India has been a country of tea drinkers for centuries, but the trend is slowly shifting towards healthier options. Matcha, a type of green tea that originated from Japan, is now making waves in India as people become more health-conscious and aware of the benefits of consuming organic products.
The first Indian matcha was produced in 2016 by a tea garden in Upper Assam. While it may not match the quality of the original Japanese matcha, it was a step in the right direction. Matcha, which literally means 'powdered tea', is consumed as tea or used as an ingredient in recipes. Its health benefits exceed those of other green teas, with 137 times more antioxidants as matcha drinkers ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water.
Matcha was brought to Japan by a Buddhist monk over 900 years ago and has been an essential component of Zen Buddhism philosophy ever since, especially in tea ceremonies. According to Grand View Research, matcha green tea consumption is predicted to grow from $2.6 billion in 2017 to $5.6 billion by 2025.
Matcha is already popular in the US and European countries as a superfood for fitness, but it is still a relatively new product in India. Nevertheless, the market for green tea has tripled in India, with consumers' changing mindset about organic products and rising healthcare costs. This trend is expected to surpass the market for black tea by 2025.
Matcha coffee, also known as matcha latte, is another variant of matcha that is gaining popularity in India. It has a unique flavor that is slightly bitter and earthy with a hint of sweetness. The vibrant green color comes from the chlorophyll in the tea leaves. Matcha coffee is often marketed as a natural energy booster, which appeals to India's young and busy population. It is also a favorite among fitness enthusiasts and people following a plant-based or vegan diet, as it is dairy-free and contains no animal products.
One of the key reasons for the rise of matcha tea and coffee in India is its numerous health benefits. Matcha contains caffeine, which helps to increase energy levels and improve focus. Restaurants and cafes across India are capitalizing on this trend by adding matcha tea and coffee to their menus. Many have even created specialty drinks and desserts featuring matcha as a key ingredient, which have become popular with consumers looking for unique and healthy food and drink options.
In the world of culinary exploration, the introduction of Matcha tea and coffee has been nothing short of a sensation. Fig At Malcha and Fig at Museo are just a couple of establishments that have added this unique and flavorful option to their menus, delighting their patrons with its health benefits and incredible taste. From hot tea to iced and hot lattes, this vibrant green tea has taken the culinary world by storm.
One of the great things about Matcha is that it can be served in many ways. Whether you prefer a hot tea or a cold latte, the flavor and nutritional benefits remain intact. At Fig At Malcha, they have taken it a step further by offering Matcha lattes with alt milk options, like coconut and oat milk, to give their patrons a truly elevated experience. Fig's brand manager, Sureena Dalal, believes that the gradual spike of caffeine in Matcha makes it a perfect alternative for coffee lovers who need a break.
Kampai, a Delhi-based Japanese restaurant, has also embraced Matcha in their menu. Their guests rave about the newly launched Matcha Cake, a delectable dessert with a creamy Matcha-flavored cake filling on a crunchy cookie crust. Not only does it taste great, but the visually appealing green color of Matcha has made it a popular option for Instagram-worthy food and beverages.
It's not just standalone cafes and restaurants that are taking notice of Matcha's popularity, but even food and beverage chains like Starbucks have introduced it in their menu. Their Matcha Tea Latte has become a favorite alternative to traditional coffee and tea options, with its unique taste and health benefits.
According to Pratishtha Rawat, founder of Glow Glossary, one of the prominent suppliers of Matcha tea in India, the demand for high-quality Matcha has risen gradually. People are more health-conscious and prefer a good quality Matcha that is free from additives. Rawat emphasizes that quality is paramount and cafes can no longer benefit from keeping the commodity grade tea anymore.
The gradual rise in demand for Matcha is attributed to the exposure and experience it provides. It is an acquired taste that requires patience in preparation and drinking. However, with ceremonial grade Matcha, the experience is even more delightful. The tea is delicately sweet and has a more refined taste compared to commercially sourced options, as noted by Sureena Dalal of Fig.
Matcha has taken the world by storm, and it's no wonder why. With its unique flavor, nutritional benefits, and visually appealing color, it has become a staple in the culinary world. Whether you prefer it hot or cold, in a latte or a dessert, Matcha is a must-try for all food and beverage enthusiasts.
Matcha is not only visually pleasing but also has a unique taste that can be enhanced by combining it with complementary ingredients and flavors. For example, a vanilla-based cookie soil or a soft scoop of Matcha in a dessert can add flavor and texture to the drink, making it even more delicious. When paired with the right ingredients, Matcha can become an enjoyable and palatable drink.
The presentation of Matcha tea is also essential to its success. The way it is presented and served can have a significant impact on how it is perceived by people. A beautifully crafted Matcha latte with latte art can be very enticing and inviting. The way Matcha is served and paired with other flavors can also add to the overall experience of drinking it. With the growing trend towards health and wellness, Matcha is likely to continue to gain popularity in India and become a staple in many households.