The health benefits of matcha green tea are now well-known. It is the new superfood that has actually been around for centuries. Japanese matcha is an extremely concentrated form of green tea that is jam-packed full of essential vitamins and minerals.
Because it is grown in the shade, matcha tea – sometimes called macha – has a very high chlorophyll content, which makes it rich in antioxidants, the wonder chemical that mops up cancer-causing free radicals.
Matcha is grown in Japan and the traditional Japanese tea ceremony centres on the preparation, serving and drinking of this mystical tea – it is steeped in heritage.
When you drink regular green tea, you soak the leaves and throw them away but because matcha is ground into an extremely fine powder and dissolved in hot water, you actually drink the tea leaves themselves.
Before you let out an almighty “uuurrrgh” in disgust, thinking how bitter and grainy it is going to taste, STOP! If you buy a good quality matcha green tea it can taste surprisingly sweet and not at all bitter. The powder is so fine it dissolves completely in the water so you get all the matcha tea health benefits.
Matcha cakes, lattés and smoothies
Because of its fine powder consistency it is also very versatile and can be used in cooking and baking. In fact, at our Brighton tea shop, Metrodeco, we do a green tea and chocolate cake with ground matcha leaves mixed into the icing and it is indeed extremely delicious. We also do matcha lattes and I often put a spoonful of matcha powder into my breakfast smoothie at home. These are just some ideas to get your daily matcha quota.
Another great reason to drink matcha is that it gives you a great energy boost because of the caffeine content. But – wait for this – unlike coffee it also contains two proteins, L-theanine and theophyline and when these combine with green tea caffeine you get a three to six hour energy boost and an increase in alertness and concentration. Brilliant!
Studies have also found that matcha can help in weight loss by encouraging fat loss and boosting metabolism.
So matcha tea really is a great versatile ingredient that could become part of your everyday diet, whether drinking tea, eating cake or sipping your morning smoothie.