Matcha green tea is one of the various types of teas claiming to provide health benefits. Oftentimes, tea is used for weight loss, but before choosing a tea, it makes sense knowing how it is grown and produced. It is important to drink tea suitable to your needs.
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What is Matcha?
Matcha is originally grown in Japan and local farmers have been using the traditional way of cultivating, growing as well as producing the matcha green tea.
It is during Spring when the matcha leaves are harvested. But, several weeks before the harvest time, the matcha plants were covered with a tarp or bamboo mats. This is to reduce the amount of sunlight, thus enhancing the green color and increasing the chlorophyll content.
The leaves are steamed before they are air dried. Once the leaves were dried, they are sorted according to grade and the selected leaves were categorized as tencha. The ground tencha becomes matcha.
Matcha green tea can be included in smoothies or when baking. You can drink the matcha tea without straining that’s why you’re consuming the entire leaf. Matcha is more potent as compared to other types of teas. It is packed with antioxidants and other nutritional content than a brewed green tea.
Little History of Matcha
A Japanese monk had introduced powdered tea in the country during the 11th century in the traditional ceremony of chanoyu. During the early years, matcha tea was given only to Samurai warriors and royalty because it was expensive and time-consuming to produce. But now, this tea become popular throughout Japan.
Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
Before taking matcha green tea it’s important to know how your body will benefit from it. You should consider reading testimonies by previous and current users of this tea.
- An antioxidant powerhouse
Every sip of matcha green tea enables you to obtain a huge amount of antioxidants. According to a research, it is packed with antioxidants as compared to other types of tea and any other superfoods. It also has the higher content of epigallocatechin gallate, a polyphenol that is known to prevent cancer.
Matcha green tea contains 7x the antioxidant content of dark chocolate and 60x the antioxidants of spinach. An ORAC test was conducted at Tufts University and it was discovered that matcha has 20x more than blueberries and pomegranates.
Antioxidants are essential to our body because they serve as defense agents. They prevent developing chronic diseases and aging. This means that having more antioxidants in your body will keep you away from diseases and infections.
Likewise, the catechins content in matcha green tea lessens the negative effects of pollution, chemicals, radiation, and UV rays, thus preventing DNA and cell damage. Therefore, drinking matcha green tea every day can help preserve and restore the balance and well-being of your body. (1, 2, 3)
- Improves mood and better focus
Matcha contains L-theanine that improves moods and better focus. The L-theanine is an amino acid that promotes well-being and relaxation as it creates alpha waves that makes you alert yet relaxed. Although L-theanine is present in all tea, there’s more than 5x amino acid present in matcha as compared to green and black teas (4, 5, 6, 7).
Likewise, L-theanine boost learning ability and memory function and at the same time counteracts the adverse effects of caffeine. That’s why drinking matcha regularly promotes clarity of mind and concentration without the jitters (8).
- Support weight loss
Since matcha is nearly calorie-free, it can be a great help to your weight loss program. It improves metabolism, thus makes the fat-burning process at par. A recent study showed that matcha has the ability to burn calories fast without putting stress on your body or raising the heart rate and blood pressure (9, 10, 11, 12).
- Great source of chlorophyll
Matcha is rich in chlorophyll that is known to help cleanse and eliminate the harmful elements inside your body. Chlorophyll is a powerful detoxifier that’s why drinking matcha green tea can remove the heavy metals and chemicals from your body.
- It boosts energy
The natural properties of matcha boost energy that can be used throughout the day. It can help to drink this tea when you work out or doing a tedious job. Another study proved that matcha can increase physical endurance by 24%.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that drinking matcha green tea increases thermogenesis or the ability of the body to burn calories from 35% to 43% of the daily energy expenditure.
How to Make Matcha Green Tea
Although you can buy matcha green tea in a café, you can save money by making it at home. You need not follow elaborate practice just like in Japan’s tea ceremony because you can simplify the process at home.
You can brew matcha in either way such as koicha or usucha. The former is a thicker tea while the latter is a thin tea. But, you can’t make usucha from koicha matcha. That’s why you should ensure what you really want before preparing it.
Preheat the matcha bowl by pouring hot water making it about 1/3 full. Place the whisk downward so that the tips of the prongs become wet. Remove the water once the bowl was preheated and dry it out using a cloth.
If you will make koicha, you should use about 40 ml of hot water, while 70 ml for usucha and let it cool.
Measure 3-4 scoops of matcha powder for koicha and 2 scoops for usucha. Use a bamboo scoop and sift the matcha powder to remove clumps.
Once the hot water cools down to 70 degrees Celsius, you can pour it into the matcha bowl.
If you will make usucha, you should whisk briskly in a W motions to achieve a thin and frothy matcha tea with many bubbles on top. On the other hand, slower and gentle, yet kneading and rotating whisking action should be done if you’ll make koicha. The koicha should be smooth without a froth.
The flavor and texture of the matcha tea is affected by the whisking action. You can achieve a poor flavor if you have whisked incorrectly. The matcha may not froth well if the whisking wasn’t done thoroughly or due to using too much water or inadequate amount of powder.
Where to Buy Matcha Green Tea
If you want to try matcha green tea, your priority consideration should be the quality. That’s why you should buy this tea from a reputable seller such as Amazon. You can buy matcha green tea online through Amazon. The good thing about buying from this store is that you can read customer reviews that will give you a good idea about the quality of the tea and compare it with other sellers.
Because of the versatility and flexibility of matcha green tea, it becomes a popular ingredient in making beverages such as green tea lattes, morning smoothies, and many others.
Dietitian with around 5 years of experience in assessing the nutritional needs of patients, counselling individuals, communicating the appropriate nutritional information to other members of the health care team and implementing nutritional care plans by following all the standards.