Matcha is a powdered form of premium green tea. Green tea powder is whisked into hot water rather than steeped to make a frothy drink. The meditative act of preparing, presenting, and sipping Matcha is central to the Japanese tea ceremony. While the green tea powder’s origins are ceremonial, it is now widely used in beverages such as tea lattes and boba tea, as well as a cooking ingredient in everything from ice cream to salad dressing.
Origin of Matcha
Before the invention of teapots, it was common practice in China to grind tea leaves into a powder and then whip or beat the ground tea in a bowl with hot water. While the Chinese eventually abandoned “beaten tea” in favor of steeped tea leaves, it was popularized by the Japanese.
One of Japan’s own Zen priests studying in China’s Buddhist monasteries returned to Japan with tea plant seeds and bushes in the early 12th century. Eisai, the young priest, popularized “the way of tea” as a meditation ritual within his community of Japanese Buddhist monks by drawing on his experience growing and drinking “beaten tea” in China. He eventually popularized tea drinking throughout Japan.
What are the Health Benefits of Matcha?
So many studies on green tea have revealed a number of health benefits that have been scientifically validated. While much of the research has concentrated on green tea, the benefits also apply to matcha, which is made from whole green tea leaves.
- Could help in cancer treatment
Green tea has long been studied as a cancer-fighting supplement. According to one older study, women who drank more than 10 4-ounce portions of green tea per day developed cancer 7.3 years later than those who drank fewer than three 4-ounce portions per day.
- Could help to prevent type 2 diabetes
According to animal studies, green tea may help the body release more insulin, preventing diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that helps blood sugar get into cells where it can be burned for energy. Green tea may also improve the way cells respond to insulin and lower blood sugar levels, similar to how some medications do.
- Depression can be treated.
After controlling for other factors, researchers discovered that workers in Japan aged 20 to 68 years who drank more than four cups of green tea per day had a 51%. Those who drank less than one cup of green tea per day had a lower risk of developing depressive symptoms.
- It may be able to protect brain function.
A meta-analysis of 36 studies found that green tea reduces the risk of cognitive disorders. These brain issues, which become more common after the age of 65, typically affect learning, memory, movement, language, attention, and problem solving. Among them are mild cognitive impairment, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. The more green tea consumed, the better the protection against such disorders, according to the findings.
- Bone health may be secured.
In a Korean study of postmenopausal women, those who drank no green tea or less than one cup per day in the previous year were more likely to have reduced Those who drank green tea three times a day had more bone mass in their spine or thigh than those who did not.
- Male fertility may be increased.
In a study of healthy Chinese men, those who drank tea had higher total sperm count and sperm concentration—both fertility indicators—than those who did not. Men who drank tea at least three times per week produced more sperm. Scientists discovered that green tea contains a high concentration of polyphenol antioxidants after reviewing previously published research. These antioxidants protect healthy cells, including testicular cells.
What are the various ways to use Matcha?
Try these ways to incorporate matcha powder into your diet if you’ve never used it before.
1.Prepare some matcha tea.
Matcha is traditionally made as a plain green tea. To make matcha tea, combine two teaspoons of matcha with hot water in a mug and stir to dissolve.
2.Use the matcha noodles.
Look for premade matcha noodles (or look up recipes to make your own) to use in soups, noodle salads, or other fun recipes for a unique and healthy meal.
3.Boost the flavor of your green smoothie.
Why not green it up if it’s already green? A few teaspoons of matcha powder will boost the nutritional value of your green smoothie recipe.
4.Include it in your baked goods.
Matcha powder is simple to incorporate into baked goods such as muffins, scones, and healthy cookies. Some of the flour can be replaced with matcha powder. Make matcha pancakes or waffles for breakfast. The powder will turn your baked goods green, which is fun for kids or for special occasions.
Where can I get Matcha?
Matcha should be consumed as soon as possible after harvesting. Because matcha is a ground tea, any exposure to oxygen will immediately degrade the color and flavor of the tea. If kept sealed in a cool, dark place, it can keep fresh for several weeks to a few months (unlike dried tea leaves which can last for up to a year or two). Buy your matcha from a reputable company that can tell you when and how the tea was processed and packaged to ensure you’re drinking fresh matcha. Inquire with your tea supplier about the best way to brew that specific matcha variety.
Caffeine content of matcha
Matcha contains slightly more caffeine than green tea, roughly the same as black tea, and slightly less caffeine than brewed coffee. Matcha is made from tea bushes grown in the shade, so the tea leaves retain more caffeine. Furthermore, because you drink matcha with ground tea leaves, you consume more caffeine than you would from steeped green or black tea leaves. The amount of caffeine in a cup of matcha tea, as with all drinks derived from caffeinated plants, will vary depending on how the matcha was processed and prepared. Carefully read the packaging, or ask your tea supplier for caffeine information specific to the matcha you’re buying.