Tea 101: Tea Varieties – Matcha
Matcha is a powdered green tea that is bursting with energy-giving antioxidants, a unique vegetal flavor, and a 100% natural and unmistakable bright green color.
It is made from the leaves of high-quality green teas, and stone-ground into a fine powder.
Although foodstuffs, smoothies, and more featuring Matcha have become a popular and recent trend cementing the tea’s status as a Social Media darling, the beverage actually has origins in 11th century Japan. There it was considered a precious medicine and only available to a select few.
Thirteenth century samurai warriors are believed to have consumed Matcha prior to battle, having learned brewing techniques from Buddhist monks. Their traditions would ultimately become the Japanese Tea Ceremonies that are still conducted today.
Because matcha drinkers consume the entire green tea leaf in powdered form, they benefit from a much higher antioxidant content – approximately 10 times that of a regular cup of green tea.
Potential health benefits are purported to include an elevated metabolism, improved memory and concentration, and even cancer-fighting properties thanks to strong antioxidants inherent in Matcha known as EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate).
How to Prepare Matcha
Unlike other teas, the ground matcha powder is intended to be consumed directly, after being suspended in water or milk. Subsequently, the caffeine content is much higher and is dependent upon the quality of the powder and the consistency of the brew (thin/usucha or thick/koicha). Typically, matcha has less than half of the caffeine found in a cup of coffee.
To brew, you will need:
• 1 teaspoon of matcha
• A kettle
• A cup
• A whisk (bamboo if you have it)
Bring water to a boil in your kettle. Pour into your cup. Add one teaspoon of Matcha to the water and whisk until foamy at the top.