Oh yes, people, I might cancel an Amazon transaction of $5.99, but give me a coffee for $7 and I'll make it rain.

In the many short years of life I have roamed the earth I have been here and there, but tell me anything about coffee and I win the argument. Like every millennial, I have the cringe-worthy mania of buying an inflated priced latte and making it my story on Instagram. Then I sit and get inspired to write or study, with a decreasing bank account. I could've kept on fueling my hipster facade of a coffee cultured millennial had I not come face to face with coffee's market nemesis: Matcha.

I was about 17 the first time I drank my cup of matcha, and I felt I was drinking grass. Flashforward almost three years later I found myself looking for ways to better my health, and I decided to give it another try. Who doesn't love coffee, I personally consider it an art and social concept, but I also knew it's downsides. Of course, coffee has been known to be anti-oxidant, and even a natural laxative, but it also yellows teeth, messes with your gastrointestinal health, and whatnot. This is how the tale goes... I wanted to give my health a boost, so in order to cut the self-growth b.s. every health story has I'll just say that one day, I hid my fresh coffee beans and turned my coffee kitchen corner into, boom, the matcha corner. And yes as soon as I had the first, cup, went for a workout, and ate super clean I felt like that Seth Rogen meme mimicking Kim Kardashian. But let's cut the rainbow scenery and get down to business. The first day was what I like to call the placebo effect because I had mentalized that moment so much I was in the hype of trying a new thing. However, day 2, let's just say thank god I'm proud and didn't want to break the challenge. You know the days progressed well, I figured I would be able to condition myself to stop the cravings and by the end of the week, I wasn't craving coffee anymore. What I found was that matcha does have surprising benefits, above all, I felt very energetic.

I began to research about my "shrek tea", and found many surprising facts I will touch on below:

Ceremonial Tea

photo by Japan Info

Matcha originates from Japan. Japanese consumed matcha in ceremonial rituals, making it a delicacy in the country. The Tang Dynasty brought forth the practice of consuming tea with the goal of emanating the ceremony's core principles: Harmony, tranquility, respect, and purity. They began this practice by pulverizing green tea leaves with stones, thus producing the infamous matcha powder.

Matcha? Why not green tea?

photo by Conscious Cleanse

When it comes to health benefits, the difference between matcha and green tea is that matcha is higher in concentration and antioxidants. This is because matcha is the powdered version of the leaves, while tea is the infusion of the leaves. Thus, matcha has a higher caffeine amount than the average cup of green tea.

Health Benefits

photo by Nutra Ingredients

Matcha has been found to contain Catechins, a cancer-fighting antioxidant not found in many foods. Matcha has also been linked to providing calming effects, no sugar, energy fuel, boost the immune system, and even been used as a calorie burner.

The recipe

photo by Art of Tea

I have the powder.. what now? The process is easy but mindful. On a small bowl, I combine 2 tablespoons of powder with 3 tablespoons of almond milk and mix until the powder has become a thick liquid. Depending if you want it hot or cold, I heat a mug with almond milk and pour the matcha mix through a filter to avoid clumps. Agave or honey can be added for sweetness.

The verdict is that I found myself content with an early cup of matcha, and found myself with more energy than I did with coffee. I felt energetic without the jittery residues of coffee consumption, and I found myself sans stomach pain. In the course of the week, I bought a Starbucks to see if I felt a difference and I just couldn't finish it. I felt heavy and it lacked the freshness of a bright green cup. This is coming from a coffee addict, and I was surprised at myself. The difference now is that I begin my day with a cup of matcha and will treat myself to an eventual coffee throughout the week, yet the craving is gone. The thing is I found what worked for me without compromising my health. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Does it make an incredible color pop Insta story? You bet.