Matcha 抹茶 refers to finely milled or fine powder green tea usually used in the Japanese tea ceremony.
Matcha is a fine ground, powdered, high quality green tea and not the same as tea powder or green tea powder. In modern times, matcha has also come to be used to flavour and dye foods such as mochi and soba noodles, green tea cake, green tea ice cream.
Matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves also used to make gyokuro. The preparation of matcha starts several weeks before harvest up to 20 days, when the tea bushes are covered to prevent direct sunlight. This slows down growth, turns the leaves a darker shade of green and causes the production of amino acids. Only the finest tea buds are hand picked. After harvesting, if the leaves are rolled out before drying as usual, the result will be gyokuro (jade dew) tea. However, if the leaves are laid out flat to dry, they will crumble somewhat and become known as tencha (碾茶). Tencha can then be de-veined, de-stemmed, and stone ground to the fine, bright green, talc-like powder known as matcha.
The flavour of matcha is dominated by its amino acids. The highest grades of matcha have more intense sweetness and deeper flavour than the standard or coarser grades of tea harvested later in the year.
The health benefits of matcha tea exceed those of green tea because when you drink matcha you ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of its nutritional value and antioxidant content.
Prevents Tooth Decay
Here is an unexpected benefit of Matcha Green tea. It is a proven remedy to prevent tooth decay, for it kills the bacteria that cause dental plaque and halitosis and increases the acid resistance of tooth enamel.
A good deal of research has been done showing that drinking green tea can protect against heart disease; among which would be: vasculoprotective, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and cholestorol-lowering. Green tea may prevent strokes, and EGCG has been shown to protect brain cells from the destructive processes following a stroke. Matcha is also known to help reduce cholesterol levels.
Recent evidence suggests that drinking green tea can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes! People who drink 6 cups or more of green tea a day are less likely to develop diabetes than those who drink just one cup. Read our testimonial below from one of our customers:
Japanese researchers have shown that drinking green tea helps maintain cognitive ability and may improve memory. It is thought that the EGCG in green tea helps to neutralize harmful free radicals that cause damage in the brain.
Helps to minimize neurological conditions
Due to the wide-ranging effects of its polyphenols, green tea is being studied for its benefits on neurodegenerative conditions. Researchers in Haifa, Israel working with animal models have found that Matcha, due to its high EGCG levels, help to prevent the brain cells from dying It also appears as though the polyphenol may even rescue the neurons once they have been damaged, to help them repair".
Lowers Blood Pressure and Hypertension
Green tea lowers blood pressure and prevents hypertension by increasing the production of nitric oxide, which dilates the arteries and reduces blood pressure. Researchers have found that over the course of a year of consuming Matcha green tea, that the risk of high blood pressure was lower by 46% among those drinking between 0.5 to 2.5 cups a day and 65% lower among those consuming over 2.5 cups per day!