Spend any amount of time on social media and you’ll quickly see green drinks in your feed, usually in handcrafted mugs, always with a lot of engagement. It’s matcha and this tea is continuing to gain in popularity. If you’ve been curious about it (the photos are beautiful and enticing, after all), we’re breaking it down for you.47554490 - hands holding hot cup of coffee or tea in morning

Matcha is a caffeinated green tea that can be used in lattes and baked goods. Since matcha is the often discarded green tea leaves that have been ground into a powder, it’s very different than the green tea you may be used to. Matcha yields a stronger and deeper flavor than steeped green tea.

While matcha is known for its bright green hue, it has stuck around in our lives for all the health benefits it can provide. Matcha is very high in antioxidants, making it a protector against cancer and heart disease. Even though a cup of matcha and a cup of coffee are caffeine equals, matcha’s calming qualities may result in a less jittery alertness. Matcha is also known for helping to reduce feelings of anxiety and enhancing mood.

To prepare matcha, use it to make a latte (just like you would with coffee grounds) and pair it with your favorite milk, protein powders, adaptogens and sweeteners. Matcha has a strong flavor and experimenting with add-ins may be necessary to get the right balance for your tastes. High quality matcha is more palatable; unfortunately, there are a lot of low quality matcha teas out there, so ensure you buy the fresh, pure matcha for the best product and flavor you can get. Fair warning: the price tag can get a little high for the good stuff.

Go ahead and give matcha a try! Find a combination you love and pretty soon you’ll join in on the matcha drink sharing phenomenon happening online.