Try or Deny: All Things Matcha

Matcha tea has made its way into all sorts of tasty treats. We taste the trend and shares our thoughts.

Episode: Spring Ahead
The Kitchen hosts play a game of Try or Deny featuring food and drinks made with matcha, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

The Kitchen hosts play a game of Try or Deny featuring food and drinks made with matcha, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Matcha is a finely ground green tea powder with origins in Japan. Since it is made from crushed whole green tea leaves, the caffeine content is somewhat higher than your average bagged tea. Still, one serving of matcha has much less caffeine than coffee, and is said to provide a less "jittery," more sustained energy boost, with no crash at the end.

Matcha is bright green in color with a rich grassy flavor, and it's packed with antioxidants. Typically, you stir the powder into hot water for a cup of tea, but its powdered form makes it easy to bake and cook with. Thus, it can now be found in all sorts of foods—and we tasted them for you!

The first treat we tried was matcha simple syrup, which we stirred into lemonade. This one was a clean sweep: We loved it! The fresh matcha paired perfectly with the bright and tart flavors of lemonade. It was refreshing, and we liked its subtle caffeine boost. This one could be the drink that takes us all the way through summer.

Next, we tried matcha-dipped baked goods. On its own, matcha is mildly sweet, and it has become a hot new trend in bakeries to include it in goodies from brownies to ice cream. We tried matcha-glazed doughnuts and matcha white chocolate-dipped croissants. Both were very subtle—and for that reason, our opinions were mixed. On the upside, we thought it an easy way to introduce matcha for those who are skeptical. But if you're a matcha lover and really looking for the flavor to pack a punch, this may not be your thing.

Finally, we tried this green powder stirred into ranch dressing, for a simple two-ingredient take on Green Goddess dressing that would work on a crudite platter, in a salad or as a sandwich topper. This one was a split decision, too. On the one hand, it gave ranch a great earthy boost. On the other, those of us who didn't love it figured you might as well just eat regular ranch!

Overall, we were matcha fans. But don't take our word for it. If you get the chance, try matcha in your next springtime snack. You're sure to find your matcha match!

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