Matcha – Probably one of the most common Japanese products that can be found overseas, apart from green tea. Although many assume matcha and green tea to be interchangeable, there are differences. Matcha is green tea that has been ground into a fine powder. Unlike green tea, which is brewed in hot water leaving the leaves behind, matcha is whisked with hot water until completely combined, allowing you to consume all the nutrients that come with green tea.
What do you know about it?
Let’s start from the origins. Green tea was initially introduced to Japan in the 9th century from China, this green magic was lauded as the “elixir of youth” for its health properties. It was popularised in AD 1191 by Myouan Eisai, a Zen monk, leading to a shared tea culture which was to be enjoyed by all levels of Japanese society. Matcha is used in many forms in the Japanese culture. It has not only become just a drink, but something that has been woven into everyday life.
Matcha carries an immense amount of properties that are good for the body and mind. Matcha is abundant in caffeine, which helps you spur on through the day. but it also contains soothing L-Theanine, an amino acid that helps promote alpha brain waves, which leads to calmness. If you haven’t realised, you don’t crash after a short period unlike coffee because theanine also helps the body gradually absorb caffeine over a period of 4 to 6 hours rather than all at once.
However, given the current situation, stress has been inevitable and matcha hasn’t been exactly the most effective way in calming me down. Which is how our other great friend, namely sugar, comes into the picture. It is with great joy (and regret for my tummy rolls) to say that I have been embracing iso-baking and the ouchi cafe life. This recipe is simple, quick and a great pick-me-up when you’re a little blue. No harm pairing this with another cup of matcha either.
Makes: 32 cookies | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 12 mins
- 2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup or 230g softened, unsalted butter (or dairy free alternative)
- 2 tbsp matcha
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- coarse brown sugar (optional)
- Mix softened butter with sugar and vanilla extract
- Sift in flour and matcha. Mix well.
- Freeze for 15 minutes if your dough is sticky
- Preheat oven to 350F/ 175C
- Split dough into 32 equal pieces
- For no design- Roll each piece into a ball and use your palm to push it flat on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. You can also use a cookie cutter or cookie press.
- Sprinkle some coarse sugar on top of the cookie to give it a nice crunch.
- Bake for 12 minutes until slightly golden.
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