Behind the trends: Matcha

Each month, we take a food trend and explain why it’s the flavour of the month. This time, it's the turn of bright green matcha tea.

In the beginning… 

Matcha, a fine green tea powder, has been produced and consumed in Japan for centuries. Buddhist monks used it to help them stay calm and alert during meditation. Its vivid green colour comes from the high levels of chlorophyll produced by growing the tea leaves in the shade, a method that also boosts the antioxidants.

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Matcha

Then…

The health benefits of matcha quickly struck a chord with the wellbeing crowd the world over. With 10 times the antioxidants of regular green tea, it graduated from simply being combined with water to being sold in health-food stores as a superfood ingredient for use in baking and desserts.

Now… 

Matcha has well and truly hit the restaurant and social media scene – that bright green is Instagram gold! Bone Daddies pop-up Shackfuyu’s soft-serve matcha ice cream with kanako French toast has become one of London’s cult dishes, and a dedicated Japanese matcha café – Tombo – has opened in London’s Soho.

Try it yourself… 

Mainstream matcha is becoming available in UK health-food shops, and matcha brownies and patisserie are appearing in cafes. If you manage to find some, use it in one of our mean, green recipes:

Matcha breakfast bowl
Matcha mousse cake
Matcha frozen yogurt

Visit our Behind the Trends hub for month by month reports on the hottest food and drink

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From October 2016