Move over green tea. The hipsters have moved on to your sexier sister, matcha! While regular green tea only steeps the plant leaves and then removes them, matcha is powdered green tea leaves that are mixed directly into water, so you’re actually drinking the leaves. Often times, though, people will add extra sweeteners to combat the umami taste that overwhelms the powder, adding unnecessary sugar and calories.
Besides being featured in drink form (like lattes), matcha has also been added to foods like pancakes, muffins, and ice cream. While this is an easy way to incorporate it into your diet, be aware that there is a concern with lead contamination. Even organically grown tea leaves have been found to contain lead, and when you consume matcha, you are also ingesting all the lead it contains (versus the 90% you would get from steeped green tea). A cup of matcha can contain as much as 30 times more lead than a cup of green tea, so scientists recommend drinking no more than a single cup each day.