Your Matcha Alternatives Team
In the USA matcha tea exploded onto the scene only in the last years, famed for its superfood qualities, Instagramable color and rich Japanese history. However, we find it is almost always consumed with fats and sugars in lattes, cookies, ice cream and more, to cover up its distinctive commonly bitter flavor. It is definitely an acquired (and expensive) taste!
Along with many of our tea-friends, we thought we can’t be the only ones who don't really like matcha straight, but still want that superfood goodness.
So if not with matcha, how else can we get our daily antioxidant fix? Cue our quest to find other teas that are packed with antioxidants, far better value and, crucially, taste great at all times!
For more about matcha comparisons and its history, scroll down for our matcha series. For more on our work to become carbon positive, click here. Or read on to learn about us the founders!
ABOUT THE FOUNDERS
Elizabeth & Vientiene Ta'eed are dedicated teaheads and are always searching for the tastiest, healthiest, most varied options out there.
We met in London while Elizabeth was on a term-abroad - love at first sight, honest to God - and we realized we both have a severe case of the travel bug. Later, after a couple years in Madrid, we started traveling full time in 2016, immersing ourselves in the world of teas and wellness.
We drink tea several times a day, and have done so for years, finding ourselves feeling healthier, more energetic and more focused. We have a huge selection of naturally caffeine free teas in particular, which have dramatically helped the insomnia that plagued us before we started regularly drinking all our wonderful Rooibos, Tulsi and Chamomile blends.
Finally, in 2020, right at the start of the Covid pandemic, we ended our digital nomadism and put down roots in Portugal.
(By the way don't worry - we have an awesome family-run shipping team in Florida who will pack and ship your teas super-fast, tracked, regardless of where on Earth *we* are.)
Elizabeth Ta'eed is from Vermont and discovered loose leaf as a teenager. She grew up visiting Japan regularly to see her Japanese family, and discovered at the age of 6 that while Matcha was delicious in ‘everyday Tokyo’ – in a Mr Donut pastry, a Moss Burger bun, a pot of Haagan Daz, crunchy Pocky and everywhere else –drinking it straight was not her cup of tea (literally)!
Vientiene Ta'eed is from the UK, home of the milky breakfast tea! He grew up with Persian tea at home and visiting India to see family, but it was more recently during the founders’ year in India where they discovered for themselves Tulsi and Moringa….very much their cup of tea. Hooray for superfood teas! Tulsi and Moringa have long histories in India and southeast Asia, in Hinduism and Ayurveda, which we touch on in our many of our blogs.
You can read our Origin Story for MatchaAlternatives.com to learn more about our journey.
You can learn more about our tea travels on TravellingforTea.com (@TravellingforTea on Instagram). We are always adding more teas and tisanes to the our collection and love to hear your suggestions too. :-)
OUR SUPER-SMART HERBALIST & TEA SPECIALIST
Stephany is a published writer and researcher, and is passionate about leading a holistic and natural lifestyle. Her areas of research include cancer and pH, cancer and amygdalin, genetically engineered organisms and their effects on the human physiology, homeobotanical energetics, and herbal first aid in acute situations. She has written a series of herbal monographs as well.
In addition to being our herbalist and tea specialist, she is currently an adjunct at University of Arizona Global Campus and teaches a variety of courses in the field of Complementary Health.
OUR FABULOUS BLOG GUEST AUTHORS
Lauren Hirth is a senior at Mount Holyoke College working towards a BA in English and Psychology. After a brief sojourn in Bath, England she settled down for the year in Brattleboro, Vermont with her partner and purr-baby, Honey. When she isn’t making graphics or scouring the internet for the newest trends, she loves to drink London Fogs while writing, sewing, or playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Anna Silverstein is a student at Mount Holyoke College where she studies Environmental Studies and when not attending school in MA, she is based in Brooklyn, NY.
Anna has a passion for two things: sustainability and tea. Before joining the team at MatchAlternatives.com, she worked on multiple conservation campaigns, most recently working with the student led lobbying group, NYPIRG, on their campaigns to create a safer, more sustainable NY. Before that she worked at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island on their campaign to create a National Marine Sanctuary off New York’s coast.
These experiences showed Anna the beauty of natural landscapes as well as urban ones. She is very interested in ecology, specifically urban ecology, and it is her hope that she can use this interest to work to create equitable, sustainable and healthy communities of peoples and their ecosystems.
In her free time she loves to read ("I’m a bit of a nerd so you can often find me engrossed in a fantasy book or a good graphic novel!") and, of course, drink tea. She also loves to sew and embroider, which are both excellent activities to enjoy with a nice cuppa.
As to favorite tea, while she loves a fruity herbal tea, like hibiscus and rooibos, her die-hard favorite tea drink is a good London fog.
A NOTE OF RESPECT ON MATCHA TEA
We have extensively researched matcha as we love learning about tea and tea culture. So please...⟹ Learn more about matcha as a tea and a brief history in What is Matcha? A Matcha Primer
⟹ About the matcha trend in the USA in The Dark Truth About Matcha, and
⟹ How it became known as the be-all-end-all superfood due to one poorly-done study in Busting the Matcha Myth.
For any matcha-lovers reading, you are of course welcome here! We think you will still love our alternatives for when you want to enjoy a wonderful cup of antioxidant-rich tea but perhaps want to skip the caffeine, or save a bit of money, or explore a variety of new flavors in other superfood teas.
Matcha itself of course has a long and deep cultural history in China (where it originated) and Japan, where it developed into the tea we know today. Its history in food and ready-made tea beverages is recent, popularized by celebrities (Gynyth Paltrow, we’re looking at you!) and food manufacturers.
Fun fact: Haagen-Dazs was the first major company to use matcha in food, buying up nearly the whole matcha supply in 1996 to introduce green tea ice cream to Japan, and starting the trend of green tea flavored foods, both in Japan and abroad.
As we all know, now matcha can be found in America in your local Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and McDonalds, as well as your local bakery and grocery store, and in Japan in far more items, like KitKats. This is only the latest in the long history of matcha however, so be sure to check our Matcha Primer for its history.
On occasion we hear from concerned individuals who love matcha and/or love and cherish its history and culture just like ourselves, but are unhappy with our personal opinions.
We want to make it clear that our wish for alternatives to matcha tea is solely based on the flavor and cost to us personally, and the fact that it’s not the only antioxidant powerhouse it is famed. We have nothing but respect for matcha’s rich cultural history and its symbol as a drink of peace and tranquility.
The Way of Tea began with Matcha, and the traditional Japanese tea ceremony is a beautiful experience that helps foster calm and feelings of welcome. We love Japan and China and respect their cultures and histories in all ways, including with tea. As tea lovers how could we not?
As mentioned we spent 4 years as digital nomads exploring the world of tea across 30 countries including months in Japan and China, and the idea for this very shop came to us whilst in Japan itself, visiting our Japanese family. We would like to specially thank them for their support during our journey building our superfood tea shop and sharing so much Japanese and tea culture with us during our international research.
To learn more about matcha, there are many many many fantastic books each with their own special angle or focus, going much more in-depth than we are able to here. Our advice is therefore to support your local bookshop, by searching on https://bookshop.org/ and diving in!
For a quick introduction, though, about Matcha and its rich history, our Matcha Primer covers the basics :-)
SOURCING OUR TEAS
To learn about the MA Team's ethics, read about how we ethically source our teas here.