Matcha Green Tea or Matcha tea is gaining popularity all over the world and is appreciated for its numerous health benefits. This guide will make sure you know everything there is to know about Matcha green tea.
What is Matcha Green Tea?
Before harvesting the plants will be covered with shade cloths to enhance the flavor and texture of the leaves. After harvesting the leaves are steamed, dried, and aged to enhance the flavor even more. Once the leaves are dry enough they will be grounded into matcha powder.
For additional information, you can watch this awesome video where the complete Matcha Green tea process is shown and explained.
History of Matcha Green Tea
Even though Matcha has only in recently became popular in the west it has been around for quite a while. This timeline will show the most important developments of matcha up to the superfood status that it has now in the west.
Matcha Green Tea Health Benefits
With the many beneficial nutrients that are found in Matcha tea, it has a lot of potential health benefits. Multiple researchers have found through the years that Matcha Green tea can:
- increases energy levels
Caffeine found in Matcha green tea provides the body with additional energy and focus. In addition, in comparison with coffee, Matcha tea does not have a caffeine crash.
- burns calories
The antioxidant found in Matcha called EGCg is responsible for boosting metabolism up to 40% while regular green tea can only boost metabolism up to 8%.
- fortifies the immune system
Matcha Tea contains catechins, polyphenols, and EGCg’s which carry the ability to boost the immune system.
- detoxifies the body
The special processing method of growing the leaves in the shade results in higher levels of chlorophyll in Matcha tea. Chlorophyll works by detoxifying the body and cleaning heavy metals and chemicals in the blood.
- lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
Several studies have shown that Matcha green tea can lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and enhance HDL (high-density lipoprotein).LDL is known as bad cholesterol and HDL is known as the good type of cholesterol. By increasing the amount of HDL the arteries will be cleansed from LDL resulting in a decreased risk of heart and vascular disease.
Matcha Green Tea and Antioxidants
One of the many things that make Matcha green tea a superfood is its richness in antioxidants. Compared with other superfoods Matcha tea contains far more of it as can be seen on the image.
Matcha tea is especially rich in a specific antioxidant called EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate). Antioxidants like EGCg are a great way of getting rid of free radicals and harmful toxins in the body. In addition, it has been scientifically proven that this EGCg has the ability to boost fat metabolism and increase thermogenesis. With this increase in thermogenesis, the body can burn up to 25% more calories.
Matcha Green Tea and L-Theanine
One of the multiple things that Matcha tea is known for is its high level of L-theanine. This is an amino acid that is often used for its numerous health benefits. In comparison with green or black tea, Matcha tea contains up to five times more L-theanine.
L-theanine carries the ability to promote mental relaxation by creating alpha brain waves. These are specific brain waves that occur when the brain is daydreaming or practicing meditation for example. By creating this alpha brain waves L-theanine improves creativity, learning, memory and can even reduce depression.
Furthermore, L-theanine may improve gamma delta T cells which prevent infections in the body and can fortify the bodies immune system.
Matcha Green Tea Side Effects
One concern with Matcha green tea is the fact that the tea plant absorbs arsenic, fluoride, and lead from the surrounding soil. In comparison with other teas, 90% of the lead is found in the leaves which are not used. With matcha green tea this is not the case as the whole leaf is consumed. This causes matcha green tea to contain up to 30 times more lead in comparison with other teas like green tea or black tea. Specialists, therefore, recommend not to drink more than one cup of matcha tea a day and don’t serve it to children or pregnant women.
In addition, Matcha green tea contains a fair amount of caffeine. If you are sensitive to caffeine or consume too much Matcha tea you might experience some side effects. These effects could be headaches, irritability, insomnia, and diarrhea.
Matcha Green Tea VS Normal Green Tea
In comparison with green tea, matcha tea uses the entire tea leaf and undergoes much less processing than green tea does. Because Matcha tea uses the entire leaf it also contains far more beneficial nutrients which we have summed up for you in the following row.
Matcha green tea contains:
- 2 times more EGCg
- 5 times more l-theanine
- 10 times more antioxidants
- 14 times more tannins
- 16 times more vitamin C
- 17 times more iron
- 31 more times fiber
- 47 more times potassium
- 65 more times calcium
- 86 more times protein
How to make Matcha Green Tea
If you are planning on making Matcha green tea the most important thing is to boil the water below 80 degrees Celsius. If the water is above 80 degrees Celcius the beneficial antioxidants will be burned.
In general, there are two types of Matcha green tea: Usucha and Koicha.
The difference between the two is that Usucha is a thin tea containing less Matcha and Koicha is a thicker version containing more Matcha. Depending on your own taste preference you can choose one of them as the Koicha version will taste more bitter.
Traditionally a Chasen is used to whisk the tea rapidly. It is recommended to use this because a metal fork or spoon will influence the unique flavor of your Matcha green tea.
- Usucha: 1.75-gram matcha with 75 ml of hot water
- Koicha: 3.75 gram with 40 ml of hot water
Nutrient Profile Matcha Green Tea
Matcha tea is filled with beneficial nutrients, the image below shows how much of each nutrient is in one gram of matcha green tea.
3 Best Matcha Powders for Sale
1. Encha Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
After being disappointed with the quality of matcha powder that was being sold in the US Dr. Li Gong(founder of Encha) decided to go on a journey to find high-quality organic matcha. This search has led him to a matcha farm that has been growing matcha organically for over 30 years. In comparison with non-organic matcha, this matcha powder is better in terms of color, USDA organic certification, taste, and overall quality. While conventional matcha uses synthetic chemical fertilizer to influence taste this does not happen with Encha organic matcha powder. So if you are looking for high-quality organic matcha powder, this is the one for you.
2. Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea Powder
Jade leaf matcha powder is the best selling matcha on Amazon which of course says a lot. However, in comparison with other matcha powders, this one is from culinary grade instead of a ceremonial grade. Ceremonial grade matcha powder is the best collection of harvest and often first or second harvest. Culinary grade is matcha from later harvests which makes them cheaper and more suitable to mix into different recipes as an ingredient instead of a traditional matcha tea. So if you are looking for affordable matcha powder to use as an ingredient, this is the one for you.
3. Ujido Matcha Green Tea Powder
Ujido Matcha powder is produced by a traditional Japanese company and is sourced and packed in Uji, Japan. The matcha leaves are hand-picked and to ensure the best quality only the first and second harvests are used. In order to truly satisfy their customers, they even provide them with a traditional Chashaku(bamboo spoon). On top of that, they have a policy of refunding their customers if they are not satisfied. So if you want to be 100% satisfied with your matcha powder, this is the one for you.
Matcha green tea is a great tea that provides lots of beneficial nutrients which can significantly enhance your health. However, taken to much it can cause trouble due to the high lead amounts and a possible caffeine sensitivity. Make sure to share this information and don’t forget to send us cool pictures of your homemade Matcha tea!
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