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What Happened When I Switched Out Coffee For Matcha

The benefits of matcha are plain as day. Can this hardcore coffee addict survive three months without it and come out better than before?

I’ve always been that girl who needed her daily caffeine fix. One when I reached the office, the second after lunch. It was a routine I was accustomed to, and maybe it did help to set the tone right for the day by sending a jolt of caffeine and sugar into my veins and getting the adrenaline pumping. But, like so many coffee aficionados around the world, my intense relationship with coffee hit me when I realised I felt sluggish when I didn’t have that second cup. Was coffee literally my fuel beyond the morning brew? That can’t be good. I decided it was high time for a change.

You’ve probably heard how Japanese folks have among the longest life expectancies in the world with a record breaking number of centenarian in the country. Their diet has a large role to play, and while it isn’t entirely confirmative if green tea (or matcha) has a role in that, the refreshingly earthy beverage is certainly a major part of their lifestyle. So with matcha, picking another drink that isn’t charged with caffeine – matcha still has it, but far lesser than coffee – wasn’t difficult. If you so please, you can even go for a matcha frappuccino. Green. Powdery. Creamy. Goodness.

There are a bevy of benefits from matcha, skin included. It’s loaded with antioxidants that curbs acne and helps to reduce sebum production and inflammation, which may explain why green tea-based skincare products are so popular. Having high levels of epigallocatechin gallete (EGCG) also means it detoxifies and cleanses the body of toxins – hence, the ideal after-meal drink – and boosts the body’s overall immune system. It also contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that improves alertness and overall mood. Did you hear that, black coffee? Eurgh, bless you Japan and your many wondrous inventions.

So, what about me? After switching out caffeine for matcha for three months, I felt a little calmer than usual. Maybe it’s all in my head, but those of us addicted to coffee are familiar with the buzz that comes with it. There was no buzz, but there was still alertness. Certainly none of that crash-and-burn that I get from skipping my coffee dose. As for my skin – I don’t have acne prone skin, but the pimple that never fails to pay me a visit once a month didn’t come. Is that a glow I see, too?

For the sake of integrity, I have to say that the switch wasn’t immediate – it was gradual. Cutting back on the number of cups per day, then skipping days, then finally the occasional cup and then a week without it at all. I will admit that I did still grab a coffee when I honestly needed a proper late night boost, but it was fewer than a handful. Compared to the number of cups I have on a non-diet month, though, the difference was significant.

By the end of it all, whether or not the physical benefits were apparent, I felt…good. Better. Pockets heavier, too, because a box loaded with 50 sachets of green tea is basically the same price as one single cup of cold brew. Economics. If you’re thinking of making the switch from coffee to matcha at long last after contemplating for years, try it. Is it strange that I really want one of those matcha kits, brush and everything, for Christmas this year?

What To Read Next: I Gave Up Sugar For 30 Days For The Sake Of My Acne, KULALA Weekends: Where To Find The Best Looking Desserts In Singapore and 5 Snacks To Beat That Pesky Afternoon Slump | Collage: Desiree Liew 

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