Matcha is a high-grade green tea leaves, located from the Southern half of Japan, that is grounded into powdered form. Matcha leaves are generally planted in green tea bushes under shade due to the increase in amount of chlorophyll content, which makes them bright green and full of nutrients. The practice of stone-grounding and whisking in water first originated in China around the 10th century. This method was later popularized by the Japanese.
Unlike traditional green tea, the preparation for matcha involves a bamboo whisk and tea bowl, creating a frothy and creamy texture. The bamboo whisk is designed to suspend the matcha particles in the water and produce a smoother concoction. It can be consumed either hot or cold and even in cocktails. When you consume matcha, the entire leaf is ingested which allows you to absorb 100% of the nutrients.
Consuming matcha also accompanies various health benefits, with there being 137 times more antioxidants than the traditional green tea. It is believed to have cancer-fighting effects due to the high content of catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Furthermore, there is another antioxidant called polyphenols which links to protection against heart disease and cancer, as well as better blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-aging. It contains higher levels of caffeine than your regular green tea, and thus helps keep you awake as well as focused. Matcha is also very known for its calming agent, a natural substance called I-theanine, which gives the consumer an ‘alert calm’ and relaxation without drowsiness. Due to all these mentioned benefits and more, matcha is considered an antioxidant powerhouse, which is why people prefer this over loose-leaf tea.
Many restaurants, cafes or even at home cooking, incorporate matcha into their meals and menus. It has been used in both sweet and savory foods. The usage of matcha has no limit to its creativity, with recipes ranging from soup, baking and stir-fried. Additionally, besides consumption, matcha has also been used in face care routines. This reiterates how all these benefits is the result in matcha being a modern-day hype for people of all ages.