It’s green and good for your health. Matcha has invaded our Instagram feeds, café menus and beverage desires over the last few years because it’s not often that you find a drink that looks and tastes good while benefiting your health. But what exactly is matcha tea and why can it make your life so matcha better?
The Beginnings of Matcha
Matcha is a popular type of tea made from whole tea leaves that are grounded to make a bright green powder. Although they come from the same Camellia sinensis plant, matcha is different from green tea because the plant is grown and processed differently.
Matcha leaves also contain more nutrients than traditional green tea, making it healthier.
The process of making matcha involves a lot of patience and care. Before being harvested, the young leaves are shaded for up to 4 weeks before they are picked to avoid direct sunlight and make sure that they retain their distinct flavor when grounded.
That is also the reason matcha leaves are healthier because covering them increases their amino acid content and chlorophyll production.
Shading also gives the matcha leaves that distinct dark green color that makes it different from traditional green tea leaves. After harvesting, these leaves are then dried and sifted, after which the remaining leaves are grounded into a fine powder using a traditional stone mill.
Matcha has always been a part of Japanese traditional tea ceremonies where it is prepared with a bamboo whisk and consumed on a “chawan” or tea bowl. Unlike a tea cup with a smaller opening, this bowl allows you to drink your matcha conveniently while appreciating its beautiful aroma.
Matcha is also different in that you dissolve the green powder and not just steep the tea bag and discard it after. This makes the tea more concentrated and thus, healthier that your regular cup of tea.
The Health Benefits of Matcha
Green teas like matcha have been enjoyed for centuries not only because they taste good but also because they are extremely healthy.
Here are some of the benefits of drinking matcha:
- Matcha contains a high level of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a type of catechin that’s believed to help fight cancer. Several studies have also linked matcha in preventing type 2 diabetes and heart disease and even promoting faster weight loss.
- A study conducted on diabetic rats that were given matcha for 16 weeks showed that it helped prevent liver and kidney damage. 80 human subjects were also given green tea extract daily for 3 months, after which most of them showed reduced liver enzyme levels.
- Several studies have revealed that consuming matcha can help improve reaction time, enhance memory, and boost focus. It has also been proven to help improve brain function in the elderly.The humble green drink can definitely make your life matcha better.
So, if you’re craving a cup of good quality tea that’s also good for your mind and body, why don’t you give matcha a try?
It could be a matcha made in heaven. 🍵