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Let us gather together, coffee dissenters

danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
edited April 2016 in General 4181 karma
This may be the most worthless discussion in 7Sage's recent history, but in the event that it may help someone in similar shoes to mine, I thought I'd err on the safe side and post this anyway.

There are perhaps three things that I hate above all else in this world: the never-ending zombie craze, country music, and. COFFEE. The last of these - the putrid, nightmarish toxin eighty-some percent of Americans seem to enjoy drinking - is the worst of them all. I once enjoyed Plants v. Zombies, and I occasionally manage to walk in and out of a store without noticing but for a second some song about a pickup truck, but coffee will never grow one me. A teaspoon of it in even the sweetest of desserts will have me immediately putting down my fork and reaching for what is hopefully a full glass of water. So what did frequently flu-ridden me always do the night (mid-morning) before a half dozen midterms? I drank a crap ton of matcha.

For the purpose of this post, I found a Daily Mail article, which will hopefully do all of the science talk for me.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2713411/Would-swap-coffee-Matcha-green-tea.html

Having been a frequent drinker of matcha for the past five years or so, I am confident that I can speak knowledgeably about its benefits. The caffeine kick isn't immediate and dramatic as is the kick from a coffee break, but the subsequent crash is absolutely nonexistent. You may notice a lengthened alertness that extends beyond the length of the LSAT (a big plus, if you ask me) both from the caffeine, which is absorbed more slowly than is caffeine from coffee, and the plentiful amount of goodies also found in the drink (see article for the actual specifics on this). While tea holds a fraction of the amount of caffeine compared to coffee, matcha is very different, primarily because of the fact that the drink requires you to drink the leaves themselves as opposed to an infusion of them. Leaves used for [quality] matcha are a very particular fraction of a very particular variety, not to mention the delicate and ultra-specific processing these leaves undergo. This leads, among other things, to a higher concentration of amino acids and to a much better tasting product.

One of the greatest benefits of matcha in relation to the LSAT is the amount customarily consumed. As opposed to a cup of coffee or tea, a "cup" of matcha is no more than a few ounces from less than a tablespoon of powder. I don't know about anyone else here on this forum, but I am not about to wait one to two hours before actually starting the test, only to have to keep my bladder from bursting while working on the first three sections of the LSAT for the two hours afterwards. Matcha avoids this issue for me perfectly and also gives me a very positive, consistent, and crash-less boost.

Personally, matcha, and tea in general, is most attractive for its taste, aroma, and history, but for the purpose of the LSAT, the benefits of matcha are especially attractive. It has helped me tremendously in many instances over the years like the one aforementioned. Should anyone take the venture to try this tea, I would recommend experimenting with it a few months out before the test; buying it is a bit of an investment, and several accessories are pretty much required in order to prepare the tea. Making the tea takes some practice as well. And just because a product claims to be matcha a) doesn't mean that it actually is and b) doesn't mean it is of any decent quality. Plenty of green tea powders are marketed as "matcha" even though its from an entirely different leaf, harvest date, production process, et cetera. Fakes and poor products lead to reduced benefits (including caffeine) and at best sub-par flavor profiles. Hibiki-an and Aiya are among the more reputable and reliable sources for purchasing matcha.

As I mentioned, quality matcha is not cheap, but I think for some, it may be a worthwhile investment. I know matcha will be very helpful for me, as will my 180watch and Ticonderoga pencils. And for coffee-haters akin to myself, a drink such as this can be godsend straight from heaven.

Comments

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    edited April 2016 26297 karma
    First of all, I love this post. Matcha is excellent. It is a very different caffeination experience. It’s more of a heightened sense of awareness than it is any extra energy. And since we should all be concerned with not needing a bathroom break, the fact that it is prepared in such small portions, as @danielznelson states, definitely makes it an attractive option for LSATers. It’s also fun to make. There are specialized bowls and bamboo whisks and techniques and everything.

    Now let’s talk about this:
    @danielznelson said:
    The last of these - the putrid, nightmarish toxin eighty-some percent of Americans seem to enjoy drinking - is the worst of them all.
    Now, I love coffee. No really. My PS is about coffee. That being said, I completely agree with this statement. 99% of the coffee out there is total garbage. In fact, much of the coffee shop coffee out there is total garbage. Don’t drink bad coffee guys. For just a trivial increase in cost, you can treat yo self daily to a beautiful experience that does not taste like burnt tire rubber and sad children. And @danielznelson , I would propose that perhaps you do like coffee after all, and you have just been a victim of your own good taste encountering the swill that has been served to you in the past with the label of “coffee” outrageously attached to it. No one hates bad wine more than a wine lover. So too with coffee.

    7Sagers. Go forth. And Treat Yo Self.

    Edit. Realized links were totally in violation of forum rules. My bad. But still, go get some nice coffees!
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    Whoa! Now I wish I would have mentioned Rishi. I even looked them up before posting. Seriously, I wish I could show you my search history. I don't know enough of their matcha line, however, so I didn't feel it wise to do so. Glad to know you like it, especially since it's more of an entry product. And yes, matcha is very fun to make and is altogether a cool experience. I drink brewed loose leaf tea 95% of the time, but matcha is always a special treat.

    These links are excellent. And you're probably right, though I'm afraid to try coffee due to the off chance that I would like it. I have even a petty, moralistic dislike for coffee, and I don't want to compromise my life of tea.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26297 karma
    Haha, fair enough. Plenty of coffee drinkers decide to dislike tea on principle, so I guess that can go both ways.
  • cmelman95cmelman95 Alum Member
    725 karma
    I fucking love coffee. I drink that shit black. Tastes good (usually) and gives you a nice boost that borders on a buzz, depending on the strength. I'm with Cant on this one.
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    So odd... this thread was posted while I was shopping at Trader Joes and I placed their "Cold Brew" in my cart (which is AMAZING) as well as grabbed some of their Green Tea Matcha... never have tried it but had the urge to buy... now if only the other tips on this forum would somehow pop into my head at the most convenient of moments :)
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26297 karma
    Ha! That’s uncanny @stepharizona !
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    I am very intrigued by this. I love coffee as well (Guatemalan, black, made in an espresso machine, thank you very much) but I'm intrigued by the "different caffeination" experience. Too much coffee gives me a literal "buzz" that's more energy than concentration, so a beverage that does the opposite has my full attention.
    I'm a bit worried by this "special bowls and wisks" talk, as I am more of a protein bar for breakfast, microwave meal for lunch, Whole Foods chicken and pickles for dinner. Definitely NOT a ceremonial tea maker.
    Any dump and shake methods/brands that still give you that smooth caffeination?
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26297 karma
    Hey @runiggyrun they do have easier packaging. I usually see them called matcha sticks. They’re the little individual serving sizes meant to be added to a 16 oz bottle of water.
  • AlejandroAlejandro Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    edited April 2016 2424 karma
    1. Zombies are the coolest thing ever
    2. That's because you've never drank Colombian coffee ;p
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    @runiggyrun I know ito-en has a ready-to-drink line that includes matcha, though I've never had it. I have had a few of their other drinks, and they're about what one would expect from a canned tea. I've heard matchabar specializes in iced, ready-to-drink matcha.

    Here is another option:

    http://www.aiyamatcha.com/consumers/matcha-poducts/matcha-to-go-sticks.html

    Honestly, I don't know why I hadn't thought of mentioning this off the bat. I haven't had this either, however.

    Ha! I was shocked no one called me out on zombies. As as I already mentioned, as much as I claim to hate them, P v. Z was my jam back in college.
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    Awesome - just ordered some powder and some sticks from Amazon. 180, here I come!
    Thanks for the thread @danielznelson!
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    @Alejandro said:
    2. That's because you're never drank Colombian coffee ;p
    So good... although I am a sucker for Kona
  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Legacy Inactive ⭐
    2086 karma
    @Alejandro I once interned for a few attorneys. One of the investigators I worked with was Colombian. I walked in one morning, tired, groggy, and half asleep. She made me a cup of "the stuff [I] used to drink in Colombia". That stuff does wonders...
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26297 karma
    The problem with “Colombian” coffee, or “Ethiopian” or “Brazilian” or whatever, is that coffee buyers buy up a little good coffee and then blend it with a bunch of crappy coffee. These ubiquitous blends make even famous origins like Colombia, Blue Mountain, and Yirgacheffe bland and boring. What you really want is the pure unadulterated good stuff. The only way to do that is to buy single origin. Look for not just coffee from El Salvador, for example, but coffee specifically from the Villa Galicia farm from right outside of Juayua, Sonsonate. Colombian coffee is coming into season right now @Alejandro , so it’s the absolute perfect time to search for great single origins. If you like regular old Colombian coffee, you’re going to be floored by a good single origin.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26297 karma
    Also, watch them roast dates. If the coffee isn’t labeled with the day it was roasted, the roaster is hiding something from you. Coffee peaks between 2 - 14 days after it is roasted. Good roasters roast your coffee to order, so that you receive it right as it is beginning to peak.

    And I know I don’t have to tell y’all you’ve got to grind your beans fresh right? The finest coffee in the world will be Folgers within an hour after it’s ground.
  • AddistotleAddistotle Legacy Member
    328 karma
    I've recently adopted bulletproof coffee as my caffeine fix, despite not having their apparently "superior" beans, I have to say the grass fed butter and coconut oil (in place of their MCT oil) is pretty good.

    I have not experienced matcha first hand, but I know that coffee makes me feel much better than 60mg of vyvanse did every day... don't forget exercise, assuming the cold snap goes back up where it belongs by June, I hope to cycle ~30km the morning of the LSAT, helps drown out distractions.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26297 karma
    I’ve heard of bulletproof @"A. Clermont" , but didn’t know about the butter thing. I’m intrigued. May have to give that a try.
  • AlejandroAlejandro Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    2424 karma
  • shadow16shadow16 Legacy Member
    227 karma
    I love matcha! I actually do a pseudo-bulletproof coffee type of thing and add a spoon of coconut oil to my matcha. I also drink a lot of raw cacao (either warm like hot chocolate or I put a spoon of it into a smoothie with some peanut butter - tastes like a reese's peanut butter cup) - any other cacao drinkers here or is it just me? :)
  • pritisharmapritisharma Alum Member
    477 karma
    matcha brand recommendations please ... I am trying out and want to get some expert advice on this :-) since I am a matcha newbie.
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    @runiggyrun You will have to let me know what you think! I honestly don't know why I haven't purchased those in the past. My wife isn't really into the fuss either.

    @pritisharma I personally would recommend Aiya and Hibiki-an. I can't claim either is the best, though of the products available online, I can't think of many more that are better. If you're new to matcha, however, I don't think you have to start there, though they do have entry-level matcha that is great to try.

    If you really want to go all out, I would recommend a standard chawan (matcha bowl). It may seem ridiculous, but these bowls are made specifically for matcha preparation. They're super slick with higher walls and a smaller center. This helps to foam up the matcha and to avoid hot liquid spilling over the sides.

    The whisk is probably the most important tool; I don't really use the spoon but a chashaku. I hardly think the difference matters. It's a good idea to get a fine-mesh sifter as well. All of these accessories are purchasable on Amazon, of course.

    I would look up videos on Matcha Preparation and go to sites like MatchaSource and Hibiki-an for articles on preparation. You may have to find "matcha preparation" on the right side of the page. I personally but a tablespoon (maybe?) of water in the bowl with the sifted tea to make a paste before adding the rest of the water, but that is just personal preference.

    @"Cant Get Right" mentioned Rishi Tea for cheaper though still good matcha. That wouldn't be a bad place to start.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26297 karma
    @danielznelson said:
    I personally but a tablespoon (maybe?) of water in the bowl with the sifted tea to make a paste before adding the rest of the water, but that is just personal preference.
    This is actually a technique called geometric distribution. Pharmacists use it, and it works great for matcha.
    @danielznelson said:
    the fuss
    The fuss is a work of art! Although, I just can’t stop myself from mentally superimposing commentary from an overly excited American sports commentator who has no idea what’s going on.
    https://youtu.be/fmukjUoevf4
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    @"Cant Get Right" I agree entirely, and while my wife can appreciate it, she doesn't love doing it herself, haha. I personally love preparing tea in general. It's a unique blend of both art and science. The history and story behind each variety is alone amazing enough. And I love how into this you are.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26297 karma
    Yeah, not many tea guys in The States @danielznelson so we got to stick together! What are your go to loose leaf teas? I actually tend to favor Chinese greens over Japanese. My every day green is a Jade Cloud out of Hubei Province. I get a golden leaf black out of Yunnan Province that's phenomenal.
  • MookittyyMookittyy Legacy Member
    167 karma
    I'm chiming in on the tea side here, as the support seems to be too slanted towards coffee! Bah, humbug, I say. Too tired right now to say much more, but I am an avid tea appreciator (I even have my own tea review blog on Steepster.) So, yeah. Boo coffee.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26297 karma
    Damn @Mookittyy that’s legit!
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    @Mookittyy Nice! You should request to review on Teaviews. Samples are sent free to you, and you choose with samples you would like to try. It's pretty awesome!

    @"Cant Get Right" My favorite tea period is longing and in particular, a first picking. Verdant Tea has the best dragon well I've tasted. Have you checked them out? If not, you should. They do things pretty differently and are incredibly informative and transparent. They also create new and unique teas, since they're selling almost exclusively to an American market. Their laoshan black is a work of art. My favorite type of tea in general would definitely have to be be high-elevation, lightly oxidized, Taiwenese oblongs - virtually any of them. I just love oblong in general, especially rolled ones.
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    @"Cant Get Right" seems like you should check out Teaviews as well
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26297 karma
    Yeah @danielznelson , I'm going to look that up (always down for free samples!) as well as some of the teas you suggested. I never quite know where to start with oolongs since they essentially cover the entire spectrum of oxidation excluding 0% and 100%, of course. It's just such a nebulous classification. Agreed about high elevation, that's important for coffee as well.

    Y’all have any cool teaware? I’ve got a Tokoname teapot which has really upped my game.
    image
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    Haha, nice. I acquired a decent amount over the years. Gaiwans, tea trays, and yixing, of course. And I know I've seen that pot somewhere... Mighty Leaf?

    As far as Chinese oolongs, tieguanyin is a great start. Different oxidation levels are present for sure, but it's usually square in the middle. Baozhong and Alishan are some of my personal favorites as far as Taiwenese teas go, as well as Dong Ding, which is a darker roasted tea.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26297 karma
    Yeah, I’d eventually like to get really legit and be able to limit teapots to single teas. Right now, this works great as an all purpose. It’s actually from a little store in Japan which I stumbled across online somehow. The potter is Jinshu, I’d suspect mighty leaf stuff is mostly mass production.

    I think I’ve had a Baozhong before, but it was before I was really into tea so don’t really remember it. Will have to check some stuff out.
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    It is. I will really have to check that potter out. Thanks!
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