I love coffee. If I’m not careful I can easily drink 5 or 6 cups of coffee per day. And let me confess that I actually did drink that much coffee before, even in the middle of the night. Bad girl, I know! Here’s my beloved Breville espresso machine (next to my beloved high-speed Optimum blender).
I thought I had a good reason for being a coffee addict though. Which was this: when you are trying to follow a restrictive diabetic diet in which you can’t have anything fun in life, like sugar, oil, bread, processed food, potatoes, white flour, white rice, animal products, alcohol, cheese, butter, and other dairy – something has to give. And that something was coffee (I mean, aside from dark chocolate and nut butter…). And what could be more innocent than coffee, as far as addiction is concerned?
Now I’m trying a little harder to restrict my coffee intake though – to a more reasonable two cups a day. Enter the wonderful world of coffee alternatives! I’m discovering quite a few satisfying coffee alternatives. Matcha latte is my favourite at the moment.
Matcha is the very best of green tea. It is bright green powder made from the most precious part of green tea leaves. It is good for you, being full of antioxidants and other health benefits compared to regular green tea.
It is also super expensive. We are not talking about cheap versions used to colour ice cream green – the real matcha costs hundreds of dollars per kilo. One online source in Japan sells them at $750/kilo, and that’s just medium grade matcha! You can find it in Australia at Japanese grocery shops or online.
Traditionally in Japan, we didn’t drink matcha tea on a regular basis. It was reserved for special occasions like tea ceremonies.
Nowadays, matcha is widely available, at so many different price levels, and anyone can enjoy a casual cup of matcha tea. And matcha is suddenly super popular through the world.
Anyway, back to matcha latte. It’s pretty simple to make. I use about 1/3 cup hot water, 2/3 cup milk (I use soy milk or almond milk), 1 scant teaspoon of matcha powder, and 1 heaping teaspoon of fake sugar. It’s delicate, fragrant, delicious, and soothing. Sometimes it tastes even better than coffee. Give it a try!
(1) Mix matcha in a little bit of hot water well, until there are no lumps. This is the most important part. I don’t own a chasen (traditional Japanese bamboo whisk we use to make matcha tea), but any small whisk is better than a spoon here. Add more hot water if you like.
(2) heat up your soy or almond milk, and froth it with a milk froth whisk thingy if you like.
(3) Pour the frothy milk goodness into the matcha / hot water mix, add sugar, and enjoy!
Oh, if you buy good quality matcha, you should store it tightly wrapped in the freezer. Otherwise it’ll lose its delicate flavour quickly.