Matcha is often misunderstood if people aren’t familiar with it. I was recently hanging out in Austin, Texas — the health capital of the state — and talking tea with the locals. While a lot of folks in Texas have heard of matcha, more often than not I was repeatedly confronted with five misconceptions on the brilliant jade green elixir. Let’s set the record straight!

Myth One: All Matcha Tastes Bitter

While matcha can certainly be bitter — and I’ve had some that would grow hair on your chest — there is sweet and smooth matcha out there if you know where to look. Oftentimes the bitter matcha is experienced in the tea ceremony and is due to either the ratio of tea to water or the quality of matcha used: Especially when done in a tourist setting in Japan. The Japanese can tolerate a much stronger matcha taste than foreigners, so we need to adjust the flavor to suit our palate. The perfect way to ensure a sweet cup of matcha is to purchase a higher grade of it, and this is usually driven by price. To find your taste threshold, make the matcha starting with 1 gram to 75-100 ml of water, then increase the matcha each time until you reach your perfect taste. The Chiki Tea bold shot is made with 3 grams of matcha from the Yame region and whisked with 75 ml of water that is no hotter than 80°C or 176°F.

Myth Two: Matcha Has Too Much Caffeine

Yes, matcha has caffeine, but where the confusion lies is in how the body reacts to it. I have written about the caffeine issue so check that out for detailed information. The abundance of polyphenols and all the goodness in matcha slows the release of caffeine into your bloodstream as it is metabolized. This means you feel energized but not jittery and you remain calmly alert for longer, therefore not needing another hit to keep you going. Coffee, on the other hand, has the sharp hit and then crash so you always feel the need to reach for another cup to give you energy.

To be concluded in Matcha Myth Busters! – Part 2

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