Thursday, May 12, 2016
What is it exactly? Well, simply put, it's green tea. But it's more than just steeping a few green tea leaves. Matcha is made from grinding the leave of shade-grown tea plants into a fine powder. This powder is what is called Matcha. It is brewed a bit different than other teas. Rather than steeping and straining off, the fine powder is blended with the water with a whisk and taken whole. It has a very earthy, grassy flavor and produces a bright green liquor. This is where all the wonderful benefits come in. Of course there's a lot of history behind Matcha and it's production is much more involved than we've described here, but we're just going to discuss the wonderful health benefits and a few of the ways we serve it at The Soap & Coffee Hut/The Tea Hut.
Matcha is said to have so many great health benefits. And considering when you drink Matcha you are consuming the whole leaf meaning you are now receiving ALL of the benefits/nutrients of the tea leaf. One of the biggest benefits of Matcha is that it is packed with antioxidants. It is said to contain more antioxidants than 10 cups of regular green tea. A few other health benefits said to be contained in this delicious leaf is the fiber and vitamin content. It is said to help boost metabolism and to help burn calories. It helps to naturally detoxify the body. And many claim it to also have calming effects on the mind & body. It helps to enhance mood and helps with concentration (have an exam coming up?). It is also said to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. There are just so many great health benefits to drinking this tea and we have not even listed them all here. All this on top of being an absolutely delicious beverage.
What about caffeine you ask? The amount of caffeine in Matcha may vary and since you're consuming the entire leaf rather than just an infusion of the leaf, the caffeine content in Matcha will be slightly higher than in regular cup of steeped and strained green tea. But in general, there is approximately 68 mg of caffeine in 1 tsp of powdered Matcha. So your cup of Matcha is going to have roughly half the caffeine as the same cup of coffee would have. HOWEVER, the caffeine in Matcha effects the body much differently than that of coffee. Where with coffee you have a steep energy spike and then a steep crash. With Matcha the caffeine is released more slowly and gradually which actually creates a more sustained level of energy over a period of time (6-8 hours). This is where the aid in concentration comes in. This is also the reason there is no sudden energy spike and sudden energy crash as with coffee. This is, of course, the very simplified explanation. There is a lot of science behind the difference in the way the body assimilates the caffeine in tea vs coffee. But this is the basics.
Have you never tried Matcha? Or maybe you've tried it somewhere and didn't like it? As I've mentioned before, I have always been a coffee drinker and not much into teas. But when I started with teas I decided to also try Matcha and I had regular hot Matcha (non-latte) as well as Matcha Latte in many different coffee shops. I was convinced that I did NOT care for it at all. It was either way too sweet or way too grassy or it was just so watered down that it was a weak brew. And then we had someone come into the store and actually train us to make it properly. Well, I had to force myself to try it because I was sure that I wouldn't like it....again. To my surprise, I LOVED it. The way it is made makes such a huge difference. I can now say that Matcha is one of my favorite drinks. Of course, I prefer it as a latte but the point is I now love it where I didn't like it before. So give it another try if you didn't like it before. Perhaps it just wasn't prepared properly????
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
YAY!!!!! WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!!
Above is a panoramic view of the store with the new coffee & tea bar added. This would be the reason it's been a while since I've posted here. I've been working hard at getting the coffee & tea bar ready to open.
So we've opened with a small selection of coffees from a local roaster, Larry's Coffee. We have both coffee for brewing and espresso for beverages as well as bagged coffee for purchase to take home and brew your own. The retail bagged coffees are whole bean. But if you do not have a grinder at home we are able to grind it for your at no additional charge.
As for teas.....Oh my do we have teas for you. We have started with a selection of over 20 loose leaf teas (some single origin and others are blends and some are tisanes) from 3 different companies. We tasted and tested so many teas we thought we would just float away if we tried any more. LOL I had to narrow the list down quite a bit though. We originally had something like 35 or 40 teas on the list. What we've started with will grow as we grow.
I will be adding my own blend of herbal wellness teas within the month too. There are many companies that offer wellness teas already blended. However, I want to be able to blend my own making it much easier for me to customize them for individual tastes and needs. As many may know I've been using herbs in our household, and to help others, for over 20 years now. So wellness teas are something that I love to blend. And as I become more familiar with blending purely for flavor I will begin blending my own regular line of teas as well.
So stop on in at The Soap & Coffee Hut for a coffee or tea, and do a little shopping for Mother's Day & Teacher Appreciation Week while your beverage is being blended! Sit & Sip or Grab & Go!! Either way we'd love to have you stop in.