The name “matcha” literally means “powdered tea.” Matcha leaves are grown on green tea bushes kept under shade. The shade increases the amount of chlorophyll content in the leaves, which is what makes them bright green and full of nutrients. The leaves are picked by hand and the stems and veins are removed. Matcha is steamed, stemmed, and de-vined before being stone-ground into very fine powder. The powder is then stored away from light and oxygen in order to preserve its brilliant green color and antioxidant properties. This miracle elixir has been consumed for over a millennium in the Far East, and is now considered to be one of the most powerful super foods on the market today. The finest matcha comes from Japan, where it has been grown for centuries and forms part of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Caffeine in Matcha can actually help boost your metabolism by 40% and regulate your blood sugar. Drinking Matcha whisked in hot water releases caffeine into the body slowly over about 6 to 8 hours. If you switch out your morning cup of coffee for Matcha will have sustained energy and improved focus all day without jitters or a caffeine crash.
There are so many incredible benefits of Green Tea Matcha for your mind and body!
A 2001 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the catechins from tea may reduce the risk of heart disease mortality. Catechins are a rare group of molecules that have proven to be incredibly potent and beneficial antioxidants
And a 2009 study published in Stroke found that drinking three cups of green (or black) tea every day could prevent stroke.
There’s also a link between green tea and healthy cholesterol levels. A comprehensive analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011 concluded that green tea resulted in significant reductions in LDL cholesterol (the bad type of cholesterol).
Plus the powerful antioxidants found in green tea, especially EGCG, have shown to be helpful in maintaining healthy arteries.
Samurai warriors have a long history consuming matcha green tea for it’s energizing properties. The combination of naturally occurring caffeine with l-theanine provides a stable and extended boost of energy without the usual jittery side effects of caffeine and stimulants. It also offers a one-two punch for the skin to exfoliate and eliminate dead skin cells, then rejuvenate the underlying skin to improve your complexion. The only thing you’ll see is a better looking version of yourself!
Oxidative stress is a real thing, and it occurs when oxygen-free radicals overwhelm the body and damage cells. This can lead to a wide range of illnesses and diseases including cancer, gene mutations, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, heart attack and heart failure. The antioxidants in matcha actively seek out these molecules in the body and neutralize their harmful effects. L-theanine boosts the production of alpha waves in the brain. These alpha waves encourage relaxation and induce a profound feeling of mental clarity and a more alert state of mind – the same mental state can be found in meditation and yoga practice.
Matcha keeps your teeth strong and healthy. As long as you drink it the way it was intended – without any sweeteners, it will help prevent the formation of cavities by preventing plaque build-up and inhibiting bacteria.
Chlorophyll, the chemical responsible for the lovely green color in plants, is a proven aid in detoxification. It helps flush away heavy metals, toxins, and chemicals from your body.
Because matcha tea leaves are shade-grown they gain higher levels of chlorophyll than other green teas, making matcha the most potent source of chlorophyll.
Another study showed that consuming 2 grams of green tea powder daily for two months helped improve brain function in elderly people. After drinking 2 grams of matcha green tea every day for 3 months, the participant’s mental state examination scores improved significantly.
Green tea has polyphenols, antioxidants believed to reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction. Studies also show that another antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCg) blocks the production of molecules that cause joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Antioxidant-rich green tea may be useful in the prevention of onset and severity of arthritis.
There are three main ways you can judge a matcha’s quality:
- Flavor— Due to the umami flavor, quality matcha teas will have a harmony of creamy, savory, grassy, and roasted flavors.
- Color — What you want is a beautiful bright and vibrant green. If your matcha is on the yellow side, that means it’s of a lesser quality and comes from leaves harvested later in the year instead of during the spring.
- The Appearance of Froth— The traditional method of drinking matcha involves whisking it with a bamboo whisk to create a frothy foam. If the bubbles are large and irregular, this means the matcha powder is coarsely ground and of lesser quality. The highest quality matcha, on the other hand, is finely ground and creates foam made of tiny, uniform bubbles when whisked with skill.
Drinking green tea and matcha are considered healthy and safe, but people sensitive to caffeine should be aware that both contain decent amounts of the stimulant.