When we opened our pop-up cafe in Brooklyn last November, we thought it would be a 2 month experiment that would help us get closer to our community in person and test out recipes. We had no idea how much the local community would grow to depend on us for a coffee alternative and relaxing space to work and meet colleagues and friends. Now, we're getting New Yorkers from all 5 boroughs and beyond, including tourists who've come to us to try our matcha elixirs and lattes.
Nearby to our cafe is the mindbodygreen headquarters and we quickly became fast friends! Their beauty and lifestyle editor, Lindsay Kellner, discovered us and decided give up her beloved coffee for one whole month and replacing it with matcha. She wrote a fantastic piece which you can read here.
Lindsay Kellner, Sr. Beauty and Lifestyle Editor for mindbodygreen and matcha experimentor
We chatted with Lindsay about her experience drinking Matchaful and what others can learn from her experiment.
1. When did you first hear about matcha? What did you think about it when you first fried it? Did you have it straight as a tea or a latte?
I can't remember when I first heard about matcha, but I first tried it two summers ago in an almond milk latte. I thought it tasted like fresh mowed lawn grass—bitter, astringent, and so earthy.
2. Did you know if you were drinking quality matcha or where it came from? How did you know that you were drinking quality matcha with Matchaful's Hikari grade?
I had no idea—the place I went was more about the trendy color of the matcha, and how it looked next to millennial pink, than the taste. Having a matcha latte at Matchaful was still different from coffee—most notably not as desert-y—but it certainly didn't taste like grass.
3. What was the impetus to decide to replace coffee with matcha?
A summer of heart palpitations was a good wake up call! I never considered myself an anxious person, but I'd also never been drinking as much coffee. I would have a cold brew (v potent) and a latte on summer days, and on winter days I'd have one or more almond or oat milk lattes. It was a lot. I resisted the idea that my anxiety could be related to coffee because it was historically not a big deal, and because coffee felt like part of who I was.
When Matchaful opened a few blocks away from the mindbodygreen office, I took it as a sign to give up coffee for a month. I even picked the shortest month, February, to stay motivated because I wasn't sure I'd make it for 30 or 31 days.
4. February is good for things like that! Had you ever tried to make it at home?
I hadn't, no! I'm big on getting coffee and / or matcha to-go. It's a nice way to punctuate the day.
5. Now that you make it at home on the weekend, what is your at home go-to recipe? Do you have a favorite mug or bowl that you drink out of?
My go to recipe is:
- unsweetened hemp milk
- 1 tbsp MCT oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 scoop collagen
I do—I have a tie-dye mug from Campfire studios a dear friend gifted me, which is great for larger drinks. I also have a set of Hasami Porcelain mugs that come with a little wooden lid, which keeps your matcha warm if you're like me and wind up doing a million things while you're drinking it.
I also love Mociun's artfully mis-matched ceramics—they are second to none.
6. As time went on how did you start feeling about your morning cup of matcha? Did you ever have it twice in a day? I know my reason for getting out of bed in the morning is that I get to go make my matcha turmeric latte…
Yes—I often have it twice in one day, but no more than that. I look forward to my morning matcha the same way I looked forward to coffee. Making it isn't my favorite thing, but enjoying it is.
7. We can help with making it easier - there are a lot of hacks that make it easier that we can help with. How did your experience drinking Matchaful lattes differ from drinking espresso lattes? What latte recipe did you like the most at the cafe? Any requests?!
I love a simple oat milk matcha latte. I should take back the "simple," though, because finding one that's made well and to your liking is harder than it should be.
The state of mind prior to drinking both was congruent, mostly excitement and relief, and anticipation. The after effects are what differed. With espresso, I'd get the shakes if I didn't eat enough food before and/or afterward. I'd actually (pathetically?) planned eating around coffee
consumption more than I did my own hunger sometimes.
With matcha, you're free to tune into what your body needs. I think I lost weight initially, and noticed that my day was energetically even-keeled. It was quite a subtle shift, but the impact was huge.
8. I loved what you said in your article about your mental addiction to coffee, how our culture weaves our lives around coffee breaks. What would you say to someone who refuses to believe they could ever give up coffee for matcha? What kind of mindset would you recommend?
I would say: check in with your body. If you don't want to give up coffee because you love it and your body does too, rock on. But if you're experiencing undue anxiety, or you want to kick the habit for another reason, I'd say give yourself a time boundary. Mine was a month because I've had coffee every day for almost 15 years and knew I'd need some time to recalibrate. Go for a quality matcha, too—it tastes better! And finally make sure you've got a recipe you can look forward to in the morning.