part of my morning ritual. I love sipping on it while I write in my gratitude journal and do a mini-meditation before I eat breakfast and start my day!
The Pure Life Matcha Tea
- Milk frother or bamboo whisk
- a small mixing bowl
- a teaspoon
- High-quality matcha tea powder (this one is my favourite)
- 1 cup of hot water (not boiling)
- Optional: homemade almond or coconut milk, raw honey or maple syrup to sweeten, cinnamon
Remember that a good quality matcha will last long and will have the best benefits.
- Add 1 serving of matcha (about 1 tsp.) to the mixing bowl. Pour in about 1/4 cup of hot water (not boiling, as this will turn the matcha bitter) and begin to whisk in an “M” shape motion. Every 5 seconds, whisk the matcha in a circular motion and then go back to the “M” shape motion. Do this for about 30 seconds.
- Add the rest of the hot water and continue to whisk.
- Pour into a mug and drink as is.
If you wish to make this a latte, I recommend using 1/2 cup of hot water and 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk of your choice. You can use a blender or a milk frother to make it frothy, and you can heat it up on the stove.
Sisley Killam is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Health & Wellness Blogger at The Pure Life. She creates plant-based recipes and content for her readers daily. She also hosts workshops, co-hosts retreats, and runs her own online nutritional consulting business. To Sisley, living a “pure” life does not necessarily mean living 100% clean – because that takes a LOT of dedication! The Pure Life means living in a way that is best for YOU, while keeping in mind the pureness of plant foods, mindfulness, self-love practices, being inspired by other humans, and life itself.