What is your Gi?
What is your passion?
What wakes you up every morning?
Hello! My name is Brad and I have a passion for meditation and matcha.
Those questions above are the focus of one of my newest finds - Matchagi based out of Atlanta. Formed two years ago, Matchagi has the goal of helping others find and fuel their passions through the power of matcha. This week I had the chance to speak with one of the co-founders, Cal Supik, who shared with me the meaning behind the name. A gi refers to the uniform worn in karate and other martial arts disciplines. He describes the serious practitioner who wakes every morning to don their respective uniforms, their respective passions, their respective gi. Each of us have our own gi we wear, and Matchagi wants to help each of us cultivate that passion.
About two years ago, Cal was working as a developer for a large company and trying to find energy anywhere he could. Having been a college athlete, he was familiar with many of the sports and energy drinks, yet he wasn't interested in all the "extra" ingredients. There was never enough time in the day, or enough Red Bulls to drink, to keep going. He wanted something different. When his future business partner, Arya Suprayogi, introduced him to matcha, he knew he found the answer. As Cal says, Matcha contains a dynamic duo - the best of both words - L-theanine plus caffeine. You get the calm and focus from the theanine AND you get the energy from the caffeine! They formed an LLC and flew off to Japan in search of a ceremonial grade matcha affordable to everyone. What they offer is Matchagi. Mostly on the internet, Matchagi can also be found in a few nutrition stores and juice bars in the Atlanta area, but they are hoping to expand.
Looking on their Instagram page, it is easy to tell that Supik and Suprayogi have an athletic passion. Photos show people engaged in all kinds of activities - weight lifting, biking, hiking and more, carrying a Matchagi bottle. Not to be left out, I added some homemade cashew milk to an usucha, shook vigorously, and took my bottle outside to sip on my yoga mat.
Yes, I LOVE the concept behind Matchagi.
But what about the matcha itself?
The color of the Matchagi is a rather flat yellow - green, and far from the deep, vibrant emerald that I have come to appreciate in much higher end matchas. With whisking yields a light foam with smallish bubbles which tend to disperse if you let it sit for a moment.
The aroma of matcha can make me salivate instantly, but this was not the case here. The smell was a bit stale and nutty rather than like fresh cut hay or seaweed. As the first sip hit my tongue, the texture seemed a tad coarse, with an earthy, bitter flavor permeating. However, if you sit for awhile and observe the sensations on your tongue, a subtle finish emerges once the bitter note evaporates. As I sat in meditation after my usucha, I was struck by the lingering umami that showed up.
For my daily morning mindfulness ritual (that begins with the preparation of my matcha followed by sitting meditation), I prefer a higher end ceremonial blend. However, my Gi, my passion, extends beyond this morning matcha routine. My Gi is for mindful living and activities that foster this - yoga, reading, conversations with friends, music, theatre, writing, etc. And, in my humble opinion, all of those experiences are improved with tea and matcha. To this end, I found Matchagi to be perfect for making matcha lattes (especially with homemade cashew milk).
To assist patrons in their pursuit of their gi, Cal and Arya offer a thin plastic bottle so you can take your Matchagi with you with a simple instruction card. It shows you how to add the matcha with some ice and cold water in the bottle and shake vigorously.
In learning about the message of Matchagi, I feel like I found kindred spirits. If they can introduce more people to matcha as an alternative to sports drinks without additives and chemicals, how wonderful! Keep your passions alive, Matchagi! I will continue to support you.