So, you may have been hearing a lot about matcha lately... I am here to shed some light on what exactly it is and why it can be a really amazing addition to your daily routine!
So, What is Matcha Anyways?
Matcha is a powdered type of green tea. Traditionally Japanese, matcha comes from young, shaded leaves of the tea plant, Camillia sinensis. The shading provides a slower photosynthesis process, enabling the plant to produce high levels of L-theanine, the amino acid attributed to the smooth, bold flavor of matcha tea. These leaves are harvested 88 days after the first day of spring, all apart of the matcha making tradition. Shortly following the harvest, they are steamed, and dried. At this point, the leaves are called tencha tea. This tencha tea is then stone-ground into the fine green powder known as matcha.
What's the Difference Between Matcha and Other Teas?
The leaves of the tea plant can be processed in many different ways, making it extremely versatile. The way the leaves are grown and processed can radically change the density of nutrients available in the plant once it reaches the teapot. This plant, no matter the processing is high in an abundance of nutrients. Green tea, the dried, unfermented version of the tea leaf is the most studied form of this nutrient powerhouse.
Matcha, being a form of green tea is grown, processed and consumed in a different way than classic green tea leaves. Matcha contains more potent variations of the potent antioxidants like catechins, due to the growing process, the way in which the leaf is actually processed and then the consumption method, in which the powdered green tea leaf is actually consumed. The most praised antioxidant in green tea is called -epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG. In fact, studies show “that drinking matcha green tea will result in dramatically greater intake of EGCG compared to drinking other types of green tea”. Word on the street is that matcha green tea has 137 times more the available absorption of EGCG than regular old green tea! WHOA!!
How is Matcha Made?
The matcha tea beverage is made by taking one teaspoon of the finely ground powder and placing it in a sieve, sifting it into a mug to ensuring there are no clumps. Then, pouring one ounce of 175℉ water into the mug and whisking with a bamboo whisk into a loose paste, ensuring again that no clumps remain. Proceed to add another 3-7 ounces (depending on how strong of a flavor you want) of 175℉ water and continue to whisk till a bubbly foam forms the top layer. That is when the matcha is ready to drink.
It's as simple as that!
Have you ever had matcha green tea before? What do you think about it?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below!