What is Matcha?

What Is Matcha?

Matcha is a fine powder originating from East Asia that is derived from shade-grown tea leaves. A staple of the Japanese tea ceremony, matcha is now in high demand in the rest of the world for the great health benefits it offers. You may have seen matcha in iced and hot drinks as well as other sweet desert flavors. Matcha is a great option to have if you are trying to change up your daily routine of drinking coffee. However, be sure to note that matcha also contains a high amount of caffeine, therefore be mindful of when and how much tea to consume.

This special green tea has a smooth, balanced taste that varies depending on the quality of leaves used and the strength of the brew. This tea is typically creamy and has a taste reminiscent of fresh vegetables. Many people also choose to add alternative sweeteners as needed, but it may also be served unsweetened and paired with a sweeter treat on the side. One of the many great things about matcha is the versatility of the powdered leaves, which many people use to add flavor to both savory and sweet cooking dishes.

One of the core ingredients of matcha is the antioxidant catechin. Catechins are commonly found in berries and teas, including matcha. Specifically, a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate, also known as EGCG, is found in large amounts in matcha. This catechin is known to help fight cancer in our cells. Catechins also help manage the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – most commonly known as “bad” cholesterol – in our bodies. While there are no specific studies on the long-term effects of matcha, these core ingredients boast many health benefits. For further questions and specific cases, one should consult one’s physician to determine the amount and frequency with which one should consume the tea.

How does one make matcha? Take a few grams of matcha and add hot water in a cup. Many people use a whisk to mix this mixture thoroughly. Traditionally, a bamboo whisk known as a chasen is used. If you do not have one, you may use a frother or another type of whisk. Once the powder is evenly and thoroughly mixed, with no lumps left over, add hot water to the tea. Matcha may also be used to make a latte, or poured over cold milk.

Taking the time to learn about the ingredients we consume in our daily lives is very important. Learning about the components of our drinks such as catechins allow for better informed decisions. Matcha is a great step towards health – and remember, always put Your Health First!