Matcha Tea Latte and Morning Window Gazing

Image

From the window in my living room, I have a snapshot view of my neighbor’s mornings.  Below, I can see students bustling in and out of Starbucks, toting book bags and coffees the size of forearms. Above are the windows of the other half of my apartment building. Some inhabitants refuse to let light in this early, so all I can see is the dull off-white of their blinds. A window on the far left side of the building always reveals two fluffy cats. Since this window marks the location of each apartment’s giant heater, this is where the cats bundle themselves up, taking in the morning and watching. Sometimes, they sit upright, regal, showcasing their brilliant fury chests, but mostly they just lounge and look, sometimes closing their eyes for a brief drift to warmth and sleep. On my various types of mornings, I look at them and wonder about what to have for breakfast, or if I should skip the gym or why I am awake a full hour before my alarm. They just blink, sometimes getting up to switch positions.

Recently, I’ve added a new ritual to my morning window gazing. I’ve been making myself Matcha lattes. I originally grabbed the idea from a piece on healthy breakfasts in Bon Appetit a month or two ago. It solves my predicament of waking up early and (almost always) wanting caffeine, but not early enough to have an appetite. Not being a coffee drinker, and being sensitive to tea without milk on an empty stomach, Matcha is the perfect resolution. It’s creamy from the soy milk, and the tea powder lends a nice grassiness to the drink. It does have a solid level of caffeine that feels less abrupt than the way I react to coffee, though I’m sure that depends on the drinker.

The ritual of preparing it is what I think makes it a little more special than other teas. Some articles say to buy a mini whisk especially for this tea, though I don’t know how necessary that is; my tiny teaspoon has been just fine. I’ve had a hard time slowing down in the mornings lately since changing my workout schedule, but these have helped me do just that. Take a minute (or 10) to just let the day start. It might help you during the rest of your day; I know it has helped mine.

 **I will warn you, Matcha powder is pretty expensive, I’ve read it’s because of the specialized, drawn-out way of processing it. The cheapest places I’ve found it are on Amazon and at teashops that sell it by the ounce, which is how I bought it.**

Ingredients

8 ounces of soy milk, dairy milk, or any milk substitute

¼ cup of water

1 teaspoon of Matcha powder (not in tea bags)

Method 

  1. Bring the water to just below a boil in whichever method you prefer. I use an electric tea kettle.
  2. Meanwhile, place the milk in a heat-proof glass in the microwave. Warm it for 45 seconds, or use a small saucepan and heat it on low on the stove for a minute and a half.
  3. Once the water is to the right temperature, place the tea powder in a mug, then follow with the water, and stir vigorously with a small spoon or whisk until there are no clumps.
  4.  Then, tip the mug slightly and pour in your milk. Feel free to sweeten with honey or  sugar if you’d like.