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What Is Matcha and Where to Drink It in Raleigh

(The Triangle Trend) If you’re at all familiar with café drinks and the glorious realm of caffeine, chances are you’ve heard of this trending green drink. Hailed for its numerous health benefits and all-natural caffeine, Matcha is a Japanese-style powdered green tea loaded with antioxidants.

It’s been described as slightly bitter with a vegetal taste yet has still risen as a viable competitor for coffee. According to scientific research and numerous health guidelines, it can even be considered the better drink.

But before we get into all the benefits of this powerful green tea, we’ll answer the question many Westerners are dying to know. What exactly is matcha?

 

Matcha Explained

According to Wikipedia, Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves, traditionally consumed in East Asia. But why is it powdered and why is it pricier than traditional green tea?

Matcha is prepared from shade-grown tea leaves that have been laid out flat to dry, somewhat crumbled, and became known as tencha. The tencha may then be deveined, destemmed, and stone-ground to the fine, bright green, talc-like powder known as matcha. (“How Matcha is Processed”)

In general, matcha is expensive compared to other forms of green tea, although its price depends on its quality. Higher grades are pricier due to the production methods and younger leaves used, and thus they have a more delicate flavor and are more suited to be enjoyed as tea.

Chemical compositions of various grades of matcha have been studied, with the results showing that the contents of caffeine, free amino acids, theanine, and vitamin C decreased with the decreasing price of matcha. (“Chemical composition of Mat-cha“)

Like other forms of green tea, all grades of matcha have the potential health benefits and risks associated with the Camellia sinensis plant.

 

Matcha’s Benefits

Since matcha is a concentrated form of green tea, it has been long said by enthusiasts that the powdered drink possesses the stronger health benefits associated with green tea.

Benefits include:

  • A higher concentration of caffeine
  • Stress-reducing due to theanine, the most abundant amino acid
  • Mildly prevents cancer and other diseases
  • Aids in weight loss

It’s also been proven to provide a steadier supply of energy in the hours following its consumption compared to coffee.

 

Matcha in Raleigh

Starbucks

6 locations in Raleigh:

4421 New Bern Ave, Raleigh, NC 27610

3023 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27604

5100 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27616

7900 Old Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27616

4160 Main St, Suite 105, Raleigh, NC 27609

4191 The Cir At N Hills St, Raleigh, NC 27609

One of the first American locations to catapult Matcha’s popularity was the coffee queen herself– Starbucks. Starbucks’s Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte is smooth and creamy matcha sweetened just right and served with milk over ice. In their words, “Green has never tasted so good.”

A grande iced matcha green tea latte prepared with 2% milk clocks in at approximately 200 calories. The latte can be personalized with your choice of milk, scoops of matcha, toppings, sweetener, flavors, add-ins, and expresso.

 

Heirloom – Coffee, Tea, Sake

219 S West St, Raleigh, NC 27603

Heirloom is a specialty coffee shop, premium tea house, and sake bar serving unique cocktails and food inspired by the owner’s Laotian, Taiwanese, and Japanese heritage.

Their Matcha Latte is prepared with the finest, genuine Japanese matcha, whisked in the traditional style, and finished with a steamed milk of choice. It can be served sweetened or unsweetened.

 

Tama Cafe

401 Fayetteville St Ste 103 Raleigh, NC 27601

Tama’s menu is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free friendly, and has an expansive signature tea selection and espresso.

They have three Matcha drinks:

  • Matcha Matcha prepared hot, iced, or frozen with ceremonial matcha and milk.
  • Mint Almond Matcha prepared hot or iced with matcha, almond milk, and mint.
  • Matcha Pina prepared iced with matcha, coconut milk, and pineapple juice.

 

Moge Tee

2304 Hillsborough St Ste 100 Raleigh, NC 27607

Moge has three types of Uji Matcha:

  • Cheese Foam Uji Matcha prepared with Japan Uji Matcha with cheese foam on top.
  • Double Shot Uji Matcha prepared from Japan Uji Matcha with crèmebrûlée.
  • Uji Matcha prepared from Japan Uji Matcha with whip cream on top.

 

Bumble Tea

3221 Avent Ferry Rd Raleigh, NC 27606

Bumble’s Matcha Milk Tea is made from vibrant green matcha infused with their homemade milk tea that they describe as both fun and healthy. They also have an assortment of milk tea and bubble tea flavors, from Classic to Rose.

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Cierra Smith | Editor

Raleigh-born writer passionate about cultural awareness and social change. You’ll typically find me somewhere studying a language, writing, or doing pilates. Consider me a health-conscious foodie with an interest in all diets and lifestyles.

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