Everybody has that defining moment, when their taste buds decide it’s time to be an adult, and what once was revolting is suddenly quite appetising. For many it’s red wine, for others it’s olives. For me, it was coffee!*
That coffee bean smell that used to make me feel dangerously queasy suddenly became the most comforting aroma to wake up to in the morning. That bitterness that made me wretch was suddenly the taste of heaven in a mug. First thing in the morning, whilst catching-up with a friend, before lectures, after lectures, during my work break, walking through town, any time before 6pm…I would have a coffee in my hand.
Admittedly there are worse substances to be addicted to – Ross Kemp probably won’t shoot a hard-hitting documentary on how my habit poses a threat to society. But, coffee in such a high volume can have quite a detrimental effect on your general well-being and health. Since my coffee consumption rocketed, I would crash after the caffeine high, leaving me in a very sluggish, unproductive and frankly unhappy mood. On a few occasions I decided to cut down on my intake, but found myself suffering from nagging headaches as a result, which always led to me reaching for the cafetiere.
In recent months, almost every health and fitness guru I follow on Instagram has given up coffee and remarked on how much healthier they feel for it. Most substituted their slow roast for the antioxidant powerhouse that is Matcha – the ground powder of Chinese green tea leaves, scientifically proven to have a uplifting effect on those who drink it, thanks to the theanine produced during its growth and harvest.
Having travelled to Japan, where Matcha is a key ingredient on almost any menu, I was already familiar with the taste and thought: why not give it a go for a week?
The Matcha tastes nutritious and I definitely feel less lethargic. I’m not sure if that is down to the Matcha or the good night’s sleep I had, but either way I have enjoyed it so far as an alternative to my coffees.
This morning my body clock woke me an hour before I needed to get up. I had a PT session later in the day so there was no point going to the gym…I could have done something productive like laundry / online shopping / general life admin, but I had an episode of Peaky Blinders to catch up on so…Matcha and Shelbys for me! An invigorating super-food combined with post-war gang warfare…what more could I ask for at 05.30? I’m not sure if it was the Matcha or the gunshots, but I was very awake by 06.30!
The novelty element of the Matcha has worn off slightly as my willpower was tested circa 3pm when everything at work started falling down around me. I was irritable, taking tellings-off from every corner and the last thing I wanted at that moment was to faff about with some powder and a whisk! I did not yield, but neither was I happy about it. Hell hath no fury like a woman deprived of her coffee fix.
Having this afternoon off from work was ideal, as I had a lot of Christmas errands that needed doing. The rain was pouring, so I stuck on Netflix, online shopped for my final bits and bobs, wrapped presents and filled in my 2018 diary. This cosiness was a classic coffee moment for me, but if anything, the piping hot Matcha was even more comforting.
Having completed an absolutely deadly spin class, blow dried my hair (NB afro – no easy challenge) and wrapped my final few presents all before 9am, today was one of those days where I really felt like I had my biz together. I nearly crashed around 3pm and that 5am alarm suddenly felt like a bad mistake. But hand on heart, the Matcha picked me up! I was sceptical when reading that this ‘super brew’ would energise even the most weary of souls, but I honestly felt like a new woman. Cup of Matcha done and I was back on top form, whizzing around like a bumble bee feeling eternally smug that I’d been so productive.
I really struggled to turn down a coffee with brunch! I nearly caved as my fellow brunchers sipped away at their Americanos and on a slow relaxed Saturday morning, a coffee would have been ideal. But I was strong! Being completely honest – Matcha or no Matcha – it’ll take me a while to get used to not having coffee with my weekend eggs.
Warning – I’m about to get preachy…like vegan level preachy, but I actually feel so smug right now for having gone all week without a single flat white or chai latte. I’m not craving coffee and I don’t necessarily feel the need to revert back to coffee tomorrow. I can’t say I’ll never have another coffee again, but I definitely feel a lot more healthy having capped my intake. My mood has noticeably improved and with all of the other health conscious decisions I’m taking in my day-to-day life, keeping with the Matcha and saving coffee as an occasional treat seems like the common-sense thing to do.
(*I am also an avid fan of red wine and olives!)