An increased intake in protein is a common thread in many diets. If you’re working out regularly or often enough, your body starts to crave and require more protein to function and perform. For carnivores, meat is the easiest vessel to consume protein. But for vegetarians, vegans or non meat lovers, protein packed foods may include tofu, beans and nuts. Protein shakes are a great way to get your dose of protein especially on the go. Another convenient protein option to refuel throughout the day, is a homemade truffle I infuse with Art of Tea’s Matcha Grade A. Loaded with protein from nuts, almond butter and protein powder, these tea truffles also give you the healthy energy organically emitted from the caffeine in the tea. Additionally, you reap the natural health benefits of matcha like antioxidant properties. Read more about green tea’s health benefits here.
Enjoy this short and easy recipe for tasty protein packed tea truffles! This recipe makes 12 but varies based on the size of your truffles.
You Will Need:
· 1 scoop Chocolate protein powder (I used Iso-100 whey protein in gourmet chocolate)
· 1 cup Almond butter
· 1 cup Almonds, crushed
· 1/4 tsp. plus more for a topping is optional Art of Tea’s
Matcha Grade A
· Cocoa powder, unsweetened
· 1.5 tsp. Agave/honey (optional)
· 2 Mixing bowls
· Mixing spoon
· Melon baller
· Freezer safe container lined with parchment paper
First, in a large bowl, thoroughly mix the almond butter, almonds, protein powder, 1/4 teaspoon of matcha and agave. Mix until the color is evenly a dark chocolate hue. Keep in mind that a little matcha goes a long way, so trust your taste buds. Prep the second bowl by dusting it with a gracious amount of grounded cinnamon and cocoa powder mixed together. Use the melon baller to create equally portioned spheres. Dust your hands with cocoa powder to help you ball the combined ingredients. Place each sphere in a container lined with parchment paper, so the balls do not stick to the bottom. Finally, sprinkle a little matcha and a dash of cinnamon on each truffle as a finishing touch. Cover the container and pop into the freezer for two to four hours. Remove and enjoy these protein packed truffles before and after a workout.
Melissa is the Business Development Manager at Art of Tea. Contact her directly with any feedback, ideas or questions via Google+.
Let’s cap off the matcha series with a green tea smoothie recipe. Culinary matcha or Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha is most frequently used as an organic base flavoring for smoothies and lattes. Enjoy the nice, long weekend with this healthy iced blended matcha treat! This recipe yields 2 servings.
Matcha Green Tea Smoothie
You Will Need:
-1 tsp Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha
-1/3 cup Milk or milk alternative (I used coconut milk.)
-1 cup Ice cubes
-1/2 Banana, sliced
-3/4 cup Blueberries
-3 pinches Cinnamon, grounded
-1 tsp Agave or honey
–Tibetan Goji Berries (optional)
First, pour the ice into the blender. Then, add the milk followed by the banana slices and blueberries. Carefully sprinkle Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha and pinches of cinnamon. Squeeze about a teaspoon of agave or honey. Start blending until the contents fully mix together to create a frothy consistency. Empty into serving glasses. Use Art of Tea’s Tibetan Goji Berries as a finishing touch. These organic certified berries act as a natural sweetener and provide cherry and plum-like flavor notes. Cheers!
Grade A Matcha or culinary matcha is commonly used to flavor, season and marinate food items and drinks. Follow these three easy steps to make instant green tea flavored ice cream anytime you’re craving it!
Green Tea Ice Cream
You Will Need:
-Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha
-Vanilla ice cream of your choice (I used Breyer’s lactose free vanilla.)
-Ice cream bowl
1. Put a serving size of vanilla ice cream in the bowl.
2. Add about one quarter of a teaspoon of Art of Tea’s organic certified Grade A Matcha. We recommend about one teaspoon per pint size, but go with your taste preference.
3. Mix well with spoons. You can cover with plastic wrap and re-freeze or enjoy as is!
*Tip: Garnish with blueberries or toppings of your choice.
Here’s a fun, easy recipe using tea. Try to use a high grade matcha, such as Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha since the quality will greatly affect the end result.
You Will Need:
- 24 cupcake liners
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (left at room temperature to soften)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha
1. Preheat your oven to 350.
2. Using a mixer or hand blender, beat the butter until soft.
3. Add sugar and beat for a couple of minutes, until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs and egg yolks one at a time, making sure to combine each one with the mixture fully before adding the next.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Then add this dry mixture to the batter and mix to combine.
6. In a separate bowl, mix the matcha in with the milk using a whisk. Add to the batter and mix to combine.
7. Use a spoon to put the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each one 2/3rds of the way.
8. Bake for about 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Allow to cool on a rack before frosting.
You Will Need:
- 1 tub of Cream Cheese Frosting (I used Pillsbury Whipped Supreme)
- 1 tsp Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha
- A few drops of green food coloring, if desired!
1. Scoop the frosting into a bowl.
2. Sieve the matcha into the frosting bowl to prevent lumps
3. Add food coloring and mix until combined!
Recipe adapted from Matcha Source by KATIE KIRBY
Nestled along riverbeds and amidst luscious forests, lies a region called Yame, where we source our Ceremonial Matcha. This city in Fukuoka is known as one of the leading tea producers in Japan. In this scenic oasis, premium green tea called Gyokuro is shade grown for 20 days. Harvested during the spring, these fresh and young leaves are picked and steamed. The veins and stems are meticulously removed from the leaves to produce tencha. The leaves alone or tencha is stone ground by granite into a fine, vibrantly jade green powder. Since Zen Buddhist Eisai introduced matcha to Japan in 1191, matcha has become a significant part of Buddhist tradition. Today, ceremonial matcha is used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies called chadō or “the way of tea”. We can partake in our own chadō tea ceremony or drink this tasty matcha daily.
How to Prepare a Sublime Cup of Ceremonial Matcha:
You Will Need:
-Art of Tea’s Ceremonial Matcha
-Freshly drawn water
-Bamboo spoon or teaspoon
-Teapot or water heater
-Cleaning cloth or chakin
-Sifter or strainer (recommended)
Art of Tea’s Complete Matcha Set includes everything you need to prepare ceremonial matcha!
First, pour hot water into the bowl to preheat and awaken the cells, aromas and flavors currently in the bowl. Pour out the water and dry the bowl with a clean cloth or chakin. Then, heat your freshly drawn water to about 140 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Since this is a delicate tea, water temperature is important and will affect the tea’s flavor. Use your bamboo spoon to measure about one quarter of a teaspoon and pour into the bowl. It is recommended that you sift the powdered tea with a strainer to remove any clumps. Carefully, pour the water into the bowl. Use your whisk in a brisk W motion starting at the bottom of the bowl and slowly make your way upward in the same W motion. Whisk until the matcha provides a frothy consistency. Enjoy this creamy and sweet cup of Yame Ceremonial Matcha! It’s delicious!
Contrary to the popular belief that matcha derives from Japan, it originally emerged during the Song Dynasty in China. Matcha is made from a shade grown green tea, also known as Gyokuro that is carefully steamed and meticulously dried. After the steaming process, the leaves are separated from the stems, so the leaves alone, called tencha are grounded into a powder called matcha. The art of producing, preparing and consuming this powdered tea became a ritual performed by Zen Buddhists in China. In 1191, a Zen monk by the name of Eisai, traveled to Japan and introduced matcha to the country. As matcha’s popularity lessened in China, the Japanese embraced this powdered tea. Matcha eventually became an important part of rituals in Zen monasteries in Japan.
At Art of Tea, we offer two types of matcha–ceremonial and culinary. Ceremonial Matcha is primarily from Japan. It is typically stone grounded into a fine powder producing a brighter green hue. The powder is whisked back and forth rapidly to create frothiness. The taste is grassy with a sweet undertone. Grade A Matcha, on the other hand, is the matcha used in cooking and added in lattes and iced teas. Read on to learn more about the harvesting process of Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha.
Art of Tea founder and CEO, Steve Schwartz recently journeyed to China on an educational trip visiting tea plantations. He travelled throughout the Zhejiang Province, along China’s eastern coast. Steve spent some time at a tea farm that specializes in producing Japanese style green teas such as Sencha, Gyokuro and matcha, including Art of Tea’s very own organic certified Grade A Matcha.
Let’s take a look at the harvesting process of Matcha green tea. First, the Sencha green tea leaves are shade grown for 20 days. During this time period, the leaves become darker and develop into Gyokuro leaves. The darker the leaves, the higher the chlorophyll content, which in turn contributes to the tea’s health benefits.
The green tea leaves are then picked and steamed, a Japanese method of processing tea leaves.
The vibrantly green leaves are then put in a tube-shaped machine where the leaves are air tossed upwards to quickly dry.
The machine (below) is used to separate the stems from the leaves. The leaves alone called tencha, are taken into a rotating drum filled with ceramic-covered magnets.
As the magnets bounce rapidly within the rotating drum, hitting against each other, the tencha leaves are slowly grounded into a fine powder without losing their vibrancy.
The result is culinary Matcha green tea , which we call Grade A Matcha. This rich, green powder is great as a stand alone tea but is commonly used to flavor various food items and create delicious smoothies and lattes.
Stay tuned for recipes on how to make a matcha smoothie and steep the perfect cup of Ceremonial Matcha.
Two weeks ago on the Art of Tea blog, we shared some of the key components that set Japanese green teas apart from each other. This week, we’re continuing the story of what makes Japanese green teas unique with more information on Japanese green tea processing styles and Japanese green tea blending.
Most Japanese green teas are steamed. However, some (like Houjicha, our roasted-style Kukicha Twig Tea and Kamairicha) are roasted or pan-fired in a manner akin to Chinese green tea processing.
Within the category of steamed green teas, the amount of time the leaves are steamed also influenced the tea’s final flavor, aroma and appearance. For example, Fukamishi (deep-steamed) Sencha like our Zuisha Sencha has a bold green color with a mild aroma and a straightforward flavor, while Asamushi (light-steamed) Sencha has a light golden-green brew, nuanced aroma and complex flavor.
Some teas are steamed so heavily that the leaves begin to fall apart. In some cases, the veins and stems of the leaves are removed and the remainder of the leaf is slowly ground into a fine powder known as Matcha. Some Matcha teas (like our Ceremonial Matcha andMatcha Grade A) are whisked into a frothy, emerald-green brew before consumption. Others (like our Ginger Matcha) can be whisked or they can be blended into hot or iced tea lattes and smoothies.
Unusual variations on Matcha include Tencha (leaves that are steamed to make Matcha, but left un-ground), Kenacha (a lower-grade powdered tea made from un-shaded leaves) and Kokeicha (a powdered green tea that is kneaded with rice starch, extruded, cut into leaf-sized pieces and dried).
In Japan, some green tea (usually Bancha) is blended with toasted and puffed brown rice to make a nutty, low-caffeine tea called Gen Mai Cha (“brown rice tea”). If Gen Mai Cha is dusted with Matcha, it’s known as “Matcha-iri Genmaicha” or Gen Mai Matcha.
Here at Art of Tea, we employ artisan-blending techniques on some of our Japanese green teas. Using the naturally fresh, vegetal flavor of steamed Japanese green tea as a base, we draw upon all our senses to create blends like Tropical Green Tea Pineapple, Mango Melange, Japanese Cherry, Holiday Berry Green Tea and Ginger Matcha. We also combine the roasted, deep flavor of Houjicha with cold-pressed vanilla essence and white chocolate to make our decadent, latte-like Houjicha de la Crème. These are certainly not traditional blends, but they have been instrumental in helping an international audience come to love the flavor of Japanese green tea.