Why do I drink tea? I drink tea to warm me up, pep me up or calm me down. I drink tea to pass the time, stay a while or even just because I love the stuff. ‘Health’ and all its neurotic implications hadn’t entered the equation between tea and me… until a few weeks ago.
For a student, I’m pretty healthy. I like my five-a-day, am a regular lunchtime lingerer at Planet Organic and like a good jog. That being said, I’m nonetheless cynical towards the Elle Macphersons of this world: airbrushed, free-spirited celebrities who goad me into questioning my diet, spice collection and mattress supplier just don’t sit well with me. “I always start the day with yoga”, she purred in a recent article. “My house is gluten-free”, she gloated. “I just don’t eat” seemed to be the message written between the lines.
When a new super trendy, super healthy, super skinny tea came on the market courtesy of Teapigs, it’s easy to understand why the sight of Mille Mackintosh promoting it on Twitter didn’t set my world on fire. But the little devil inside me told me this was Teapigs: the Bond Girl of the tea world, the cool brand. This was Matcha Green Tea! But this cost an eye-watering £25 per tin… That is a lot. It’s the equivalent of that top I wanted from Topshop. It’s the equivalent of a night out (up North, of course). It’s almost the equivalent of my weekly shop at university. But then again, David Cameron wanted me to be healthy and happy, that’s why he so generously gave me the student loan I’ll have to pay back… So what the hell.
Nitty gritty scientific stuff:
Green tea is good, but Matcha is just off the hook. Each cup contains 137 times the antioxidants of normal green tea. Why? When you make a cup of green tea, you soak the teabag for a few minutes and then launch it into the bin, surrendering all the goodness to your local landfill. Teabags just aren’t Matcha’s bag, baby: Matcha comes in powder form, meaning you drink and digest the entire plant and henceforth all the goodness.
This is all fine and dandy for your skin, heart, metabolism and energy levels, but it’s also the fly in the healthy green ointment. Even after minutes of relentless stirring, some balls of powder just won’t dissolve, meaning you could literally be left with a lump in your throat. Of course, there are ways of getting around this. You can bake with Matcha and add it to juice, smoothies or milkshakes. My personal favourite twist is Planet Organic’s creamy creation: the Matcha Latte (recipes are available online for non-Londoners).
All in all, Teapigs’ Matcha Green Tea provides an effortless means of stocking up on anti-oxidants and general healthy goodness for a relatively low cost (each cup works out at around 80p). It tastes and looks like seaweed and my Mum didn’t like it, but hey! It’s gluten free! So even Miss Macpherson could give it a go…