Mad About Matcha! (Plus, A Matcha Ice Cream Recipe!

Matcha Tin courtesy of Serena on Flirk (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Matcha Tin courtesy of Serena on Flirk (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

If you’re a modern foodie, chances are you’ve encountered matcha in one of your culinary outings. Matcha refers to powdered green tea, and has been used for centuries in Japan for the traditional tea ceremony, where only the finest green tea leaves were milled to a fine powder. Fast-forward to 21st century America, and matcha is showing up in sweet and savory dishes, bringing that intense green hue and a great bitter flavor.

Green Tea Noodles courtesy of kattebelletje on Flikr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Green Tea Noodles courtesy of kattebelletje on Flikr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From noodles to mussels, lattes to mint juleps, a spoonful of matcha not only gives flavor and color to an incredible array of dishes and beverages, it also delivers a boost of energy and all the antioxidant benefits of green tea. This triple-threat ingredient, adding flavor, color and health, is a must-have in your pantry!


00235000The Health Benefits of Matcha

One of the main factors that makes Matcha such a powerful health food is that, rather than regular tea bags that you steep and toss, matcha green tea comes in powdered form. What’s the difference? It means that by using matcha, you are consuming the entire tealeaf, not just a green-tea-flavored water. The health benefits are then much more concentrated.  And the benefits of matcha are MANY. For example, according to recent research by Tufts University, matcha has 20 (yes, TWENTY!) times more antioxidants blueberries (and no sugar).

While giving you a caffeine perk-up, there’s an interesting and very important difference between coffee and the caffeine in matcha. Its main component is L-Theanine, an amino acid that promotes a state of “alert relaxation”. Rather than the jitteriness that too many cups of java can cause, L-theanine creates alpha waves, which promotes a state of the mind called “relaxed alertness” – calm, not agitated, but functioning and alert. Beloved by models and celebrities, matcha also brings great detox and metabolism-boosting perks. Without raising blood pressure or heart rate, matcha gets the body’s fat-busting mechanisms going, and naturally (and safely) aids weight loss. Plus, that intense green color? That comes compliments of chlorophyll, which helps the body naturally remove toxins like heavy metals. (source)


Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream

matcha ice cream

Homemade matcha ice cream courtesy of Isaac’licious on Flikr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

You might not go for a hot cup of tea during the summer heat, but how about some of the wildly popular Green Tea Ice Cream? The perfect dessert to cool you down, energize AND calm you! All you need is a few simple ingredients and an ice-cream maker.  Matcha ice cream is deliciously sweet but with a nice bitterness, and the show-stopping intensity of its green color makes it a fun and striking addition to your summer dessert repertoire. Although matcha can be a bit bitter, the sweetness of the sugar, milk and cream all work to balancing it out, dulling it so that the ice cream just has an interesting-yet-mellow edge. Tip: add more or less matcha powder if you want more or less color and flavor.


This recipe is adapted The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz.  

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 quart

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.


  • 1 cup whole milk

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 4 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
  • 6 large egg yolks


  1. In a large bowl, add the cream and whisk in the matcha. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sugar and salt (warm, not hot or boiling).
  3. Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl, then slowly add the heated milk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour this mix back into the saucepan and turn the heat on to medium. Heat while stirring, scraping the bottom, until the mixture slightly thickens. DO NOT boil!
  4. Set a mesh strainer over the matcha cream mix bowl, and pour the custard through, stirring. Once all the custard is strained into the cream, start whisking (vigorously, put some elbow into it!), until the custard turns frothy and the matcha powder is fully dissolved.
  5. Place your preparation over a bowl of ice, and continue to stir until cool. This is your ice cream base.
  6. Chill the ice cream base in the refrigerator until fully cold then transfer to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Serve with chocolate sauce!

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