When matcha first featured in magazines and menus, we assumed it was just having a moment. But then came the insta-takeover and before we knew it, it had crept into our kitchens and our beauty cabinets. Now, matcha has created a movement of sorts. And with the backing of A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, Serena Williams and Drake, it’s being hailed as the green goddess of beverages, bakes and beauty.

In true Qiyorro style, we wanted to understand everything that we needed to about this powerful ingredient. So here’s the tea…

As on-trend as it may be, matcha was discovered centuries ago, by accident that too! Legend has it that it was chanced upon my mistake by a Chinese emperor whose water was boiled with fallen leaves. Since then, it’s been an intrinsic part of tea ceremonies. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Matcha means power tea and comes from the same plant as green tea, but with matcha more health benefits (sorry, we just love a good pun). With matcha the entire leaf is harvested and dried, unlike with green tea which uses only part of the leaf.

Why does this matter? Matcha packs a lot more caffeine, three times more to be exact. Don’t worry about uncontrollable jitters or going into overdrive though. The caffeine is released slowly (over 6-8 hours) into the body, so there are no sudden adrenaline or insulin spikes. On the contrary, matcha makes you ultra zen. It has a calming effect thanks to L-theanine, an amino acid that puts you in a meditative state. Breaking the blood-brain barrier, these amino acids elevate the dopamine (happy hormone) and alpha waves in the brain.

If we didn’t have you at caffeine and chill, we will at antioxidants! There’s a reason why beauty products are increasingly turning to matcha as a key ingredient. Whether it’s consumed or applied topically, matcha has one of the highest antioxidant ratings, is packed with Vitamin B and E that helps combat signs of aging. It is also antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, making it a great spot treatment for acne and tired eyes.

Other fun benefits include weight loss (boosts metabolism), strengthened bones (reducing the risk of osteoporosis), healthy gums and teeth (its antibacterial properties work to cleanse gums and teeth). Did we mention it boosts fertility  (a healthy body means healthier egg and sperm production) and lowers cholesterol levels.
Beauty and health benefits aside, we love matcha because it’s such a versatile kitchen ingredient! We add it to our shakes, pancakes, ice creams and DIY facial treatments too.

Want to know how Najla likes her matcha? She prepares matcha lattes at home, using plant-based milks, usually oat or coconut, sweetened with stevia, and a special ingredient that knocks the flavour profile out of the park: cinnamon!
We know! It sounds strange but trust us, you’ll thank us later!