Why Matcha has Been the Flavour of 2017
Every year a wide spread range of food trends pops into our lives, seemingly, overnight; this covers everything from avocados and cloud eggs to freak shakes. In 2017, one of the key flavours that we saw finding its way into a plethora of recipes was matcha. Today we’re exploring some of the reasons why this has become one of the flavours of the year, and whether this is a fad or a long lasting love for the unique flavour.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a fine green tea powder which has been popular in countries such as Japan for centuries. The word translated into ‘powdered tea’, and although the product is similar to green tea, the differing feature is the fact that rather than infusing the leaves in hot water, matcha is a dried and ground product of the leaves themselves. It is thought to help to calm the brain and the body and is used by monks to aid their meditation. The product is naturally green in colour and has a high level of antioxidants, this is largely due to the fact that the full leaves are consumed, rather than simply infused.
How is Matcha Consumed?
Matcha can be consumed in a number of ways, and many of these have only been discovered in the last year. Traditionally, the powder was used to make a revitalising tea, similar to green tea, packed with nutrition. It takes a teaspoon of matcha powder, combined with hot water (heated to less than a boil) to make a cup of this nutritious tea. It should then be whisked with a bamboo implement for a truly authentic experience.
However, with the emerging trend of matcha in 2016/17, the recipes that contain this ingredient seem to be almost endless. From pre-packed oriental sweets and snacks such as mocha and puddings to a variety of other meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts. Some of the most popular choices include: matcha yoghurt breakfast bowls (topped with fruit), matcha lattes, matcha cupcakes, matcha pancakes, matcha brownies, overnight matcha chia seeds, matcha ice cream, matcha macaroons and plenty more!
It seems that matcha can be combined with almost anything these days, but what is it that makes the product just so popular?
Why has Matcha Become so Popular?
According to a recent beverage trend report from Google, a key factor in the popularity of matcha is its characteristically earthy flavours. It reported a staggering 202% growth as a food trend since 2015, and it seems that this trend is not going anywhere anytime soon. Other flavours that have peaked in popularity because of the rise in popularity of earthy flavours include turmeric and spirilina.
The widespread increase in fitness trends across the UK in particular have also contributed to the increase in sales of matcha. The high levels of antioxidents and claimed health benefits are of great appeal to the fitness generation who are willing to try anything to keep their body in peak condition. A few of the health benefits include anti-aging, metabolism boosts, protection against heart disease and lung cancer as well as better levels of sleep. Matcha’s claim to increase your metabolic rate is one of the features that has made it just so popular, as it can greatly help to aid weight loss. The fitness trends also include practises such as yoga and meditation, which have strong links to the history of matcha and therefore should naturally be enjoyed together!
The popularity of matcha is seemingly continuing to rise in the present market, with new recipes being discovered on a daily basis. We're now two years in to the matcha-loving trend, and it looks as if it is set to continue long into 2018!
Facts About Matcha
- One cup of matcha tea has around three times as much caffeine than found in a traditional cup of breakfast tea. However, this is a much healthier type called theophylline, offering a more sustainable energy release throughout the day, rather than a quick buzz.
- Traditionally, matcha was enjoyed as part of the meditation process and is highly linked to Zen.
- One cup of matcha has the equivalent nutritional value of ten cups of green tea!
- Matcha is said to help memory, concentration and learning without the negative effects of caffeinated alternatives.
What is your favourite way to enjoy matcha? We’d love to hear from you via our social media channels!