Waking up with a strong cup of coffee is usually our go-to way to start the day. Caffeine jump-starts our bodies and brains in a way that we really love, and we know we're not alone—right? When we feel like shaking things up, we go for green tea, which is just as buzzy but more refined and refreshing and loaded with healthy antioxidants. Matcha, a finely milled green tea powder, is a very-hot-right-now alternative to powering up, any time of day. The potent green stuff is showing up in smoothies, juices, macarons and more, and with good reason: it tastes delicious, is a powerhouse for energy and health (know anything else that can boost metabolism, increase bloodflow and make your skin gorgeous?), and is easily incorporated into just about anything. Take, for instance, this delicious green cooler, which blends matcha with the tropical flavors of mint and coconut, yielding a refreshing drink that's as effective as an iced latte at revving you up during your afternoon slump, but way more flavorful and virtuous. 

While there are many powdered matcha options on the market, many are actually sencha, which is produced from green tea leaves but in a different process: matcha is grown in the shade and milled more carefully, with veins and stems of the leaves removed after harvesting, while sencha is harvested after growing in the shade and dried and milled as a whole leaf. The flavors differ widely, bright green matcha is more creamy tasting, with a clean aftertaste, while sencha is more bitter. Japanese matcha is easily found online, with brands DoMatcha and Teanobi offering high-quality culinary matcha powders. As with most things, the higher the quality, the higher the price. 

Mint Matcha Coconut Cooler

10-12 oz. fresh coconut water

½ tsp Matcha Powder

Juice of ¼ lime

2 tbsp fresh mint leaves

Sweetener, if needed

Get the full recipe at Sweet Simple Vegan

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