I'm guessing you've heard of green tea and all the amazing properties it possesses. Well, let me present to you, matcha tea, commonly referred to as 'green tea on steroids'. With 137 times the natural anti-oxidants that are found in normal green tea, matcha really does live up to it's name. Pure Chimp's super tea comes in a little pot with an easy to screw on lid with 60g of powder inside. Ingredients wise, this tea is dairy free, sugar free, fat free, gluten free which I guess explains why this tea is so good for you. In addition, this tea is vegan and organic so pretty much drinkable by everyone.
Unlike normal green tea, matcha tea comes in the form of a bright green powder. It looks incredibly unnatural (the substance kryptonite springs to mind), but it's just ground up green tea leaves presented in a powder form. This is, in fact, why matcha tea is so good for you. Instead of drinking the essence of the leaf, you're consuming the entire lead, ergo you reap even more benefits.
I'm not gonna lie - it tastes pretty grim. Having been compared numerous times to 'algae', I can only affirm what those before me have said. The first time I ever tried matcha tea, I had matcha bubble tea which, presumably, was full of so much sugar that I didn't notice just how bad matcha tastes, but seriously, it's pretty disgusting if you drink it on its own. I've heard some people say that they like the taste of the tea, but these people are rare and usually tea fanatics. For the average tea drinker, matcha is probably going to be far too strong for your taste-buds, but luckily you can mask the taste with some simple concoctions so you can still benefit from all those anti-oxidants. As with normal green tea, you can add half a tea-spoon of matcha to hot water and drink it like that. However, drinking it like this is when the 'algae' taste is most potent so I wouldn't recommend it. (Don't try it with cold water either - it's 1000 times worse). However, if you add a teaspoon of honey to your drink, it starts to taste much better, or at least it's bearable. There are so many different matcha tea recipes out there but the best has to be matcha tea with milk (cold or hot). This significantly reduces the bitter/algae taste that matcha is associated with and it's actually a rather nice drink. More recently I've gotten into the habit of stirring some matcha powder into the leftover milk from my cereal. As the milk is slightly sweetened from the cereal, it tastes even better than just using plain milk. The point is, matcha isn't the most pleasant of substances on it's own, but mixed into your daily smoothie, orange juice, cereal milk, latte, whatever it is you drink - the taste becomes a lot less bitter and algae-like and ends up tasting rather good.
How to make the tea
Whatever you're mixing your matcha powder into, be it water, milk, yoghurt or whatever, you've got to make sure that you've really stirred it well. Ideally, you'd get a special tea whisk which you are supposed to use when preparing matcha, but the majority of people don't have access to this so some serious stirring is required. If you fail to mix the matcha powder in properly you end up with a thick, green sludge at the bottom of your glass which is, putting it mildly, vile. This does mean that preparing the tea can take a little bit longer than, say, your standard English tea, but it's definitely worth it in the end.
Supposedly, matcha tea, 'green tea on steroids', can boost your metabolism, reduce the redness of skin, improve energy, nutrient balance, weight control and sensitive skin from within. I have to admit I haven't seen any effect on my metabolism or weight, but that's probably because my eating and exercising patterns have changed quite a lot recently though normal green tea definitely improves the two of those things so I assume that if all other variables remain the same then matcha tea would be a great help with weight loss. As for reducing the redness of my skin, I would say that my skin is looking significantly better. I haven't been drinking the tea religiously but I've had a cup of it once a day for most days of the past week and my skin is a lot less irritated. As for energy, I'm not sure whether it's some sort of placebo effect but pretty much immediately after drinking this tea, I feel brighter, more alert and full of energy - very useful for all night essay crises. This tea does contain caffeine, but it's not the sort that gives you anxiety or other negative effects if you drink too much of it.
So all in all, Pure Chimp's matcha tea is incredible. It may seem a little pricey at £17 a pot, but with all the health benefits, it's definitely worth it. Although there's only 60g of powder per pot, since you're only using around half a teaspoon of matcha powder a day, each pot lasts pretty long so in the long term, you're not forking out loads. I would highly recommend matcha green tea to those who are health fanatics or people looking a natural substance to help give them an energy boost or lose weight. The effects of this tea are pretty quick and with just one cup a day, it couldn't be easier to turn yourself into a better you.