Matcha is a very popular drink in eastern countries, but thanks to the mixing of our cultures, this preparation is also gaining importance in our western countries. But what does matcha have to do with coffee?
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What is Matcha Latte?
Matcha Latte is a mix of cultures because Matcha is nothing more than a powder obtained by grinding the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, also known as the tea plant, and this powder is mixed with other ingredients such as water and structured milk, to get the texture of a slat.
For the Matcha Latte, a few spoonfuls of Matcha are mixed with water to form a paste that is green thanks to the Matcha. Once the mixture is homogeneous, the textured milk is added.
In some cafes, the ingredients are mixed with a steam wand after all the ingredients are in place, as using other methods of mixing the ingredients can result in unwanted textures or clumps in the drink.
The taste of this drink differs from that of traditional green tea because the leaves used are planted in the shade a month in advance to achieve a higher concentration of chlorophyll (the substance that gives plants their color).
It is very important to know that the drink is related to coffee with milk, because the leaves of Camellia sinensis contain less caffeine than regular coffee. While a spoonful of coffee can contain anywhere from 100 to 125 milligrams of caffeine a spoonful of Matcha up to 26 milligrams of caffeine.
Types of Matcha
There are three different types of Matcha that are used in different areas.
- Ceremonial Matcha, mostly used for teacups.
- Culinary Matcha, mostly used to mix with other ingredients for pastries, desserts, bread or other recipes.
- Matcha Premium, typically for those who desire higher concentrations of caffeine. Because it uses the leaves that grow at the base of the plant, this is the most expensive of the three.
The quality of Matcha varieties depends on where they are on the plant, as the varieties at the top are usually of better quality than those at the base of the plant.
Benefits of a Matcha Latte
Matcha has a variety of health benefits.
- Matcha increases energy. Thanks to the small amounts of caffeine, Matcha gives us energy without having side effects like coffee.
- When we drink Matcha, it naturally releases serotonin and dopamine that reduce stress.
- Boosts the immune system as its antioxidant effects can fight infections.
- Detoxification is one of the properties of chlorophyll.
- Just like green, white, and black tea, Matcha is high in polyphenols, which basically reduce inflammation and slow the damage to our cartilage.
- Because Matcha has antibacterial properties, it can help prevent tooth decay and prevent plaque build-up.
Prepare Matcha Latte at home
Although there are places that specialize in making Matcha latte, you can also make it at home.
Preparing the Matcha Latte
- Heat water and milk separately.
- Then add the hot water, tablespoon of Matcha tea, sugar and ground cinnamon to a bowl.
- Mix the ingredients in the bowl with a fork or whisk.
- When the milk is hot, it needs to be textured. There are two ways to do this:
- You can use a milk frother or
- Place the milk in the blender for 30 seconds.
- Then add the two mixtures to a cup and mix with a small spoon so that the flavors blend.
Tips for your preparation
- You should use hot water because the Matcha powder does not dissolve properly in cold water.
- Instead of cow’s milk you can also use an alternative milk, for example coconut milk.
- Instead of sugar, you can use honey, panela, or artificial sweeteners.
- If you mix the ingredients with vanilla extract, you get a delicious drink as a result.
- Just like vanilla extract, ground cinnamon adds a special touch to your Matcha Latte.