We challenged a coffee-obsessed DAVIDsTEA fan to make the switch to matcha for 14 whole days. That’s two weeks of our delicious stone-ground green tea and zero caffè. How do you think she did? Read her story in her own words.
To make a long story short, I’m happy to announce I’m writing this blog post while sipping on a matcha latte (I’m still alive and kicking!).
Let’s rewind to a couple weeks ago…
I was challenged by my favourite tea company to ditch coffee cold turkey and replace it with matcha for two weeks straight.
To give you a bit of context, I’ve been drinking coffee for 7 years with an average of 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day. If you do a little quick math, that adds up to over 7,000 cups of coffee (ouch). Over the years, I’ve trained my palate to enjoy the taste of coffee but truthfully, the primary reason for my coffee consumption is its energizing effect. You know, that jumping-off-the wall-ready-to-take-on-the-world feeling, followed close behind by jitters, the inevitable crash and intense coffee withdrawal headaches. On days where I skip out on coffee, I always find myself to a) be grumpy (ask any of my friends) and b) have a massive headache by around 2PM. Needless to say, this challenge came as a… challenge.
I recently left my full-time job to focus on going back to school to complete my master’s degree. I’m currently studying for my GMAT exam, so my days consist of studying either at home, at the library or at a nearby cafe. It’s important that I stay energized and focused throughout the day, so cutting coffee cold turkey without a substitute was out of the question for me.
I’ve had matcha a few times before and I’m familiar with the benefits. Namely that the caffeine in matcha releases at a much slower pace than coffee, thereby limiting the consequences of a caffeine spike. Matcha green tea also contains about one third of the caffeine content of coffee, so I was worried that I’d have to substantially increase my matcha intake throughout the challenge. My final concern was the amount of time it would take to prepare a matcha beverage.
I was kindly sent the Modern Matcha Essentials kit, which includes a matcha bowl, a traditional bamboo matcha whisk and the Perfect Matcha Spoon. I was also gifted the Stainless Steel Matcha Maker and a variety of 3 matcha green teas: Matcha Matsu, Grand Cru Matcha and Peach Matcha. Over the course of the challenge, I experimented with different methods and flavours, and kept track of how I felt. Here’s a quick summary.
The first matcha latte I made was delicious but somewhat tedious, to be honest. Boil water. Whisk matcha. Froth milk. Clean equipment. Like everything, getting into a new routine can feel exhausting out of the gate.
I started with a Grand Cru Matcha latte and really enjoyed the velvety taste. Since this matcha powder is in its purest form (no sweeteners added) I decided to add a teaspoon of maple syrup to sweeten it. Later in the afternoon, I made an iced matcha latte using two Perfect Matcha Spoons of Matcha Matsu and one Perfect Matcha Spoon of Peach Matcha. It was delicious on its own (no sweetener added), with a slight fruity peach taste.
Overall, my energy and concentration levels were high that day, but I did have a subdued headache in the afternoon. I decided to increase my water intake instead of going for what would typically be my third cup of coffee of the day.
Getting the hang of it
Soon enough, making my daily matcha was easy. I typically make my coffee using a classic espresso machine, so all in all, it took the same amount of time/steps to make a matcha latte. But the real game changer was the Matcha Maker. No fuss, just shake and go. I brought it to the library, and even used it a few times at home.
If I needed an extra boost of energy later in the day, I would sneak a couple spoonfuls of matcha into my green smoothie (which happens to be high in antioxidants thanks to both matcha and turmeric).
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 frozen banana
- A few chunks of frozen mango / pineapple
- A large handful of spinach
- A small knob of ginger
- 2 Perfect Matcha Spoons of matcha (I used Matcha Matsu)
- 2 tsp of turmeric
- 1 cup of OJ or water
In terms of energy levels, although I never got the “OMG I am caffeinated” feeling (aka caffeine spike), the transition was much easier than anticipated. My headaches were gone after day 3, and I had enough energy to concentrate on my studies for a full day. The only downfall was ordering matcha lattes when studying at a cafe. Although more and more cafes feature matcha on their menu, it’s still not available everywhere.
The final day.
Yesterday, I flew overseas to visit my parents in Switzerland. We went hiking today in the Swiss Alps, and you best believe I brought my matcha maker.
Quite frankly, even though I’m a total coffee addict, I found this challenge to be much easier than I expected it to be, and I didn’t lose any friends along the way (LOL). I also noticed that my caffeine-induced anxiety completely disappeared.
I can’t get enough of the Stainless Steel Matcha Maker. It really does keep your drinks hot or cold for hours. Plus, in addition to the matcha shaker attachment, it also includes an infuser for loose tea, so it’s a 2-for-1 in my book.
I’ve always been a fan of iced lattes (even in the winter), and quite enjoyed iced matcha lattes with a combination of pure matcha powder (Grand Cru or Matcha Matsu) and flavoured matcha powder (Peach Matcha). DAVIDsTEA has many other flavours that I’d like to try, especially Rose Matcha.
Always wash your equipment right away – it’ll save you loads of time!
Now, the big question remains. Will I completely quit coffee? The realistic answer is no – I enjoy the taste of coffee and the culture that surrounds it too much to give it up. However, my eyes have been opened to alternatives. My goal is to stick to one coffee per day, and try to replace cups #2 and #3 with matcha. I’m also thinking about incorporating matcha into baked goods. Rose Matcha macarons anyone?!
Shop matcha teas here.
This article has been edited for length.