A new drink has been taking over healthy blogs and food instagrammers and even trickling into coffee shops. A brightly-green powder, Matcha is at the heart of the Japanese way of tea and has been celebrated in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony dating back over 800 years.
However it has come into popular culture only the last couple of years causing people to call it a temporary fad. Match-a-do over nothing?!
Apologies for the bad pun but in all seriousness, what’s the deal with matcha?
WHAT IT IS
Originating from China, Matcha is the finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea.The green tea plants are are shade-grown before harvest which increases chlorophyll levels, turning the leaves a darker shade of green, and causing the production of excess theanine and caffeine.
HOW DOES IT TASTE
Described as having a rich, savory flavor with an exquisitely silken finish, Matcha has an umami flavour (the fifth taste sensation).
The powdered form of Matcha is consumed differently from tea leaves or tea bags, and is dissolved in a liquid, typically water or milk. Unlike other kinds of teas, the powder does not need to be strained out before consumption, making Matcha more potent than other tea varieties.
WHY SHOULD YOU TRY IT
So apart from tasting good, matcha is said to have great health benefits compared to the usual drinks we consume.
- Caffeine Without The Jitters
The typical cup of drip or filter brewed coffee has 145 milligrams of caffeine while a cup of instant coffee can have up to 170 milligrams per cup. While Matcha tea cannot beat coffee in this regard, it contains anywhere from 25 to 120 milligrams per cup depending on the style of matcha. A decent enough dosage, we think!
Also. the combination of Theanine, an amino acid, and caffeine gives a boost of energy while create calmness.
- Antioxidant Content
Matcha is said to have a high concentration of antioxidants. One study found that Matcha has 137 times the polyphenols and 7 times the antioxidants of pure dark chocolate.
Matcha’s highly pigmented colour comes from Chlorophyll- an effective detoxifier that can aid in the elimination of unwanted toxins and chemicals from your body.
HOW TO MAKE TRADITIONAL MATCHA
- Measure 1/2 teaspoon of matcha (1/2 teaspoon) into a tea bowl.
- Add 1/4 cup of simmering water to the cup.
- Using a bamboo tea whisk, whisk the matcha and hot water. Hold the chasen vertically and stir slowly until matcha is dissolved. Then briskly whisk back and forth in the middle of the tea bowl.
When a fine foam has developed, stop whisking and enjoy!
Traditionally matcha is taken with water—but there is no end to creativity and matcha can be added to iced lattes, hot chocolate, smoothies and even ice cream.
You can also try
Creamy Banana-Matcha Smoothie
Matcha Ice Cream