Like Ceremonial Matcha Tea, Culinary Matcha is a powdered Matcha Green tea which is plucked for its robust flavours and vibrant colour. The key difference between culinary matcha and cooking matcha is taste!
Is Culinary Matcha healthy?
In short, yes! Although matcha green tea has gained a lot of traction as a superfood beverage, its fantastic quality as a cooking ingredient is often overlooked. I use it all the time because of its incredible taste, widely-evidenced health benefits and the Instagram-worthy appeal of its bright green colour.
What makes matcha green tea so special?
An amino acid found in matcha green tea – L-theanine – provides the secret behind matcha’s allure within the health and fitness community today. Not only does this compound enable matcha to improve cognitive performance, act as a mood-enhancer, increase alertness and reduce fatigue, it also banishes the jitters associated with drinking caffeine. With matcha green tea, energy crashes, heart palpitations, an inability to concentrate and restlessness, become a thing of the past. L-theanine also triggers the production of alpha brainwaves, thereby bringing about an alert relaxation for the times when focus and energy are demanded of you.
A wealth of evidence exists evidencing the ability of the mere consumption of matcha to reduce BMI. Way back in 1999, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition even found that combining exercise with matcha green tea increased the total amount of calories burnt each day from the standard rate of 8-10%, to an incredible 35-43%! The superfood is also known to strengthen the immune system as it contains a special catechin antioxidant called Egg, which helps the body to defend against viral and bacterial infections.
Culinary Matcha vs. Ceremonial Matcha
Ceremonial grade matcha green tea refers to premium varieties harvested by hand in spring and traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Culinary grade matcha green tea is generally sold at a more cost-effective price point and is more suitable for everyday use. It is typically produced later in the year, from leaves which had greater sun exposure, may have been sourced from a number of different tea estates and/or may have been harvested by machine. The L-Theanine content of culinary grade matcha green tea is typically a little lower due to sun exposure but not enough to question the health credentials.
‘Culinary’ grade matcha green tea doesn’t necessarily mean low-grade. It is simply used for different purposes than ceremonial grade matcha green tea and enables more sustainable use since it is less expensive. Our premium cooking-grade matcha is perfect for baking given its ability to preserve its robust flavour profile when combined with other ingredients. Ceremonial Matcha green tea on the other hand has a much smoother and more subtle flavour and is therefore not recommended for cooking purposes as it tends to ‘lose’ itself when mixed with other ingredients. It should generally be reserved for drinking purposes.
What are some of the best Matcha recipes for culinary grade matcha green tea?
Glad you asked! At I Love Matcha, we have plenty of quick, tasty recipes which are easy to follow and will enable you to incorporate matcha green tea into your meal plans, or try out something different in the kitchen. Here are our top five picks.
- What better way is there to break your morning fast than by eating pancakes? If you like a hearty breakfast, our protein-powered, gluten-free pancake recipe won’t disappoint.
- For a day-time pick-me-up, our sweet potato and matcha paleo muffins works a treat. Packed with nutrients, its fluffy texture will have you back in the kitchen for baking round two!
- If you’ve got a family event coming up and you want something that will truly impress the other guests, why not try our beautiful gluten-free matcha macaroon recipe?
- Matcha isn’t only good for application in making sweet treats. It also adds a unique twist on classic Italian pesto flavours, as you will find out if you follow our vegan matcha pesto sauce recipe. It is the perfect accompaniment to salads, avocados, vegan stir-fries and pan-roasted new potatoes.
- Finally, if you’re looking for a healthy summer treat that will tantalise your taste buds, give this dairy-free matcha chocolate mousse recipe a try!