Matcha is the new green juice! Celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kiernan Shipka, Ashley Olsen and Ansel Elgort have been spotted sipping matcha tea -- and sharing it on Instagram. The tea -- which has been around for thousands of years -- is becoming a health food craze in the US.
The Cut writes that matcha was discovered by Chinese monks way back in early 2,500 BC and it's been enjoyed around the world ever since. However, matcha only recently came to New York, with the super-trendy MatchaBar opening in Williamsburg in September 2014. MatchaBar was called "America's first matcha bar," but it wasn't the last: Chalait in the West Village followed in January 2015, and matcha is now offered at trendy tea shops in Portland, San Francisco and West Hollywood.
According to Health.com, matcha has a number of health benefits: it's a potent source of nutrients; it contains polyphenols, which protect against heart disease and cancer and help blood sugar regulation, reduction and anti-aging; it contains EGCG, which boosts metabolism; and it delivers caffeine in a different way from coffee, creating an "alert calm."
A photo posted by Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow) on Jan 15, 2015 at 11:22am PST
Celebrities have quickly jumped in on the craze. Gwyneth Paltrow posted a selfie holding a cup of matcha at Chalait earlier this year, writing, "new dreamy discovery to warm up a wintry day, matcha latte @chalaitnyc #goopapproved." Kiernan Shipka regularly visits (and Instagrams) MatchaBar -- her most recent matcha post was just two days ago, captioned, "Visiting an old favorite, the coolest ever @matchabarnyc."
Visiting an old favorite, the coolest ever @matchabarnyc. A photo posted by Kiernan Shipka (@kiernanshipka) on Jun 23, 2015 at 10:45am PDT
Chelsea Leyland has posted photos of matcha tea from MatchaBar to Instagram, caling the trendy hotspot a "cozy little matcha bar."
Paparazzi have caught Ashley Olsen strolling down New York sidewalks while sipping matcha, and the New York Post writes that Ansel Elgort is known to visit MatchaBar. Style.com writes that models were served matcha backstage at Marc by Marc Jacobs and Adeam before the Fall 2015 shows.
In the past two months, the New York Times, New York magazine's The Cut, the New York Post andStyle.com have all published trend pieces on how trendy matcha has become -- so expect it to get even trendier.
Matcha's popularity is already expanding beyond matcha tea: Cosmopolitan has a round-up of matcha recipes including cupcakes with matcha frosting, a pomegranate blueberry matcha slushie and chocolate matcha energy balls, and trendy New York doughnut shop Doughnut Plant offers a matcha doughnut.
What are you waiting for? Get Instagramming! Now is the perfect time to get those likes. Don't forget your #matcha hashtag!
This article was originally published on Fashion & Style.
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