Mmmm, Matchas! I am a tea fanatic. I find tea filling, tasty, lots of different types and flavors to try – there is a tea out there for everyone. Matcha is interesting as it’s a high quality green tea in a fine powder form. Wikipedia states that matcha has a much more antioxidants than regular green tea, up to 137 times more!
Red Leaf Tea makes fabulous matchas! Their matcha selection is HUUUGE! They got lots of fun flavours such as caramel, cheesecake, egg nog, pistachio and mango, just to name a few.
This one matcha in particular is of interest: The Sugar Buster Matcha
Look how tasty it looks!
What is in the Sugar Buster Matcha to make it so sugar bustery? Gymnema Sylvestre a herb that effects the taste of sweet, which may reduce cravings for sugar.
Matcha Tea and Gymnema enables sugar to be absorbed in the intestine. This tea blend blocks the sugar taste so you do not crave it as much. Gymnema Sylvestre is very often used in the Ayurvedic (long life) community to help control Types I and II Diabetes. Matcha and Gymnema are also known to help regulate weight loss and cholesterol levels.
The National Institute of Health conducted a study showing that Gymnema can be a safe and effective weight-loss formula that helps reduce excess body weight and BMI (body mass index) while maintaining healthy levels of blood lipids. Source: NIH http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15056124
Pretty nifty, eh?
So, when you order a match off Red Leaf Teas you can select the grade of matcha, from starter to imperial (high class, teehehe). You can also select the flavor concentration from delicate to “There’s Matcha in there?!”. So, if you want the Bavarian Cream matcha you can rig it to taste like drinking liquid bavarian cream without all the calories of sucking the insides of a donut.
For my order, I got these specs:
The Sugar Buster Matcha
Quality: Starter (Basic Grade)
The matcha comes looking like this:
(ignore that it’s another flavor, I already tore into the sugar buster pouch and all I had left was the other unopened flavor I ordered)
I highly recommend ordering the tin – it perfectly holds your matcha and keeps it air tight fresh and less messy. As you can see, the matcha comes in a non resealable gold bag so you really need another vessel to store the matcha in.
With all the orders I’ve received from Red Leaf I was given a pamphlet with instructions on how to prepare your matcha, which is pretty easy and you don’t need a whole bunch of special gear. If you want the gear, Red Leaf Tea sells it.
I used a fine mesh strainer off a tea pot – sifting the matcha is essential so there is no clumps! You can use a small bowl or wide mug to prepare and serve in. You will also need a whisk. I got the snazzy bamboo whisk, but I’ve used a small wire whisk with a little extra muscle.
You add a round 1/3 cup of hot water (180 f, not boiling) and whisk the tasty stuff using a M or W motion to make some tasty foam. After that, top with a bit more water to the strength you like your tea at, and enjoy!
Hot, this matcha tastes deliciously strong green tea and earthy. The sugar buster matcha has a slight natural sweet taste at first, then the sweetness disappears off my tongue. It’s like the opposite effect of stevia to me (which taste like nothing, then hits the back of my throat sweet) but much less sweet. FYI, it’s just 6 calories in a cup of matcha.
That’s not all you can do with matcha! Matcha is killer in a smoothie!
1/2 teaspoon of Sugar Buster Matcha
1 cup of soy milk (or whatever milk you like)
1 scoop of protein powder (I am using ON 100% soy)
Ice cubes (optional)
1 blender bottle
Sift the matcha as usual over the soymilk. Add protein powder. Close the bottle and shake. Drink out of the bottle like a boss, or pour out into a fancy glass. Very fast and easy to make!
The blender bottle makes for lots of tasty froth! From drinking the smoothie I feel very full and energized! I barely could finish the entire smoothie! I found the sweet disappearing effect to linger on my tongue. Time will tell if it reduces my crazy sugar cravings, but regardless, very yummy drink and lots of health benefits!
Red leaf tea also has some recipes listed on their site for other matcha ideas. There is even more recipes online. Sugar Buster matcha cookies? hmm.. that might defeat the purpose!
Overall, pretty good. I’ve had some matcha powder mixes from my local asian supermarket and Red Leaf’s matcha are much high quality. It’s not ultra bitter, mowed lawn taste or loaded with sugar. I’ve had a couple flavors so far (caramel, cheesecake, raspberry and bavarian cream) and they all taste pretty spot on.
I totally needed this smoothie too. I had a BRUTAL couple days of brazilian jiu-jitsu. I got my butt kicked for one class and a crazy work out that left me ragged and tested my cardio. I spent the rest of the evening in the bath tub with a couple cups of epsom salts. Then I went to jitz again the next morning and just performed terribly as I felt stiff and tired out. I should of done a long stretching session. I really want to just curl up and eat cookies, but this matcha smoothie really hit the spot! Off to stretch!