Before you come after me with your pitchforks, let me make a few things clear. One, I love food. Two, I love trendy food. It’s important you know this. I love trying new things and that’s why I was just as stunned as you probably are right now that I f*cking hated matcha. Like, low-key, it was one of the worst experiences in my dietary life.
If you’ve been living under a rock, matcha is a stone-ground powdered green tea. It was originally used in ancient Japanese tea ceremonies. Now, anyone can get their fix.
Here’s how it went down: it was a Tuesday after work. My friend Kara, claiming to want to detox, suggested we check out Cha Cha Matcha, a cute little storefront in New York’s Soho neighborhood. Having already stalked their drool-worthy Insta, I was sold. “Let’s do it!” I texted back. Little did I know I would come to regret that three-word agreement.
We walked in from the heat at around 5:45 p.m. It’s crowded but not packed, a good sign. There are trendy people at every corner dressed in head-to-toe black, just doing their cool NY thing when we approached the counter. Kara ordered first, a simple iced matcha. I decided to go big and ordered their special coconut matcha latte.
I take my first sip. “Ok,” I’m thinking. “Interesting.” The flavor I was hit with was not what I expected, aka literal grass, but I decided to power through and keep sucking it down. About 25% of the way down, I started just swallowing it without tasting it. That’s when the trouble really began.
You know the feeling when you’re super nauseous and you have to pull the trigger because your mouth keeps pooling with saliva and little burps keep rising up from the molten lava that is your stomach acid? That is precisely what started happening.
It is a very jarring feeling to feel like you are about to unload your stomach in a public place. I just kept sitting there, tight-lipped, swallowing back down the rising stomach bile from the dreaded matcha.
Furthermore, my hands started shaking beyond belief. I’m a chick who indulges in around 2 cups of coffee on the daily so I was shocked when I felt the caffeine hit. It was freaky, in a bad way. Kara, meanwhile, grabbed my drink and finished it.
For the skeptics, I ate like it was a normal day. This was not food poisoning. This was not something I ate earlier. In my heart of hearts, I know that it was the flippin’ matcha.
Look, all I’m saying is that if you don’t like matcha, don’t be afraid to shout it to the heavens. Your friends may shun you (luckily, Kara and I are still cool), but at the end of the day, matcha isn’t for everyone. For example, lead contamination is a serious concern with matcha; it can occur during the steeping process.
Additionally, it has recently come out that iced matcha teas offer less nutrients than brewed tea. It’s possible that the ingredients in my coconut matcha latte diluted the actual health benefits and left me in ruins.
I am not ruling out trying matcha again in the future. Who knows? Maybe it was off day. Maybe I have some sort of weird and rare sensitivity to matcha. So go forth and prove me wrong (or right?).