Have You Tried Matcha Green Tea?

Matcha green tea powder has been enjoyed for generations in some parts of the world, and now its popularity is spreading globally, as people begin to realise the health benefits it offers. Literally meaning ‘powdered tea’, the main difference between Matcha and other green teas is that the whole leaf is consumed, making it a much more potent nutrient source than green tea that is steeped.

The Production Of Matcha Green Tea Powder
Like all types of teas, Matcha green tea comes from a woody shrub native to southern China, which is a relative of the Camellia plant. The regional location of the plant, the plant variety, and the processing method used all determine the resulting type of tea. Matcha preparation entails using a cloth to cover the tea plants before they are harvested. The shade triggers leaf growth with enhanced flavour and texture.

Furthermore, it causes more theanine to be produced, which is thought to make it an effective drink for improving mental focus, while its increased chlorophyll levels mean that it looks very green and has a softer taste without stems and veins. In combination with the caffeine also found in the tea, theanine is said to offer a milder, longer-lasting energy boost than a cup of coffee.

Leaves are selected by hand, briefly steamed to halt fermentation, then dried and aged in cold storage, intensifying their flavour. Dried leaves are then stone-ground into the best green tea Matcha powder. Once you have your hands on some powder, there are two main ways to prepare the perfect Matcha green tea. Usucha - or thin tea - is prepared with approximately half a teaspoon of Matcha and approximately 75ml of hot water per serving. This can be whisked to produce a froth, or not, according to preference. Usucha is slightly more bitter and lighter. Koicha - or thick tea - demands more Matcha (try doubling the amount of powder and halving the quantity of water used for Usucha).

Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
As well as providing a small number of vitamins and minerals, Matcha green tea powder is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been linked with protection against heart disease and some cancers. Read Inspire for more information on the latter. It is also thought to aid blood sugar regulation, lower blood pressure, and reduce the effects of aging. Another polyphenol found in Matcha - EGCG - has been shown to boost the metabolism, and slow down the growth of cancer cells or stop them growing altogether. With these benefits alone, it is clear to see why so many people are starting to buy Matcha green tea powder.

The preparation of Matcha has a long history with connections to Buddhism. The rise in popularity of meditation nowadays may well go some way to explaining the recent surge in the popularity of Matcha. Used as part of a meditation routine, the benefits of Matcha extend far beyond simply the antioxidants it supplies. Simply the action of sipping the tea and introducing the preparation of it into your day can greatly improve your mental wellbeing. Meditation of any kind rewards you with a whole host of positive outcomes, which Matcha will only add to.

Shown to lower cortisol (a stress hormone that drives appetite), Matcha can also help you on the way to losing a few pounds, is thought to reduce inflammation, can help you to stop impulsive eating, reduce your blood pressure, and boost your self-esteem. As with any food, drink, or supplement, though, Matcha should be consumed sensibly and as part of a balanced, healthy diet.

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