I became curious for Matcha Tea or” fine powder tea” a couple of years ago, when I paid a short visit to my friend Gina who lives in London. As we all know, British people are well- known tea lovers and drinking tea in the afternoons has been a part of their tradition for centuries. We are all familiar with the powerful antioxidant characteristics of the regular green tea.
Not long ago I have found out that Matcha Green Tea is even 100 times more abundant in antioxidants than regular green tea. Matcha green tea is very popular currently as a result of its enormous benefits of the health and a unique and specific flavor. I was surprised to discover that Chinese people used it in its present form as early as in the 10th century, although the best quality matcha actually comes from Japan, where it is widely grown and cultivated.
How is Matcha Tea produced and how does it differ from other sorts of tea?
Like other true sorts of tea, Matcha is also made from the Camellia Sinensis plant but the way it is grown, harvested and produced differs from other green teas, giving it a very special taste and unique health benefits.
Unlike other teas, the matcha that has the best quality is hand- picked in spring, only once in a year, most commonly in May. About 40 day before the harvest of the matcha the fields are covered with black vinyl sheets, bamboo or straw to make a shadow.
This procedure slowly limits the amount of sunshine in order to boost the process of photosynthesis in the leaves. As a result of this, the amounts of chlorophyll and amino acids increase in the leaves, giving them a dark green color. The new leaves that grown in the shade are thin and very delicate and they have a high level of glutamates, compounds which give them an intense and rich aroma. The taste of the high quality matcha is sweet and it is not sour or bitter whatsoever.
Only the most tender, youngest and leaves with the finest quality are harvested and processed by the laborious and long process of de-veining and de-stemming. After this, the leaves are steamed to maintain the precious nutrients and the rich green color. At this stage, the tea leaves are called tencha.
They are completely dried using heated blowers, then refrigerated before the final product is obtained. The last part of the process is grinding of tencha. This part is made the help of granite, huge wheels that rotate slowly. In that way matcha is produced as fine powder which translated literally means “ground tea”. For just 30 grams of this powder, the tencha has to be grinded laboriously maybe more than an hour.
Health Benefits of Matcha Tea
It is super rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are nutrients that protect our skin and internal organs from the health-damaging free radicals that can cause a number of serious diseases.
Moreover, macha tea contains catechins, which are a special kind of antioxidants that are known for their anti-cancer characteristics. Actually, these nutrients are at 100 times higher levels in matcha than in other tea.
It helps us feel calm and relaxed
This property of Matcha Green Tea has been known to Chinese and Japanese monks for centuries. They have been using it to achieve a high level of consciousness and inner peace while being mentally alert at the same. How is this achieved? Actually, it is the L-Theanine amino acid that helps the production of alpha waves in the brain. This promotes the feeling of inner calm without drowsiness.
It improves memory and focus
Another characteristic of L-Theanine amino acid is that it also produces serotonin and dopamine, two hormones that improve our mood and memory and increase our concentration.
It increases our endurance and energy
Matcha tea is famous for increasing our levels of energy. The ancient Japanese warriors Samurai, drank it before battles. This characteristic of matcha is because the content of caffeine, as well as the mix of other specific nutrients. Just a dish of Matcha green tea could boost the levels of energy and strength in the next 6 hours. Opposite to other kinds of stimulants, there is no feeling of nervosa and hypertension with Matcha. This is as a result of calming effects of the compound L-Theanine.
It helps us lose weight
Matcha tea increases our metabolism by burning fat four times faster than normal, without the negative side-effects.
It rinses the toxins from the body
Matcha Green Tea has a high level of chlorophyll. This powerful compound is responsible for the process of detoxification. This means that toxins and heavy metals will be naturally flushed out of our system by drinking this tea.
It strengthens the immune system
The catechins, or special type of antioxidants contained in Matcha Tea, are known for their contribution to the health due to the antibiotic characteristics.
Matcha is also has a high amount of Vitamins A and C, protein, calcium and potassium that promote the health of our bones, skin, eyes and cardiovascular system.
It lowers cholesterol levels
Studies have shown that regular intake of Matcha Tea lowers the levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol.
It has a unique taste
Good quality Matcha has a very specific, deep, herbal aroma by itself and it is also naturally sweet, so it not necessary to add anything to it to improve its taste. You can consume it cold or hot, or you can use your imagination in the kitchen by making cocktails, sweets, lattes and make some savory dishes with Matcha Tea. I would just like to give you a piece of advice regarding tea: let the boiling water sit for 5 minutes before adding it to Matcha Green tea to obtain the best flavor.
Via: HealthAmbition | Eater | NaturalLivingIdeas
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