The finely ground, bright emerald-green tea powder we’re going to present to you today is called matcha or maccha.
It is a natural, organic green tea and has been the heart of the famous Japanese tea ceremony for over 900 years. Matcha tea was honored by the Buddhist monks as the ‘health elixir’ because of its potential to heighten the concentration and enhance the metabolism.
Matcha originated in China in the IX century. It was used as a drug for the treatment of various ailments. But, its word somehow got elapsed in China. It was the Zen Buddhist monks from Japan who realized its true potential at the end of the XII century.
Matcha is harvested by hand to ensure selection of youngest and smallest leaves for the finest quality tea. Leaves used for matcha are briefly steamed to protect them from oxidation and preserve its flavor and nutritional content unlike other green teas.
Matcha is being prized in Japan numerous years, but, recently this miraculous powder has been gaining recognition in the western world because of its unique flavor and remarkable therapeutic qualities.
Energy + Calm
The process of shading and harvesting increases the content of L-Theanine which is an amino acid that helps the balance of caffeine, which makes matcha tea very unique. Matcha may contain the same caffeine as other types of tea, but the L-Theanine is known to create calmness without drowsiness.
The high concentration of antioxidants is another benefit of matcha. According to one study, matcha has 137 times the polyphenols (notably, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)) than regular green tea! This type of green tea actually contains over 60x the antioxidants of spinach and 7x the antioxidants of high-quality dark chocolate.
Some evidence claims that these polyphenols may have a protective effect against some types of cancer.
EGCG, which can be found in high concentrations in matcha, has been shown to increase the rate of burning stored fat as energy, but it also decreases the formation of new fat cells. According to other studies, the catechins in matcha increase the body’s rate of calorie burning each day and offer additional fat burning benefit during exercise.
A 2011 study performed in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the catechins in green tea had a significant effect on lowering the LDL cholesterol. A Cochrane review from 2013 also showed that regular green tea consumption was associated with lower blood pressure, as well as a decreased risk of stroke.
The L-Theanine in green tea is known to help in the stimulation of alpha brain waves. These waves are known for their ability to help increase focus and concentration.