Coffee has become increasingly trendy over the last couple of years. Every other store on the street seems to be an independent or chain coffee shop.
It has become fashionable to have a coffee in your hand at all times like an accessory. As more of the world turns to coffee, demand will increase by nearly 25% over the coming five years, according to the International Coffee Organization.
A generation of coffee addicts:
The problem is that we are all addicted to coffee. Caffeine is an addictive stimulant drug, and regular coffee drinkers find it difficult to rely on the body’s natural source of energy, instead becoming heavily dependant on a caffeine fix to wake up and stay alert.
When a regular coffee drinker tries to quit, they can suffer mild to severe withdrawal symptoms not unlike those described by recovering alcoholics. Withdrawal can be very debilitating, and has become so much of a problem that it has now been recognised as a disorder.
The issue with being addicted to any drug is the detrimental effects they can have on your health. Coffee is linked to problems in maintaining blood sugar levels, and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Caffeine also increases catecholamines. High catecholamine levels in your blood are associated with stress.
I’ve read a few success stories from those who quit drinking coffee and let their natural system assume their proper course. They are inspiring, but as an avid coffee drinker myself, they seem unrealistic. They do not offer an alternative. Going cold turkey is extremely difficult.
As I began to tune into my body and provide it with what it really wanted – fresh, whole, real, unprocessed foods, sleep, relaxation, and the time to enjoy the life I had created for myself and my family – I was able to break up with coffee and make up with my health.
– Mark Hyman, MD
A lot of health magazines point coffee addicts in the direction of tea as a healthy alternative. While tea leaves contain higher amounts of caffeine than coffee, once brewed tea is diluted more than coffee, making the caffeine levels drop.
This is where matcha comes in:
Matcha is a form of green tea. Matcha means “powdered tea” and is exactly that.
Green tea leaves are finely powdered and whisked with hot water with a bamboo brush until the drink is frothy.
Since you are consuming whole leaves in matcha rather than the brew from the leaves, the caffeine content is approximately three times higher.
Matcha provides 34mg of caffeine. While an espresso coffee contains 60mg, matcha’s effect is much more intense and lasts longer because it contains amino acid and L-Theanine. L-Theanine is said to help relieve stress by inducing a relaxing effect without drowsiness and may also possess immunologic attributes.
Health benefits of matcha:
Ingesting the whole leaves provides a more potent source of nutrients than it’s steeped tea counterpart. Matcha is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols have been connected with protection against heart disease and cancer, as well as better blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-ageing. It also provides 3.25mg of calcium, 1.85mg of vitamin C, 20.5mg of potassium and 274mg of protein per serving. Its vitamin and antioxidant content is so high in fact, that it surpasses superfoods like goji and acai berries. One bowl of matcha is equivalent to approximately 10 cups of regular green tea, since brewed tea provides only 10% of the nutrients from the leaves.
Jessica Satherley travelled to Japan and swapped her two americanos a day for matcha. Her feedback on the effects of matcha is very encouraging:
After three days of drinking the tea I feel extremely alert and refreshed, without any withdrawal symptoms from coffee.
Matcha is said to be the next coconut water in terms of popularity in Western culture. Vivid Drinks is the first UK Matcha company. Alternatively you can buy the powder from Amazon or TeaPigs and make the tea yourself. This recipe for a matcha latte is a must-try for a yummy and alternative way of enjoying the healthy drink.
Make the switch today and let us know how you feel.