If there’s one thing the Japanese are, it’s traditional. Almost everything in Japan seems to have a specific way in which it’s done and it’s all steeped in history. One way to dress in Kimono, one way to take a bath, one way to cook rice, and one way to make matcha.

Westerners — Americans in particular — can’t wait to shake things up a little! We have taken this traditional Japanese ceremonial elixir and put some spin on it by adding an espresso shot, shaking it in a jar, whisking it with electricity, and steaming it together with milk. Don’t believe me? Just watch a Starbucks barista the next time you are visiting. A Starbucks Green Tea Latte isn’t exactly the kind of matcha served in Japan, but that’s another blog post all together.  

I thought I’d seen it all until my recent visit to a distant cousin living in the beautiful state of Tennessee. I’d never been to her house, but I’d seen enough photos of her morning matcha shots to know she was an avid enthusiast.

When I arrived, Christi was overly excited to serve me some of our Chiki Tea Silk matcha. Of course, I never turn down great ceremonial-grade matcha and said YES, at which point she glided over to her gigantic silver fridge and pulled out the largest pitcher I had ever laid eyes upon!

The Hawaiian-esque jug was filled to the brim with a vibrant green beverage, highlighting the pitcher’s flower motif. I thought she might be confusing our steeped iced tea blend for matcha so I questioned it. As she was pouring the tea over ice in tall American glasses, she confirmed that it was indeed our top ceremonial grade matcha.

Perplexed, I asked how on earth she made it; and with my traditional Japanese mindset, asked rather horrified if this was a regular method for her household. Here is where it gets interesting!

Christi is a die-hard matcha fan of the highest order, sipping it daily for the health benefits, mental clarity, detoxing ability, and taste. Her husband Ed, on the other hand, only associated matcha with the taste of dirt dug up by their husky in the backyard! And I don’t blame him because Ed’s only exposure to matcha was a can of it purchased from a teashop that was gobbled up by a Seattle-based coffee chain!

Christi assured her husband that he was about to drink the best matcha Japan produces, but he was still hesitant. To her credit, Christi decided to dilute the tea because there was no way he would agree to taste it the way she normally drinks it and at the strength she prefers.

Christi’s recipe is dirt simple! Take 3 to 4 big ole tablespoon-fuls of matcha and place in the biggest pitcher you can find. Add a gallon of water while whisking with a giant kitchen whisk until the color is a pretty, vibrant, light green. There you have it, and I’m not kidding!  Keep the jug in the fridge and drink it throughout the day.

Now they both reach for Christi’s matcha iced tea almost every time the fridge door is open!  I, too, was guzzling it the entire week-long visit. If you have finicky folks at home who need to step up to a healthier beverage, give this fantastic recipe a try. It looks just like lime Kool Aid so here’s your chance to fool the little ones!

Thank you Christi, and here’s to y’all’s health!

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