Organic Matcha Tea
Matcha is a concentrated powdered form of green tea that has been used for centuries in China and Japan. In fact, the term “matcha” and its pronunciation (maa-chuh) are derived from Japanese words meaning “ground” and “tea.”
Matcha is made from the leaves of the tea plant Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub.
The tea plants that are specifically grown and used to make matcha are typically shaded for two weeks to increase chlorophyll levels before the leaves are picked. After harvest, the green tea leaves are steamed, dried and ground into a fine powder.
Unlike other types of tea, matcha contains the entire tea leaves, providing a more concentrated source of nutrients. It also has a strong, distinct flavor, which many compare to spinach or wheat grass.
The secret behind matcha’s super strength is found in its polyphenol compounds called catechins, which are a type of antioxidant found in superfoods like green tea, cocoa and apples. Valued for being more catechin-dense than most foods, the health benefits of matcha generally arrive for those who regularly drink it. Potential benefits range from improved heart health to lower blood sugar levels, increased weight loss and beyond.
- Benefits Exercise Performance
Matcha can help speed up muscle recovery in athletes whose focus is high-intensity workouts. It has also been shown to reverse cellular damage caused by oxidative stress, which could help prevent damage to the muscles and tissues.
Studies show that pairing green tea with physical activity can increase energy expenditure, ramp up fat-burning, enhance endurance and reduce muscle damage.
- Best Food Source of Disease-Fighting Catechins
Green tea is one of the best food sources of a group of antioxidants known as catechins.
Catechins are thought to be even more powerful than both vitamins C and E in stopping oxidative damage to the cells. Antioxidants like catechins play a key role in health and disease, with studies showing that they could help protect against chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Research also shows that matcha is significantly higher in catechins than other types of tea, such as green tea.
- High Levels of L-Theanine for an Alert Calm
Matcha is said to induce a feeling of “alert calm,” thanks to the powerful combination of L-theanine and caffeine while it reduces anxiety.
It’s estimated that matcha green tea may contain up to five times as much L-theanine as regular green tea.
- Promotes Weight Loss
Matcha tea could help promote and sustain long-lasting weight loss. One study found that drinking a tea high in catechins for 12 weeks could possibly lead to significant reductions in fat mass, BMI, body weight and waist circumference compared to a control group.
Other research has found that matcha could increase metabolism and boost fat-burning to help enhance long-term weight loss as well.
- Reduces Risk of Heart Disease and Hypertension
High in antioxidants and catechins, some studies show that green tea may help reduce the risk of heart problems.
Other studies have found that green tea consumption could help lower cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure to protect against heart disease.
- Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Making a few healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle is one of the best ways to prevent type 2 diabetes, and some research suggests that adding matcha to your routine may be especially beneficial.
Another study found that green tea consumption decreased blood sugar levels and improved long-term blood sugar control. Not only that, but green tea also led to a significant reduction in insulin levels as well.
- Detoxifies the Body
Matcha’s rich green colour is the result of its high chlorophyll levels. The fact that matcha is carefully shade-grown makes it significantly richer in chlorophyll compared to other teas.
In addition to giving matcha its signature vibrant hue, chlorophyll also aids in detoxification and can help promote the elimination of unwanted toxins, chemicals and heavy metals from the body. For this reason, consuming a daily cup of matcha is an easy way to boost your intake of chlorophyll and support your body’s natural ability to detoxify itself.
How to Use
The most straightforward and common way to use matcha powder is to make tea, but matcha green tea is traditionally made in a very unique and specific fashion.
Directions can vary, but here is one easy method for how to prepare matcha tea properly:
- Fill the kettle with fresh, filtered water and heat to just short of boiling.
- Fill a matcha bowl or cup with hot water and pour out (to warm the bowl/cup).
- Add 1 teaspoon of matcha powder to the bowl or cup.
- Add 60ml of nearly boiled water.
- Whisk (ideally with a bamboo brush or tea whisk) water and powder briskly for a minute or two until it looks thick and frothy with tiny bubbles.
- Add 120-160 more ml of water.
Besides making tea, this versatile ingredient can also be used to make other foods such as matcha ice cream, smoothie bowls and baked goods like cake, brownies or cookies.