What is Matcha?
Matcha is a finely ground, bright emerald-green tea powder, which has been a long-standing tradition of Japanese culture. The Zen Buddhist monks honoured Matcha green tea as the ‘health elixir’ for its potential to increase concentration, calm during meditation and enhance metabolism. No tea has as many health benefits as Matcha, which is why it’s been at the heart of the famous Japanese tea ceremony for over 900 years. Made from the nutrient-rich leaves picked from the tips of shade-grown Camellia Sinensis plants, Matcha green tea is steamed, stemmed, and de-vined before being stone-ground into very fine powder. Matcha literally means “powdered tea.”
Matcha is a fantastic source of vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K and trace minerals. It is also rich in components with super antioxidant activity including polyphenols, catechins and chlorophyll. The presence of amino acids such as L-Theanine and theophylline in the matcha tea makes it a multi nutrient-packed drink.
Per 1g of Matcha
Total Catechins: 105mg
Total Amino Acids: 34mg
Vitamin C: 1.75mg
Vitamin A: 291 units
Matcha isn’t considered to be one of the most powerful super foods on the market today for nothing. It has a huge amount of health benefits, which support its great reputation.
Protection from infection and disease
Antioxidants are the magical nutrients and enzymes responsible for fighting against the negative effects of UV radiation, giving us younger-looking skin, and preventing a number of life-threatening illnesses. Green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins. Among antioxidants, catechins are the most beneficial. One specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) makes up 60% of the catechins in Matcha green tea. Out of all the antioxidants, EGCg is the most widely recognised for its cancer fighting properties. Scientists have found that Matcha green tea contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea.
Stronger immune system
The high number of antioxidants in Matcha boosts the immune defence of the body and provides protection against various antigens. The catechins have been shown to have antibiotic properties, which promote overall health. Further studies have even suggested that the nutrients in matcha may have the ability to inhibit the attacks of HIV on human T-cells.
Reduces risk of type-2 diabetes
Obesity and insulin resistance are both large contributors to type-2 diabetes. Through different studies, the catechins in green tea have proven to improve exercise performance, increase fat oxidation and prevent obesity. Matcha benefits the body’s ability to aid in weight management and exercise, minimise fat storage, and improve insulin sensitivity. This makes this super food tea the perfect natural choice to help prevent diabetes.
Drinking Matcha green tea has been shown to increase metabolism and help the body burn fat about four times faster than average. Again, unlike many diet aides currently on the market, Matcha causes no negative side effects such as increased heart rate or high blood pressure.
Matcha contains a healthy form of caffeine known as theophylline, which sustains the energy levels without any adverse effects such as nervousness or hypertension. The Japanese Samurai warriors would drink Matcha green tea before going into battle due to its energising properties. The increased endurance from a bowl of Matcha green tea can last up to six hours because of the effects of L-Theanine. It’s all natural clean energy.
During the last three weeks before the tea leaves are harvested to be made into Matcha, Camellia Sinensis plants are covered to deprive them of sunlight. This causes an increase in chlorophyll production and the intense green colour of the tea. Chlorophyll is an excellent detoxifier, which helps in cleansing the blood. It aids in maintaining the alkalinity of blood and tissues by naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.
Mental alertness and calming effect
For over a millennium, Chinese Daoists and Japanese Zen Buddhist monks have used Matcha green tea as a means to relax and meditate while remaining alert. This higher state of consciousness is due to the amino acid L-Theanine. L-Theanine promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain, which induces relaxation without drowsiness. Another effect of L-Theanine is the production of dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals serve to enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration.
Studies have shown that those who drink Matcha green tea on a regular basis have lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while they display higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. It has also been found that men who drink Matcha green tea are 11% less likely to develop heart disease than those who don’t drink it.
How to Prepare Matcha Green Tea
Using a bamboo whisk and bowl:
• STEP ONE: Sift 1-2 tsp. matcha into a cup using a small sifter.
• STEP TWO: Add 2oz hot water. For best results use water just under a boil.
• STEP THREE: Whisk vigorously in a zigzag motion until the tea is frothy.
• STEP FOUR: Enjoy your matcha tea straight from the bowl.
In a cup:
• STEP ONE: Heat spring or filtered water.
• STEP TWO: Add a few drops of hot water to matcha powder and mix into paste with a spoon.
• STEP THREE: Add more hot water to paste mixture and stir. Try 1 teaspoon to 6 ounces of water. Adjust measurement to suit taste.
• STEP FOUR: Matcha is ready to drink.