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I am shaking off my half-term-induced coma, crawling out from underneath three blankets and two cats, getting off my weighty, overbroad backside to go dancing for the first time in MONTHS.
As I blearily look around for a way to dispel my lethargy (without involving any form of exercise at all) I suddenly remember something.
Until recently, I’d been drinking this magic liquid nearly every day, but somewhere along the way, it completely slipped my mind and fell out of my routine. Time to resurrect the habit.
Matcha is powdered Japanese green tea – as precious as gold dust, potent as unicorn’s blood (I imagine) and more nutritious than spinach and broccoli put together.
It has been imbibed for centuries by Buddhist monks and the upper classes – valued for its restorative and calming properties. There are ceremonies dedicated to the correct serving of matcha – involving bamboo whisks, priceless tea cups and a sequence of graceful, fluid movements more complicated than any dance.
I, however, sacrilegiously dump a teaspoon into a pyrex jug, whisk a couple of tablespoons of hot (not boiling) water into it, and then top up with a litre of very cold water. This is probably distressingly inappropriate to most born and bred Japanese, but I end up with a beautiful, startlingly green liquid that I can pour into a clean bottle and drink throughout the rest of the morning/afternoon. It’s particularly good to take to crossfit or to the gym. There is scientific evidence that matcha improves the efficacy of the muscles AND helps them to recover quicker after a workout.
And, most useful of all, it can bring a noisy class to pin-dropping silence within seconds. All I have to do is pull the bottle from my bag, undo the cap and take a swig. By the time I’ve replaced the lid, there will be 30 pairs of eyes looking at me solemnly, and you can GUARANTEE that one of them will raise his/her hand and ask, “Er… What are you drinking, Miss?”
It’s also delicious. I didn’t think so the very first time I tried it, but it has certainly grown on me. It’s mild, sweet, grassy and profound. It’s very popular as a flavouring for chocolate, biscuits and cake in Japan. I LOVE cooking with it – though it’s a rather expensive hobby!
Is there anyone out there who drinks matcha – either the proper way (tea ceremony) or my way? Anyone tried a matcha latte from Starbucks in Japan? I love it! Let me know how you drink yours…
Have a good weekend people!