I Ditched My Morning Cup of Coffee for This Matcha Latte Powder and I’m Never Going Back

published Aug 2, 2021
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Over the last year or so, I’ve been on a self-improvement journey of sorts (don’t roll your eyes just yet!). After some life-changing health events flipped my world on its head, I took a look at how I was living my life and what I could do to make it better, happier, and healthier. I began with small changes, like instituting a phone-free morning and incorporating breathing/yoga exercises into my routine. But even with all the positive changes I was making, something still felt off. That’s when I looked down at my morning cup of coffee and thought, “Maybe, it’s you.” I had known for a while that I needed to call things off with coffee (it never did my anxiety, nor my stomach, much good), but that was a breakup I wasn’t ready for. That is, until I discovered matcha, or Jade Leaf’s Organic Matcha Latte Mix, to be more precise.

I have generalized anxiety and panic disorder, and on top of that, my morning cup of coffee made me get the shakes and spike my heart rate. For me, the sensation of an elevated heart rate mimics the feeling of a panic attack, and all the energy in the world isn’t worth that feeling. However, I still wanted a way to get the daily energy boost I’d get with coffee, minus the unfortunate side effects I was experiencing. I needed to find a dupe.

While on the hunt for a suitable coffee replacement, I began educating myself on matcha, which is finely ground green tea leaf powder. Enjoyed for centuries, matcha is a popular coffee substitute for those looking to start their mornings off with a little less of a jolt. “Switching over to matcha is a great alternative to try that will have the benefit of less caffeine while retaining the multiple health benefits that you used to get with coffee,” Internal Medicine physician, Dr. Vivek Cherian shared with AT. Thanks to the presence of L-theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid found in tea leaves, the release of caffeine is much slower. Where the caffeine in coffee provides a quick jolt of energy (and the inevitable subsequent crash), this combo of caffeine and L-theanine results in a more stable, longer release of energy that’s jitter-free. I knew I had to try it.

I won’t sugarcoat it: Switching from coffee to matcha was hard. Aside from the obvious flavor difference, it took about a week for my body to adjust to this new form of lower, slower caffeine — meaning the first couple of days were rough and I was tempted to go back to my dark roast. But as I kept going, some positive changes started kicking in. My energy levels rose and I felt great, all with no jitters in sight. I was a little skeptical that it would work for me, given that matcha still contains a fair amount of caffeine, but a week in I knew I had finally my new favorite swap.

When I tested matcha for the first time, I experimented with a couple of different brands before I came across Jade Leaf’s latte blend. While I do enjoy the earthy taste of straight matcha, sometimes it can be a little too bitter for my taste. Jade Leaf, which is lightly sweetened with organic, unrefined cane sugar, is the most delicious variety I’ve tasted so far.

The best part about this powder, however, has to be the price. A 5.3-ounce bag is just $10, and if you’re looking to try Jade Leaf’s matcha sans sugar, you can pick up a bag of culinary grade matcha (best for lattes, smoothies, baked goods, and other dishes) for $9.95 or ceremonial grade matcha (ideal for a traditional cup of hot matcha) for $19.95.

And of course, generalized anxiety disorder is a serious medical condition. If you’re experiencing symptoms, it’s important to speak with your doctor first.