You have heard me struggle with my relatively recent introduction to caffeine. I have managed to avoid it (except in the form of chocolate) for most of my adult life, but am sad, even distressed, to admit that 2 years ago, I succumbed to its effects and now even embrace them. I have posted that my quality of life has improved. On most days, it clears that ever present fog in my head. I no longer struggle through my day. I don’t crave sugar for that afternoon pick-me-up. For the most part, I am able to adhere to my exercise schedule and can even make it past 8 pm at night without falling asleep.
I’m not trying to make excuses. At some point, I became tired of going through life constantly fatigued and chose to live, wishing to be present, and of course, active.
So, have I made peace with my daily caffeine fix? Obviously not entirely or I wouldn’t be searching for alternatives. At my yoga retreat last year, I learned that if I was going to ingest caffeine, to at least switch to green tea because of the health benefits it may bring. I don’t know if you know much about matcha green tea, but the reason it is so potent, in fact, ten times more potent than just steeping green tea, is because you ingest the entire leaf (which has been grounded into a powder).
When I came back from the retreat, I walked into my favourite coffee house and was delighted to see they offered a matcha green tea latte. Thought I would give it a try. I’ll never forget my first reaction. It was “hmmmm, this tastes green”. That’s saying a lot coming from me. I love the taste of green. I’m one of those rare people who can drink wheatgrass juice straight up (I actually think it tastes sweet). However, the ‘hmmmmm’ was an unsure one. My second zip made me jump. It was delicious!!! Some rejoicing followed. The next day, I decided to try it with soy milk and found that it complemented the green tea even better.
I liked it so much I was beginning most of my days with it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing except that it was getting expensive and it occurred to me that the green tea concentrate syrup they were using would probably be laden with preservatives and additives. I asked to see the label one day and sure enough, it was. I have written emails to their head office and have spoken to the owner, but still no change in the brand of syrups they use. I also asked why they were using a concentrate instead of a tea bag and they explained to me that the taste of the green tea would get lost, otherwise, and it does.
I had no alternative, but to find preservative and additive free syrups of my own. What I found was Monin (http://americas.monin.com). I pick my syrups up directly from the distributors, but have found their syrups in one of my favourite gourmet shops recently. This was wonderful for a while, but then the sugar intake was beginning to bother me.
That’s how I set out to make my own green tea syrup and replaced the cane sugar with agave syrup. I still keep the Monin green tea syrup in my pantry for those days I am absolutely pressed for time. If you are using the green tea concentrate syrup, and you are following this recipe, you’ll need 2 tbsp of green tea concentrate syrup + 1 tsp of matcha green tea powder.
I absolutely adore this drink. It’s deliciously sweet and green!! This is a quick and easy breakfast drink.
|Milk, Soy, vanilla, heated or frothed||14 oz|
|Matcha green tea powder||1 tsp|
|Green tea concentrate||40 drops|
|Agave||2 tbsp (or to taste)|
- On the stove, in a small pot, or using a frother, warm/heat the milk. You’ll need a thermometer; liquids added to matcha green tea powder must not exceed a certain temperature. Check the instructions for the matcha green tea you are using. Temperatures vary between brands.
- In a 16 oz measuring cup, combine matcha green tea powder, green tea concentrate, and the agave syrup (to taste).
- Using a small whisk, whisk all the ingredients until the match green tea powder clumps have dissolved.
- When the milk has reached the ideal temperature, slowly add a little bit at a time to the green tea mixture, whisking constantly until all of the matcha green tea powder has dissolved.