Introducing Thea Matcha – the coffee alternative you need to know about

Thea Matcha

Thea Matcha’s founders May (left) and Enna (right). Image supplied.

It’s green tea, but not as you know it. Matcha (pronounced mah-cha) is a super-superfood – surpassing its peers such as goji berries and pomegranate on the antioxidant front. Like coffee, matcha contains caffeine, but instead of the jitters, thanks to its superpower amino acid L-Theanine, the caffeine is slowly released into the bloodstream to energise, with a calming, relaxing effect.

Caffeine without the jitters – count us in!

Thea Matcha was recently launched online and in stores with the aim of introducing matcha as a coffee alternative. The brand features elegant packaging with the product encased in chic looking tins, accompanied by glass Matcha bowls and a cute wooden serving spoon. The products themselves are delicious – we were sent the standard Matcha powder to try, along with the Collagen x Matcha powder, which has a vanilla and coconut flavour and is absolutely divine when mixed with foamy coconut milk for a coffee – alternative, morning treat.

We had a chat with cousins, Matcha connoisseurs and co-founders Enna and May about their brand and why we should be making the Matcha switch away from coffee.

How did the idea for Thea Matcha come about?

May came to me (Enna) in 2015 to start a matcha oriented cafe, but I wasn’t ready to risk it so instead looked to import premium organic matcha into the market to start off with. We wanted to familiarise the New Zealand market with great matcha, not the cheap bitter tasting matcha that was dominating the market at the time.

Where does the name Thea Matcha come from?

It’s short for L-Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea. It is also a play on the Greek Goddess of Light, as we wanted to showcase matcha in a new light – that is, it’s not a scary green drink but a viable caffeine alternative to coffee.

What are the main benefits of Matcha?

If you experience symptoms associated with drinking too much coffee, such as feeling anxious or the ‘jitters’, and you are looking for an alternative beverage that keeps you feeling alert, we’d recommend matcha. As matcha naturally contains L-Theanine, when paired with caffeine it makes you relaxed and alert, therefore reducing the effects of each other. Matcha is also naturally very high in antioxidants.

Thea Matcha

Thea Matcha offers organic matcha powder.

What is the difference between Matcha and coffee?

Matcha is simply a super green tea! It’s made from green tea leaves, lightly steamed then grounded into a fine powder. It is used in tea ceremonies in Japan as form of meditation. Matcha is also popular in desserts and as a natural food colouring.

Could you explain a bit about your products?

Thea started off with the idea of offering premium quality matcha but without the high price tag of a ceremonial grade variant. We have now expanded into a Matcha Collagen blend with organic matcha and organic coconut (definitely a customer favourite!). Customers frequently asked us for refill options, and in turn, we now offer our refill pouches in home compostable bags (currently the 100g option only but we will be introducing a refillable and compostable option for 30g very soon). Lastly, we get asked all the time about our glassware and home decor, so we offer a limited selection of aesthetic cups and vases to make your space Insta worthy, and to elevate your matcha ritual.

Is there anything new for you on the horizon?

We are planning on expanding the range, so keep an eye out.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

If you’ve found yourself disliking matcha because it’s too bitter, try it again as there was a high chance you experienced the cooking grade matcha which is bitter. The more vibrant green it is, the better quality it is. If you’re just starting your matcha journey, try a matcha latte with a sweetener of your choice, we love to pair ours with a small amount of honey, plus oat milk, it’s not traditional but it tastes absolutely delicious. Over Summer you can serve this over ice as well for the perfect iced matcha.

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