All You Need To Know About Matcha
What Is Matcha Tea?
Matcha tea is the powdered form of leaves from the plant Camellia Sinensi. The leaves of this plant can also be brewed to make Green Tea, however in powdered form they contain far more antioxidants and minerals.
The combination of natural forming chemicals in Matcha Tea is said to induce a sense of ‘calm energy’.
Matcha is consumed differently from tea, its dissolved in water and traditionally served in a Matcha bowl like below:
However as the popularity for this green goddess grew people got creative in how they included it in their everyday life, putting their own unique twist on it, using it in lattes, ice-cream, confectionaries and so on.
You can read about how matcha is produced here.
A Brief History Of Matcha Tea:
Matcha tea has been around for over 4,000 years. It was between the 7th and 9th century that the first recorded tea farms were established around monasteries in Japan. It became extremely popular among those practising Buddhism as they found it prolonged focus and a sense of calm, perfect for meditation.
From this point the popularity of Matcha has continued to grow into modern day where it is making a name for itself as the ‘elixir of health’
You can find a more In-depth time line of Matcha teas history here.
What Gives Matcha Tea Its Colour?
Matchas distinctive and vibrant green colour is down to the overproduction of chlorophyll in the growing process. Matcha is grown in the shade where the leaves are forced to overproduce this chemical, resulting in a bright green powder once harvested and processed.
You can quickly tell the difference between good and bad quality matcha by the vibrancy of the powder. High quality matcha is smooth an pleasurable to drink where low quality can have a bitter aftertaste.
Matcha Tea For Weight Loss
Drinking 3-5 cups of green tea a day can burn off about 50-100 calories.
Because Matcha is made from ground tealeaves, it has a more potent source of catechines (a type of antioxidant) than green tea, which is brewed with the leaves discarded.
The king of these catechines is named EGCG, short for Epigallocatechin gallate (good luck pronouncing that one!) which has been linked to having potential weight loss benefits. A Study found that these antioxidants are 3x more powerful than those found in regular green tea.
The EGCG levels present in matcha can boost your metabolism during exercise helping to enhance your weight loss efforts faster.
Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center suggest drinking two to three cups of green tea a day to see health benefits and/or weight loss results.
Read more about matcha tea for weight loss.
Matcha Tea VS Green Tea
If you’re curious as to what sets matcha and green tea apart you’re not the only one! While they come from the same plant they both have very distinctive differences in taste, colour and preparation.
The biggest difference between matcha powder and green tea is their nutritional values. See below for a comparison of the two.
Green tea has a brown / green tinge to it when brewed which can look quite dull, especially when compared to Matcha. Matcha is a vibrant green in colour in powdered form as well as when it’s brewed, this colour comes from the high levels of chlorophyll (a mighty polyphenol) that are present.
A taste that I rarely hear people say they enjoy is green tea; this is because it tends to be quite bitter on the pallet.
Matcha tea has a tendency to taste better, especially a good quality matcha that usually needs no added sweetener or daily to accompany it.
Green tea is rough to the touch because it’s quite simply crushed up leaves, where as matcha is a fine silky powder that’s smooth to the touch.
Matcha is sourced from only the finest green tea leaves. The veins and stems are then removed from the leaves before they are ground into fine matcha powder. Green tea is a much simpler process where parts of the leaves are steeped in hot water.
The ideal temperature of the water to mix with matcha is just under 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Green tea is usually boiled way above this, which can eliminate its nutritional benefits.
Matcha is the star of the show when it comes to nutrition, you would have to drink around 10-15 cups of green tea to equal the nutrients you’d find in just one cup of matcha.
Here’s a break down of antioxidants per serving of matcha VS Green Tea:
Matcha – 134 milligrams
Green Tea – 63 milligrams
As mentioned earlier, ECGCs are the most powerful antioxidants, which carry numerous health benefits from weight loss to strengthening the immune system.
Matcha – 99 milligrams
Green Tea – 7 milligrams
Tannins are a naturally occurring micronutrients that come from plants.
Amino Acids: L-Theanine
Matcha – 45 milligrams
Green Tea – 3 milligrams
L-theanine is an amino acid that offers many of the same energy-boosting benefits of caffeine, without the corresponding crash.
All together, matcha contains 137 times more antioxidants than green tea and that’s quite a lot!
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How To Make Matcha Tea
Heat your matcha bowl by adding a little hot water, gently swirling around, then discarding.
Sift 1-2 tsp of matcha powder into a cup or traditional bowl
Slowly add 150ml of water that’s just under boiling temperature
Whisk the Matcha vigorously in an ‘m’ motion, carefully breaking up any lumps until the tea is frothy.
Cup the bowl with both hands and enjoy
Matcha Tea Health Benefits
As mentioned before, Matcha is a whole other super food. Here are just a few more reasons why Matcha is amazing for us:
- High in antioxidants
- Loaded with Catechin, EGCG
- Enhances Calm
- Boosts Memory and Concentration
- Increases Energy Levels and Endurance
- Burns Calories
- Detoxifies the Body
- Fortifies the Immune System
- Improves cholesterol