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Matcha vs the MailOnline night shift: Green super powder put to the ultimate test

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Green vs the machine: Can a cup of matcha keep up with the world wide web? 

In case you haven’t heard, matcha is where it’s atcha right now.

The Japanese powdered green tea is ten times stronger than standard green tea, and packed with detoxing and metabolism-boosting anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals that are said to prevent cancer, boost energy AND aid weight loss.  

Discovered by Buddhist monks wanting to stay alert during extended periods of meditation, it’s also said to boost brain power without any of the jitters associated with other caffeinated drinks, and so is now being touted as a healthy alternative to coffee on the hip health scene.

Dere_160315_matcha3The Japanese powdered green tea is ten times stronger than standard green tea

I don’t think there are any monks at the MailOnline offices, but there is a serious amount of caffeine consumption and focus required so it is seemed like a good place to put the matcha claims to the test.

I was back at the Derry Street offices last week working the late shift with the Femail team. Late shifts are in the nature of the job when you work in the brave new world that is online news. The internet doesn’t stop for Corrie. In fact it doesn’t seem to slow down, even at 10pm at night, and so a ten hour stint on the pink desk normally leads to a serious spike in my coffee/tea/Diet Coke/cup cake consumption as I attempt to keep my brain whirring.

But this time I ignored the on site Costa Coffee and instead whisked up a Tombo matcha tea when I felt myself flagging a few hours in. It’s pretty simple: one teaspoon of green powder mixed with hot water. And it’s very effective. Bar one Diet Coke shaped slip-up (old habits die hard) I made it to hometime without snoozing or making any major blunders. I felt wide awake and my brain felt clear and calm, even on the fourth consecutive night shift.

PROS

  • I felt wide awake and focused to 11pm and beyond with no energy slumps
  • I didn’t get the jitters I often do with too much coffee, and was able to drift off to sleep easily back at home
  • My appetite disappeared so I didn’t get any junk food cravings
  • It’s easy to make: Just add hot water and whisk up with a fork. It’s supposed to be served ‘ceremonial style’ but the 3rd floor kettle worked just as well for me
  • It’s low calorie and doesn’t contain any nasties/dairy/sugar

CONS

  • It has a really strong taste of green tea (you can add the powder to other drinks/smoothies to disguise it though) 
  • It’s not cheap: high grade tins like the one I used from Tombo start at £27
  • Your colleagues will think you are a weird hippy
  • It’s delicate and should really be kept in a tin in the fridge so as not to damage the fine powder, which can be a bit of a faff in an office situation

VERDICT:

Really impressed. Hours of concentrating on a computer screen can often leave my head fuzzy, especially as the night wears on, but one large cup of matcha worked brilliantly as a brain pick me up that lasted for hours. The only side effects were strange looks from my Femail pals, but I can live with that.

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The frothy version: Matcha Lattes are now the hot new drink for health-lovers (but watch out for sugar content)

 

ON THE RUN? WHERE TO DRINK MATCHA IN LONDON

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Tombo’s sweet matcha latte

TOMBO: This authentic family-run Japanese café and deli in Kensington has it’s own range of green and matcha teas sourced directly from the foothills of Mt. Fuji. They serve and sell their own Matcha Latte Mix (£3.60), a satisfyingly sweet blend to leave you refreshed and revitalized.

www.tombodeliandcafe.com

THE GOOD LIFE EATERY: The expert juicers and popular health café have recently added a matcha latte to their menu in Chelsea. This can be served hot or over ice and there’s a choice of almond, soy or regular milk. Open from a bright and early 7:30AM so is the perfect substitution to a pre-work coffee. www.goodlifeeatery.com

TIMBERYARD: Choose from two branches of this café – one in Covent Garden or one on Old Street. Included in their stylish drinks list is bittersweet matcha latte brimming with health. www.timberyardlondon.com

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