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My Newest Summer Go-To Drink

Between going to school full time, picking up a new job, trying to work part/full time, applying for graduation and jobs, finals, case studies, presentations, Koda, family, and friends I’ve pretty much been MIA –all for good reasons though!

I normally jot down a few blog post ideas during my week and then complete them during the weekends, but I’ve been so busy my list has just kept growing and growing. Good news for you all though! I’ll have a TON of new posts coming soon!

I feel like right now is crunch time for everyone.  Everyone’s scrambling to get things together and prepare for summer.  Even if it’s not summer quite yet, the weather here in Morgantown is definitely starting to feel like summer.  Of course this means it’s time to switch up my drink order at Starbucks. I have two summer go-to drinks. If I’m just looking for something cool and refreshing, I’ll go with a lightly sweetened venti passion tea lemonade (SO GOOD). If I’m craving caffeine and have a lot to get done, I’ll go with an iced dirty chai latte (size depending on what I need to get done).  While I love my dirty chai (iced or hot), I do not love the price. Luckily, I found a new drink and I’m obsessed.

Allow me to introduce you to matcha.

Matcha is green tea. Instead of allowing the loose-leaf green tea to steep in hot water, the leaves are ground into a powder. The powder is mixed into the water.  This way, you’re consuming everything rather than what 2-6 minutes will allow the water to absorb. This makes matcha more potent than regular green tea.

Matcha has a lot of claimed health benefits, mainly relating to their high level antioxidants. Antioxidants act as an anti-inflammatory and help combat free radicals (to help prevent cancer) in the body. Foods can actually be measured by their ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity).  For some comparison, here are the ORAC numbers for common foods known for the antioxidant properties:

Dark chocolate: 227

Pomegranate: 105

Wild blueberries: 93

Acai berries: 60

Broccoli: 31

Oh and where does matcha fall in this? 1,140. Yup. Consuming ALL of those foods TWICE still wouldn’t add up to matcha’s ORAC.

Matcha actually features a key antioxidant flavonoid/catechian called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). While EGCG is found in regular green teas, matcha has roughly 140 times more the amount. This is due to the fact matcha is ground up and consumed whole.

Matcha also offers more caffeine count than green tea. It contains 25 mg of caffeine, roughly equivalent to 1/3 cup of coffee. Therefore, you won’t have the jittery effects of coffee overload. Personally I’ve been making the switch from coffee to tea because I noticed how negatively coffee was impacting my anxiety.

I haven’t had much of a chance to really research matcha how I’d like to normally.  However, if you know me, I’ll be pulling up studies as soon as possible. From what I’ve seen, I like this newest trend.

To order it, simply say “Two scoops of matcha in a venti iced water.”

Oh, did I mention the best part? A VENTI ICED MATCHA IS 85 CENTS. I’ll wait while you reread that. Yes. 85. Cents. People. I think this
may possibly be the cheapest venti drink I’ve ever found at Starbucks. So let’s be real. Even if there isn’t enough research to back all these claims just yet, the drink is better for you than a syrupy coffee or glorified milkshake (I love ya Starbucks, but be real), it’s cheap, has a sweet spot on caffeine content, nice and refreshing for summer, and tastes great.

Try it and let me know what you all think!

Update-Edit May 2017: The price of this drink has increased. Depending on where you order the drink will dictate the price. From what I’ve heard, they typically charge you the price of a specialty tea in the size you order, then charge for each scoop of matcha. This should still bring the price in under that of a specialty latte drink. Also, I’ve had a chance to look at the nutrition label for Starbuck’s matcha. Unfortunately the first ingredient in their matcha isn’t ground green tea (aka matcha), it’s sugar. Super disappointing. So again, like most specialty Starbucks drinks, you’re better off making this one at home. 

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