Coffee and Matcha: Why We Love Both
Robust coffee and matcha are both known as tasty morning beverages that we happen to enjoy either hot or cold. Both are rich and slightly bitter, and recognized for their distinct taste. If you didn’t know, matcha is actually a processed (read: finely ground) type of green tea that can be whisked into liquid.
A hot, thick cup of freshly brewed coffee is first the ultimate craving for so many people at the start of the day. But across the nation, frothy matcha is indeed becoming more prominent. In any big city, you’re bound to stumble across options for matcha lattes or smoothies in hip cafes and upscale brunch spots: It’s quite trendy, and many lovers of the green tea will surely agree it deserves that spotlight.
An Homage to Both Coffee and Matcha
While the popularity of matcha lattes continues to rise, coffee isn’t taking any steps back. Both coffee and matcha can be made into delicious drinks — It all comes down to preference and mood when it’s time to order at a cafe. Just like coffee and tea, coffee and matcha can only be compared so much. After all, they’re two different foods that might be enjoyed more at one time over the other. And if offered both, chances are good that many hot beverage lovers would say take that as a win-win. They’re both easy to prepare, hot or cold, and can be embellished with flavors, milks, and even each other (matcha-coffee latte, anyone?).
Different Types of Matcha
When shopping for matcha, you’re likely to come across both ceremonial and culinary matcha. These grades are separated by how you’re going to use the green tea powder. For making matcha lattes or in other drinks or food, grab the culinary grade matcha. But the tea has also been used in ceremonial and cultural settings like Japanese tea ceremonies for hundreds of years. Ceremonial grade matcha is also meant to be enjoyed on its own, without additives like sweeteners.
Caffeine Alternatives to Matcha and Coffee
Matcha is one of the main caffeine alternatives that people choose over coffee. Any tea in general, so long as it's not herbal, can be a great alternative to coffee but while still offering some caffeine. Someone might prefer matcha over coffee because it’s caffeine content is lower. Or, they might react better to matcha over coffee, reporting a lack of that “crash” that’s so commonly associated with coffee drinking. Both coffee and matcha are known for several health benefits, too! If you’re looking for something different than coffee and in addition to matcha, consider these caffeine alternatives:
- Other green teas
- Black tea and white tea
- Yerba mate
- Dark chocolate
- Lightly sweetened sparkling waters
When shopping for matcha and coffee, like other foods and ingredients, be sure to look into how and where it was sourced and processed. Some people may opt for organic or other specialty coffees because of pesticides or preservatives traditionally applied to coffee plants. It’s important to store these beans and ingredients properly, especially with a lack of preservatives. Like other organic foods, there are a few reasons why it can be a better option: Read more about pesticides in coffee here.
Getting Creative In Coffee and Matcha Recipes
While making drinks is more common, coffee and matcha recipes like ice cream or sauces are possible and delicious! Matcha lends a grassy and earthy flavor to recipes while coffee is known for its roasty, dark taste. Cooking or baking coffee and matcha recipes can look pretty similar, too. With something like a cake or pancake mix, you can usually just stir in ground coffee or matcha and bake like normal.
Some people may not be familiar with making matcha but it’s quite easy to prepare, just like your old pal, coffee. It's handy to have a couple tools like a matcha whisk and frother, but definitely not necessary. Read on for ingredients and a few instructions on how to make a matcha latte.
Hot Matcha Latte Recipe
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- 2 tbsp hot water
- 2-3 tsp honey
- Steam the milk (there are several ways to do this— Google it if you’re not sure how).
- Add the honey to the bottom of a serving mug. Whisk in the matcha powder and the hot water until the matcha is dissolved.
- Pour the milk over the matcha: Attempt latte art, or stir until well combined.
- Mug, meet mouth: Sip and savor!
When it comes to making coffee, there are dozens of methods and hundreds of different ways to make it: Whether that’s with a standard drip machine, french press, or even with an espresso machine. You can switch up the grind, brewing time and temperature, storage of beans, and so much more. And it’s one of those things where most everyone has a preferred way of getting the job done. Whatever you end up making, we’ll always encourage you to get creative, try new things, and enjoy each and every moment spent cooking and tasting.