It’s the tea on everyone’s lips. Dubbed a ‘superfood’, matcha has found its way into cafes, cakes and even skincare. Here we give you the scoop on this tasty tea.
WHAT IS MATCHA?
Matcha is a fine-grade powdered Japanese green tea, rich in antioxidants and high in caffeine. It is produced in nearly the same way as Gyokuro — a premium green derived from specialised cultivars of the tea plant. Just before being harvested, the leaves are shaded for three weeks. This method encourages an increase in chlorophyll content, creating a more vibrant green colour.
Traditionally, matcha is used in a Japanese tea ceremony. This Zen Buddhist tea ritual is carried out to achieve attention to detail and self-realisation for the purpose of serenity and inner peace. Matcha has evolved from a means of practising Zen Buddhism philosophy to its use as a health supplement staple.
Matcha’s recent popularity is no surprise, given the unusually high concentration of nutrients it contains. Unlike regular green teas, the ground leaves are consumed in their entirety rather than simply infused. This means that chlorophyll, l-theanine and caffeine levels in the powdered tea are plentiful (and beneficial).
Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and other minerals, the chlorophyll in matcha is a powerhouse of health benefits. An effective detoxifier, studies have demonstrated that it helps with cleansing the blood and encouraging oxygen flow through the body. The abundance of antioxidants and presence of magnesium also gives chlorophyll its anti-aging properties.
Found almost exclusively in green tea, this amino acid is what gives matcha its sweet and smooth flavour. L-theanine is especially regarded for its remarkable cognitive effects. Measurements have shown it to increase brain activity in the alpha frequency, which indicates relaxation, relaxed focus, and help increase mood-balancing serotonin production.
A serving of matcha contains almost the same amount of caffeine in a standard cup of coffee. However, matcha does not produce the same kind of jitteriness that is associated with drinking coffee as it does not stimulate the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. Nor does matcha leave drinkers ‘crashing’. This is because the caffeine molecules in matcha bind to larger and more stable molecules. As a result, the caffeine release is slowly drawn out.
1. SCOOP 1 teaspoon of matcha powder and add to your cup or matcha bowl. See our complete matcha set here.
2. POUR in about 50ml of water at 80 degrees. (Boiling water will burn your tea turning it bitter).
3. WHISK your matcha with a bamboo whisk or with a fork in an M shape motion. Ensure that all lumps are broken up so that your matcha becomes frothy and smooth.
4. TOP UP your mixture with more hot water, stirring as you do.
5. SERVE and enjoy.
Our exclusive Matcha Latte Powder makes creating a sweet, creamy brew easy. Simply add a scoop to heated milk, stir and enjoy. It’s a matcha made in heaven and currently half price! Find it here.