Japanese Matcha tea is a specially prepared, shade grown tea that is ground to form a fine powder that is mixed in with hot water for consumption hot or cold. When you drink Matcha tea, you are also consuming these ground leaves. That’s why Matcha offers so many more benefits than other types of tea in terms of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of drinking Matcha. Read on to learn more.
Table of Contents
- 1 Matcha is a time-honoured tradition
- 2 How is Matcha tea made?
- 3 Why is Matcha processing different?
- 4 What are the health benefits of Matcha?
- 5 When should you drink Matcha?
- 6 What does Matcha tea taste like?
- 7 Is iced Matcha good for you?
- 8 How much Matcha tea per day?
- 9 Can you cook with Matcha?
- 10 How can you keep Matcha fresh?
- 11 Look for genuine Matcha
Matcha is a time-honoured tradition
The Japanese have enjoyed Matcha for more than eight centuries, and it is the center of their classic tea ceremony. Illustrious members of Japanese society such as Zen Buddhist monks and samurai drink this tea to bring about calm, focus, mental alertness, harmony, peace and tranquility. Read about how to do Japanese tea ceremony.
How is Matcha tea made?
To prepare the tea you simply pour one-third of a cup of nearly-boiling water over a teaspoonful of Matcha powder. Whisk the tea using a traditional bamboo brush to create a tasty, frothy beverage. You can buy a nice looking Matcha tea set kit that will make the tea preparation easier for you. You can drink your tea hot or add ice cubes for a refreshing cold drink.
Why is Matcha processing different?
A few weeks before the tea is harvested in the springtime, the plants are covered to stimulate more chlorophyll production. This is what gives the tea its bright green color. Covering also produces a richer flavor and better texture.
When it is time to harvest the leaves, they are hand sorted and those selected for Matcha production are lightly steamed, de-veined and de-stemmed. At this point, the leaves are dried and kept in cold storage to deepen their flavor. When the storage period is complete, the leaves are ground into a powder with granite grinding wheels.
What are the health benefits of Matcha?
The high quality and special preparation of Matcha tea makes it a great source of minerals, vitamins and polyphenols (antioxidants) which are very effective in fighting signs of aging, reducing blood pressure, stabilizing blood sugar levels, promoting heart disease and even preventing cancer.
When should you drink Matcha?
It’s good to drink Matcha in the morning because it contains about as much caffeine as a cup of strong coffee. There’s a difference in the quality of the caffeine, though. Matcha is much easier on your stomach and actually helps with cleansing, digestion and healing.
While coffee is acidic, Matcha has a healthy alkalising effect. Furthermore, the caffeine it contains releases in the bloodstream gradually for a steady energy boost, as opposed to the crash-and-burn effect of coffee.
It’s especially good to drink Matcha tea before you meditate because it helps you to slow down and be “in-the-moment”. It has been proven to reduce stress hormone (Cortisol) levels and to boost feelings of well-being and even compassion.
What does Matcha tea taste like?
The Japanese word for delicious or savory is “umami”. This is the flavour that should ideally be associated with Matcha tea. Nonetheless, Matcha may be an acquired taste (like coffee). Many people find it bitter at first but become accustomed to it within a few days.
Within a few weeks, you may find yourself looking forward to the taste just as you may now anticipate flavorful coffee. It is also possible to purchase different flavors of Matcha ranging from bitter to sweet, and of course, you can always add honey, maple syrup or some other natural sweetener if you wish.
Is iced Matcha good for you?
It is certainly fine to drink Matcha iced. You can even make a small pitcher to keep in your fridge for a day and enjoy as iced tea. Just be sure to brew the tea with hot water and then cool it down. Hot water brewing ensures release of the amino acid, L-theanine, which is very beneficial to your health.
How much Matcha tea per day?
One downside of Matcha is that it contains about thirty times greater amounts of lead than leaf tea. All teas contain some lead because the plant draws lead up from the soil as it grows. The difference between Matcha and brewed tea is that when tea leaves are steeped, about ninety percent of the lead stays in the leaves. When leaves are ground and the whole leaf is consumed, all the lead is also consumed. For this reason, you should not drink more than a cup of Matcha a day. You should also not give it to children.
Can you cook with Matcha?
Matcha powder is a good ingredient in savory and sweet dishes. There are lots of specific Matcha recipes, and it can also be casually incorporated in baked goods, stir-fry dishes, soups, dips and more. Because of lead concerns, you shouldn’t overdo it, but this is a good way to use Matcha powder that has gotten a bit old. If your Matcha powder has faded from bright to dull green (or even yellow) don’t waste it. Use it in cooking.
How can you keep Matcha fresh?
It’s best to use Matcha within a month of opening the package, but if you store it properly the powder can stay fresh up to a year. It’s smart to store it as you would good ground coffee. Keep it in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark place, such as your refrigerator or freezer.
Look for genuine Matcha
Beware of other powdered teas being marketed as Matcha. Unless it has been grown and prepared using specific Matcha production methods, it is just a cheap impostor. Only purchase this unique tea from reputable, reliable vendors. Be sure to double-check the background of any Matcha to you purchase to be certain of getting the genuine article.