A fine, bright-green powder with a distinctive flavor and countless benefits! Matchagreen tea is like no other, and is becoming increasingly popular amongst those
looking to take better care of their health!
Here is a little look at the Matcha phenomenon.
What exactly is Matcha?
Matcha is a green tea from Japan. This beverage boasts an
astonishing characteristic – it is not enjoyed as leaves infused in water, but rather as
an incredibly fine, light powder.
The greener the color, the better the tea. And while we’re on the topic, how is the
characteristic emerald-green of matcha actually achieved?
The tea bushes that provide this powdered green tea are shaded
from the sun a few weeks before harvest. Starved of sunlight, the leaves are forced
to make more chlorophyll to carry out their photosynthesis. The result is a bright
This process pushes the plants to create more amino acids. These in turn remove the
harshness of the tea and boost the level of catechin, a truly healthful antioxidant!
Did you know?
Zen master Eisai was the first to introduce matcha to Japan in 1191. He brought back some seeds from a Buddhist study retreat in China. Matcha was first grown in tiny quantities in Kyoto in the first Zen temple founded by Eisai. The beverage was met with unexpected success, and quickly became known as the finest tea in all of Japan. Monks developed rituals for drinking matcha, and this tea ceremony is now an iconic part of Japanese culture. What’s more, they also discovered that shading the tea bushes boosted its benefits!
In order to obtain this rare drink, tea pickers hand-select the finest leaves from the bushes. They are then dried and delicately ground into a powder between two millstones, which are often made from granite. When this Japanese tea is prepared, the water completely absorbs the matcha powder. This is when its full benefits are revealed…
What are the benefits of matcha?
Matcha was the preferred tea of Buddhist monks, samurais, and emperors. The first were convinced that it enabled them to concentrate while keeping an alert mind during long meditation sessions. The second drank it for energy and speed before going into battle. All three believed it helped fight against fatigue and offered a certain longevity.
This legend is not far from the truth. Matcha is nothing short of a wellness cocktail, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In a word, a concentration of healthy nutrients!
Stimulating, relaxing, antioxidizing… the marvelous properties of matcha
The so-called Prince of Green Teas is teeming with antioxidants and amino acids (around 20 times more than normal green tea).
Its high levels of catechin also mean that it can:
• Boost your immunity
• Reduce the oxidization of cholesterol
• Regulate blood pressure
• Fight against prostate cancer
• Prevent mouth infections
• Deal with bad breath
And that’s not all! Matcha green tea may also stimulate the mind as well as the body. The Japanese drink is in fact great for both energy and relaxation. Matcha is rich in magnesium, a mineral renowned for its anti-stress properties. Matcha also contains theanine. This amino acid can regulate moods and may have a positive effect on memory and depression. Ready for your next wellbeing break? To take full advantage of the benefits of matcha, here is how to prepare it according to the tried-and-tested method…
How to prepare matcha tea
So that the body can assimilate the countless nutrients, the preparation of
matcha has to follow specific rules.
How to drink matcha and enjoy all its benefits
As matcha is a powder, it is not prepared in the same way as tea. Instead of brewing, you dissolve it in hot water. To preserve its full benefits, it is best to use mineral water. You also need to keep an eye on the temperature make sure it is simmering, not boiling. If the water is boiling, it will destroy all the antioxidants.
Here are a few simple rules to follow when preparing a matcha tea and respecting the age-old rituals:
1. Prepare a clean bowl.
2. Place a little powder at the bottom using bamboo spatula known as a “chashaku.”
3. Pour in some mineral water preheated to 176°F/80°C.
4. Using a traditional whisk known as a “chasen,” mix vigorously making a “W” shape.
5. When a layer of foam begins to appear, the mixture is ready to be enjoyed, either on its own or with a little sugar!
Follow the Japanese example and sample your matcha in a traditional tea ceremony combining palate pleasure and meditation. During the four-hour ceremony, the master repeats the same, highly codified movements that inspire silence and concentration. Throughout the experience, guests enjoy both the tea and the feeling of living in the present (another important benefit for the mind!).
How to cook with matcha
Matcha is the star of Japanese desserts, and increasingly used in culinary creations around the world especially in pastries! As well as its many benefits, it offers a range of delicious advantages! Its vegetal flavor and delicate bitterness pair wonderfully with sweet tastes. Matcha provides a pinch of sophistication and originality, enhanced by the ever-recognizable green color that it adds to cakes, madeleines, and financiers!
Do you want to try some matcha green tea? Look no further than our Matcha Set. It comes with a tin of matcha tea, a traditional bowl, a bamboo chasen whisk, and a chashaku spatula. Everything you need to prepare your tea according to the ancient Japanese rituals!