Matcha comes in the form of an excellent green tea in a fine powder. Consumed for centuries, this ground powder could be the secret to the longevity and good health enjoyed by the Japanese. Nowadays, when even science is highlighting its benefits, we want to know what they are!
Why is matcha better for your health than green tea?
Matcha was used by the Samurais of the 12th century as a medicinal plant powder, which gave rise to the culture and tradition of consuming matcha in Japan. Obtained by crushing the leaves of a high quality green tea, which comes from a superior species of camellia, matcha has all of the properties of green tea.
In fact, using matcha powder means that you consume 100% of the tea leaves, by comparison to a regular green tea infusion in which less nutrients are absorbed because the leaves are not ingested.
The green tea cultures in matcha need to be cultivated in a particular way. A few weeks before harvesting, the tea bushes must be covered to protect them from the sun, which slows down the plant’s growth. Furthermore, the leaves that are still young, or “tencha” , are kept in the dark which increases the production of amino acids. This gives the tea a gentler flavour and raises the levels of catechin (a powerful natural antioxidant), making the levels 137 times higher than in classic green tea that we drink as an infusion. After being dried, the leaves can be ground and the powder is extra fine.
The health benefits of matcha tea
Outside of caffeine, regular green tea contains many other beneficial health ingredients: essential oils, tannins, enzymes, etc., but many nutrients disappear when it is taken as an infusion. By contrast, with matcha, 100% of the nutrients contained in the green tea leaves are absorbed by the body.
Outside of being used as a tea powder, matcha is a fantastic foodstuff that can be used in almost any sauces you like. You can make cakes or cookies as shown in the photos, but also ice creams, sauces, sweets, etc.
What you need to remember is that matcha tea powder is much more rich in catechin than regular green tea. This powerful antioxidant can boost the immune system and has also been proven to prevent cancer.
Japan is one of the countries that has the most people living to over a hundred years old nowadays, and their diet plays a major role in this phenomenon. Matcha has been used for a long time to fight against skin ageing and the appearance of wrinkles. Catechin, which comes in high concentrations in matcha, eliminates free radicals which are responsible for cell ageing.
Finally, matcha can also prevent anti-inflammatory and degenerative disease including Alzheimers.
How to make a good cup of matcha tea?
- Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of matcha powder into a bowl. Add a little water and mix it well to obtain a foamy consistency. Use a special matcha tea whisk, called a “chasen”.
- Fill the bowl with boiling water. The more water you add, the weaker the intensity and taste of the matcha.
- Wait a few minutes for it to cool down and taste it!
- Some people recommend that you drink it daily, while others recommend that you limit your intake to 3 cups a week, so it is difficult to give a precise recommendation. You can be the judge for yourself!
Source – Main image: breakawaymatcha.com