Back in January I participated in the Teapigs Matcha Challenge. I was asked by Teapigs to have their matcha every day for 20 days, and then to share my thoughts on my experience. It was kind of them to provide me with a matcha kit in return for my participation and this blog – especially as I am already a fan and drinker of teapigs Matcha. In fact, I’ve been drinking matcha since I lived in Japan almost 20 years ago (what a shocker – I cannot believe I am *that* old that I am writing about things I did 20 years ago!)
Photo taken in Japan in October 2011 – I love matcha and drink it wherever I can, it is the green tea on the left!
What is Matcha
Matcha is dried green tea, which is then stone ground into a fine powder. Unlike other teas which are leaves steeped, matcha involves drinking the whole concentrated tea leaf.
As a green tea, matcha is high in antioxidants. Research has shown that its key anti-oxidant, epigallocatechin gallate, can bind to and help inhibit proteins that malfunction in diseases and cancers. It is also an anti-inflammatory. And reportedly good for overall immune health.
You make matcha – which is a green powder – by mixing it with hot water. Traditionally a bamboo whisk is used, but the teapigs matcha kit includes and aerolatte whisk, which is battery operated. This whisk makes matcha super easy to prepare.
Image from teapigs
The Challenge Details
For 20 days in January I did the following:
* Took a 1/4 teaspoon of teapigs matcha with the drink of my choice (or on its own as tea)
* Kept track of how and when I drink the matcha
* Tracked how it made me feel, and if it impacted my energy levels
* Share my thoughts about teapigs matcha (this blog post)
I added matcha to my morning smoothies. I substituted my mid-morning coffee with matcha (straight, no milk or sugar). And it was timely, as for most of January I was struggling to regain my health after a bad cold in December, exhaustion from cumulative travel fatigue, and a flu after Christmas.
The Teapigs site advocates matcha as a fatigue fighter and an appetite suppressant. In my experience both effects are true – but not because matcha is some miracle power, rather, it has a very high level of theine in it. Theine is the tea equivalent of caffeine. It does not impact everyone, but it DOES impact me. For me, drinking a matcha is like drinking an espresso. And when I have it, or coffee for that matter, my appetite decreases. Also, if I have it on an empty stomach, I can get a nauseous feeling, because I do not react well to caffeine on an empty stomach.
I think what the challenge did for me was to become more mindful. The 20 days gave me a chance to embed new habits, and to make sure I was thinking every day about my snack and breakfast choices. This was great.
Also I purposefully reached for matcha rather than coffee mid-morning. I got a great boost of anti-oxidants from doing so, and it was just as satisfying as a cup of joe. I really liked and advocate substituting matcha for coffee, if you are a coffee drinker like me. This is also something my nutritionist Vicki Edgson advocated for me to do in my December visit.
The Best Part – The Giveaway
As I am a huge fan of the teapigs product, I asked them if I could do a giveaway of the matcha kit, to coincide with the publication of my review. Teapigs were great and sent me a kit – complete with the awesome matcha and an aerolatte which adds to the fun of making matcha.
To enter please just leave a comment here, by Sunday 11 March. I will use a random generator to choose a winner on Monday 12 March. I am willing to post this anywhere in the world (just don’t expect FedEx!) so feel free to leave a comment no matter where you are from.
Disclosure: Teapigs provided me a matcha kit in exchange for my participation in the teapigs matcha challenge, and this blog about my experiences. I already am a teapigs customer and love the matcha, so happily agreed to participate. For the record, I don’t hold back on my thoughts, nor let them get skewed by free product. I am happy to have been able to share this review and to offer to readers two separate matcha giveaways, thanks to teapigs.