Matcha Green Tea
Living Green Newsflash: Matcha Green Tea has lately been rediscovered. However, it has been an ancient traditional drink in Japan and China for centuries. One of the biggest reasons for the gigantic comeback is due to its amazing health benefits. It is being called the ‘wonder drink’, the ‘#1 superfood’, ‘miracle elixir’ and many other health related names. Matcha is also spelled Maccha.
What Is Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea is a high quality green tea that is finely ground and powdered. It should never be confused with regular green tea powder. That would be like associating water and fire as equal. The process of making Matcha green tea powder is a lot different than commercial powdered black or green teas. The making of Matcha tea is so unique that there’s even poetic names given to blends such as chamei. The custom of giving blends a name started around mid-16th century. Blends were named by grand masters at tea ceremonies and became known as the master’s konomi, or favored blend.
History of Matcha Green Tea Powder
According to Wikipedia, Matcha tea leaves were steamed and formed into tea bricks for storage and trade in Tang Dynasty China (618-907 AD). It was prepared by first roasting, grinding and then extracting the essence and medicinals from the Matcha tea.
Etiquette for proper ways of preparing Matcha green tea powder originated during the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD). The method involved whipping Matcha green tea powder and hot water together in a special bowl. This method became very widespread.
Rituals of how to prepare and consume Matcha green tea powder was introduced by Zen (Chan) Buddhists. In 1191, the Zen Buddhist method of preparing Matcha green tea powder was introduced to Japan by the monk Eisai.
Granting, Matcha green tea powder has not been popular in China for a while. However, today there is a worldwide rebirth of Matcha green tea powder in China. However, Zen monasteries in Japan remain unchanged in tradition.
Matcha Green Tea & Caffeine
All tea contains caffeine. But green tea has far less caffeine than coffee or black tea. Here is a rundown per cup:
- * Coffee averages 135 mg of caffeine
- * Black tea averages 50 mg
- * Green tea averages 30 mg
- * White tea averages 20 mg
Matcha Green Tea Health Benefits
Once Matcha tea is made into a powder it is then stored into an air tight container away from direct sunlight to preserve its vivid green color and antioxidant properties. Today it is considered one of the most potent superfoods on the market. Here are some of the claimed health benefits:
One bowl of Matcha tea is said to be equal in antioxidants to 10 cups of regular tea. An antioxidant is a substance that inhibits oxidation. Research suggests that they can be successful in preventing various age-related diseases from cancer to Alzheimer’s. Matcha green tea antioxidant levels are 6.2 times more than Goji berries, 7 times more than dark chocolate, 17 times more than wild blueberries and 60.5 times more spinach.
High in Catechin (EGCg)
Catechins are one of the most widely recognized antioxidants for fighting cancer cells. Catechins are also high in vitamins C and E, which assists in fighting free radical damage and other life threatening diseases. Compared to other teas, Matcha green tea has 100 times more EGCg’s.
Improves Endurance & Energy Levels
Because of its unique combination of nutrients, Matcha tea is a great energy booster. And not because if its caffeine content. Just one bowl of Matcha green tea can increase endurance up to 6 hours due to its and L-Theanine content. Moreover, the clean energy of Matcha tea is devoid of the typical caffeine side effects of hypertension and nervousness.
For a fantastic natural energy booster, try Immune Building Smoothie | Matcha Spice
Heightens Calmness & Alertness
For over 1,000 years the Japanese Zen Buddhist and Chinese Daoists have been using Matcha tea for relaxation, meditation while staying alert. Modern studies show that the amino acid L-Theanine in Matcha tea is what enhanced their state of well-being. L-Theanine stimulates the production of alpha waves in the brain which encourages relaxation without the characteristic sleepiness caused by other “tranquilizers.”
Natural Body Detox
Matcha tea has a very high level of chlorophyll. The chlorophyll is what gives it its beautiful green color. Chlorophyll is also known to help detox the body of chemical toxins and heavy metals.
Increases Memory & Concentration
The high content of L-Theanine in Matcha tea produces dopamine and serotonin. The two combined can increase memory, encourage better concentration and improve your mood.
Although researchers are not sure how Matcha tea helps improve cholesterol, studies show that people who drink the tea regularly have a lower level of LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher level of HDL (good) cholesterol. In fact, research suggests that men who drink Matcha green tea often are about 11% less likely to develop heart disease compared to men who do not drink it.
Help Maintain Body Weight
Drinking Matcha tea has also been revealed to increase metabolism. Studies suggest that Matcha green tea helps the body burn fat about four times faster than average. Unlike other metabolism boosters, Matcha causes no known side effects like high blood pressure or increased heart rate.
Supports the Immune System
Matcha tea has antibiotic properties due to the high content of catechins. Moreover, just one cup of Matcha Green Tea provides significant amounts of potassium, Vitamins A & C, calcium, iron and protein. Some research claims that the nutrients in Matcha tea may impede HIV damage to human T-cells.
Note: By no means is this article meant for diagnosis. It is highly recommended that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional before treating any symptoms.
Making Matcha Green Tea
I personally recommend that you do not add Matcha green tea powder to boiling water. Doing so will make the tea taste very ‘Green’. Instead, boil the water first and let it sit for 5 minutes before adding the Matcha green tea powder. You can also utilize customized cups and whisks that are specially made for making Matcha green tea. There are kits that have complete sets for making your Matcha tea. Hint: Most come with instructions on how to make the best Matcha green tea. Enjoy!
Where to Find Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea is generally available as a concentrated powder. It can be found at most health food stores or even online. I definitely recommend organic Matcha tea. It will be of premium quality and will be made without chemicals, herbicides, pesticides or artificial fertilizers.
Organic Matcha Green Tea
Matcha Tea Cups, Bowls & More
Featured picture: Chashitsu_LaSere via photopin cc
Smoothie in tall clear glass: newdavich via photopin cc
Matcha green tea powder: Simon Collison via photopin cc
Matcha tea in glass pitcher: digiyesica via photopin cc
Matcha green tea is ceramic bowl with bamboo stir stick: syntheticpanda via photopin cc