Tea is one of those things us Brits are very routine about. We know which tea we like and we know exactly what time of day we want it. It’s all about the routine. Remember the days when you used to have your teabags on holiday with you because no other country in the world had ever heard of English Breakfast?!!
I was always a tea drinker. That was until I was pregnant, and then tea was the last thing I could stomach. I wanted to drink tea but my body was having none of it. So during that time, this broke my tea habit.
I tried many teas during this period of time; mainly fruit, peppermint to help the nausea and indigestion, even mulled wine tea (to get me through Christmas without alcohol) but none of them really stuck.
Since becoming a mum, my hot drink of choice is coffee…probably because of the higher caffeine shot it gives me to survive the day. I have always been very strict about the amount of coffee I drink in a day and generally stick to one cup of good coffee, two at most.
I don’t really enjoy drinking coffee first thing so to replace the English Breakfast I added green tea with lemon to my hot drink routine. My only cup of “normal” tea is post school run in the afternoon. If I feel the need for any other hot drinks during the day it will more often than not be a plain green tea.
Anyway, enough about me, let me get to the point of my post.
The difference between green tea and black tea is in the processing. Both teas come from the same plant but black tea undergoes fermentation which changes its colour and taste, whereas green tea is left unprocessed and retains its natural green colour.
The evidence of reported health benefits of green tea such as; reduced risk of cancer, weight loss, is largely inconclusive. However, as a general rule, the less processed something is, the better it is for you. Green tea contains flavanoids which are a powerful antioxidant, which protects the body from disease and are an important part of a healthy diet. Green tea does also contain caffeine, but considerably less than coffee, so still acts as a stimulant, so beware if you drink it later in the day.
Then there is Matcha green tea. This is the same as ordinary green tea except that you ingest the whole green tea leaf rather than brew the tea in water. For this reason, Matcha green tea is higher in antioxidants and is why it retains a vivid green colour.
Last year I was contacted by Tenzo Tea and asked if I would like to review their Matcha green tea. Of course I said yes (although it has taken me a while to get this done!). Tenzo are based in the US, so it took a while for the tea to arrive, and then there was a customs charge so it all turned into a bit of a palaver!!
I was sent the Matcha Starter Kit (RRP $44.95), which included; a bamboo whisk, a porcelain whisk stand, bamboo scooper plus the ceremonial grade matcha. The whisk, stand and scooper not necessarily required although I did find it quite exciting to open the box. It was beautifully packaged in some green tissue paper, with a clear and easy to follow instruction card and a sticker (who doesn’t love a sticker?!)
When it comes to making the tea, as far as I see it, there are 4 options:
Tea plus hot water
Tea plus cold water
Tea plus warm milk - a latte
Tea plus cold milk - an ice latte
As far as I’m concerned, it is tea, it needs to be hot…full stop. So that’s where I started, with number 1 on the list.
I followed the instructions, added a teaspoon of the powder to the cup and used the little bamboo whisk to stir it up. As with any green tea, I find that it needs to be consumed really hot and not allowed to sit around. If this happens I find it becomes very bitter.
Although I didn’t mind drinking this tea I did find it quite hard going and as I got towards the bottom of the cup I could see that there was a lot of powder left at the bottom. In hindsight I realise that a normal teaspoon was probably way too much and I should have used the bamboo scooper I was supplied with!
So I moved on to number 3 on the list. I used a little less powder, mixed it well with half a cup of hot water and then topped it up with warm almond milk which I frothed up with my milk frothing machine. I also added a little bit of honey for sweetness.
…this was better.
It tasted good, it was warm and it made me feel very virtuous. I have also seen recipes where you add a teaspoon of coconut oil for an extra healthy hit but I don’t like the oily taste of this.
I suspect that my green tea matcha latte was a whole lot better for you than one from a coffee franchise!
On the Tenzo website, all of the items included in the starter are also sold separately, including different sizes of the matcha powder. You can also purchase a shaker if you like your tea cold, and also if you purchase a subscription then you are able to get a discount on your tea.
I still have some powder left over so maybe I’ll be brave and try it cold…you never know until you try.
If you like green tea on it’s own then all is well but if not it’s worth experimenting with your combination of powder, water, milk and a sweetener. I would recommend using a dairy alternative milk such as almond, coconut or rice and for your sweetener, if you need it, honey, cinnamon or vanilla. Once you’ve found your magic formula I think you’ll have your new go to healthy drink.
Unfortunately for me being based in the UK, the $25 shipping cost makes it a non-starter. I was also charged with a £14 customs charge! However, if you are based in the US then shipping is free.
The Tenzo Tea starter kit is available from tenzotea.co, priced at $25.00 (plus taxes) for 30g tea plus accessories or $65.00 for the deluxe starter kit, which includes a shaker bottle.
If you have health-related product you would like me to review please send an email to email@example.com