In recent years Matcha green tea has stepped out of the confines of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony and become the new beverage of choice everywhere from Melbourne to New York. With good reason!
Matcha means “powdered tea”, and besides being authentically green, it has several differences that set it apart.
Firstly, regular green tea involves soaking the leaves and then discarding them. When you drink matcha, you’re drinking the actual leaves. It can be made simply by adding hot water to about half a teaspoon of powder and mixing it with a bamboo whisk (yes, a normal whisk or spoon may be used too depending on the brand). All the benefits of green tea are multiplied as you’re actually consuming the whole green tea leaf.
Matcha is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help boost the immune system and support cells and tissues against free radical damage in the body. Matcha has an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity of 1300 units per gram rating (vs pomegranates 105 units per gram or blueberries 91 units).
It was traditionally used by Buddhist monks and famed for assisting with focus and concentration while being soothing and calming. An interesting balance perhaps achieved by the caffeine content (about 1/3 the level of an average coffee) which is combined the theanine, and amino acid which helps you stay alert without making people feel “wired” or shaky like some people find with coffee.
Beyond the health benefits, people simply enjoy drinking matcha in their morning smoothies, matcha lattes and cute matcha green desserts! Look out for brands that are organic. Itadakimasu!
(Itadakimasu: translates from Japanese to English as “Let’s eat and drink!”)