Garden Path Tokyo

Our Origin Story: Why are we called anyway?!

Posted by Matcha Alternatives

A few years ago we tried to get "into" matcha tea given how every year for the last 10+ it has been getting more and more popular (as you may have noticed) but we have really struggled to like it.

Chawans in Japan - MatchaAlternatives.comLoyal readers of our travel blog Travelling for Tea will remember our Teas of Japan post (we traveled permanently for 4 years, before settling in Portugal). There, we describe how our wonderful Japanese family took us up in the mountains of northern Japan, to a Buddhist temple where we enjoyed chawans - whisking bowls - of matcha tea (see photo, right).

We realized there that this was was the only time we had ever enjoyed it – the highest quality Ceremonial matcha, in a temple, on top of a mountain, in Japan. So yes we’ve found good matcha...but it's not exactly ‘accessible’! 



What's our issue with Matcha?

For 100% of our other interactions with matcha, the price tag and bitterness got our serious attention, and of course not in a good way. As we learned more about the matcha craze (the market has seen enormous growth in the last 15 or so years, especially in the USA), we learned that it was due to its high antioxidants and vitamins, combined with its stunning bright-green color.

Matcha Ice Cream - MatchaAlternatives.comThen we began to notice that 99.99% of the time it’s served in a latte, ice cream, doughnut, cake or something similarly sweet and calorific. Enjoying the greenness but wrecking the health benefits: just check out #matcha on Instagram...

Why is this? To make the expensive green powder last and hide the bitter taste! If you’ve ever tried straight matcha, you’ll know that it can be VERY bitter. It also costs around $1+ per mug - made at home (not at Starbucks) due to a very short growing season, and limited supply.

Many people drink it for the antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients, spend painful chunks of their paycheck on it, but most don’t enjoy drinking it. Or they hope beyond hope that they are healthier for eating a cake or creamy latte with matcha in it. What is happening!?


Hiraizumi, Japan-

Visiting a temple in Hiraizumi, Japan where we warmed up with some matcha tea


We have always dreamed of having our own ethical teashop

What stopped us in the past was that we were never sure what we could sell that would fill gap in the market, and be able to do so ethically.

So, as you can tell, we found one particular 'problem' or 'gap' and decided to tackle it ourselves. So what we find?

There are many other antioxidant-rich, vitamin-rich, nutrient-rich teas out there besides matcha, they are available at a fraction of the cost, many with even more antioxidants, and crucially they taste GOOD.

We are proud that the teas we sourced that can beat matcha tea in this way are part of the Ethical Tea Partnership,

(At the end of this blog you can see the actual numbers comparing cost & antioxidants).


And finally, the chance to fight bad science...

In addition, as we dug deeper into this idea, we discovered a depressing lack of reliable, scientifically-robust information about alternatives to matcha, the health benefits of tea, and antioxidant levels in these other options. So. Much. Pseudo-science.

Professor Stephany Morgan - Matcha AlternativesOur solution? In addition to the two of us, we are honored and delighted to have Professor Stephany Morgan to our team. She is our super-smart Herbalist & Tea Specialist, and has degrees in Psychology, Pre-Nursing and Complementary Alternative Medicine, with a focus on Herbal Medicine and Nutrition.

Stephany writes our MA blog and is a professor of Indigenous Medicinal Herbs at the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College in Mt Pleasant, Michigan. She has already built up a fantastic selection of fun, accessible and informative posts (all full researched and referenced in-blog unlike almost all other info on tea online).











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So, at last!

...after sampling and sourcing dozens of antioxidant-rich teas from across the world in our years of travels we can:

  1. Sell the teas we love – antioxidant-rich superfoods and all delicious
  2. Blog about tea and herbal tea with a solid science base
  3. Save people a lot of matcha misery (and money!)


So please support our small businesses! :-D

We will be forever grateful to you for any and all help:


  1. Shop with us! We sell a super-tasty range of rooibos, honeybush, yerba mate, chamomile, tulsi holy basil, moringa, green, white and purple teas

  2. Spread the word: Tell everyone you know to give us a try!

  3. Gift from us (voila, Christmas & birthday shopping made easy)

  4. Subscribe to our blog

  5. Review our teas on our site and on Facebook after trying them out

  6. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

We are so excited to finally have our own teashop. We have worked really hard on this over the last few years and are so excited to share our teas with you. 

Thank you from the depths of our hearts for your help and support.

Elizabeth & Vientiene Ta'eed

Founders of


Elizabeth and Vientiene-


Still interested? Some great reads are here:


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And of course...all of the information regarding the herbs, botanicals, minerals, vitamins, etc., is information drawn from traditional use data or academic research and should be regarded as such. If you, the reader, has a health or medical concern, please consult your healthcare professional. The information found here is not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe or cure and has not been evaluated by the FDA. The information here is for educational use only.

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