This week was particularly hectic, but that didn’t put me off my extended matcha experiment. In fact, it was the perfect opportunity to examine the ways in which matcha might help boost my concentration levels. Since I’ve already been drinking matcha as my beverage of choice for the last two weeks, I’ve definitely already felt some of the the therapeutic benefits (calmness, sense of well-being, sustained energy). But what about improved cognitive function? Now, I realize that in the absence of a brain scan, something like this is hard to quantify. As a student, though, I wanted to see if I could use matcha to give me a little mental boost, especially since midterms are coming up soon and it’s October crunch time. Last week, and over the weekend, I continued with my habit of a morning matcha, followed by a mid-afternoon matcha. Today I headed for the library just after whisking and enjoying my afternoon cup. I did a series of readings and took some notes, then I realized something amazing had happened: I had done my readings without pause; totally immersed and with an intense level of concentration. This might not like seem like a huge deal but for someone who could barely concentrate for more than five minutes at a time, was thrown off by the tiniest of distractions and is prone to daydreaming, it was a seriously gratifying experience. It’s hard to say if it is the compounds in the matcha itself (remember the L-theanine discussion from last week?) or getting into the ritual of preparing and drinking matcha, but I can sit still longer, maintain my focus for a longer period of time and maintain my energy levels while doing so.  I should also mention I haven’t even had one headache since I switched from coffee to matcha, which was also a welcome surprise!  I am going to continue my experiment next week, this time focusing on another potential benefit. Also, if you’ve had similarly positive experiences with matcha, please let us know via Twitter, Facebook or email. We’d love to hear your stories!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA