What is matcha?

You might have heard of and/or even frequently indulge in drinking matcha if you’re into teas. And if you hang in the health and wellness spaces on social media, I’m almost certain you’ve seen the beautiful green tea on the pages.  I also bet – if you don’t already know – you’re wondering, why so much ado about matcha. Well, it’s far from your ordinary tea.

The word matcha translates to “powdered tea.” Also known as whipped tea, it’s origins can be traced back to early China, where it was used as medicine. However, the matcha that is currently all the craze on the market is manufactured in Japan.

Why do some people like matcha so much?

Unlike other teas, premium matcha powder contains the whole leaf, which is shaded from the sunlight before harvesting. This method leads to a high yield of the amino acid L-theanine, which is believed to promote awareness, minus the jitters – a feeling matcha connoisseurs refer to as an “alert calm.”

Benefits of matcha

It’s very high in antioxidants

Increases energy and boost metabolism.

Great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

It boosts memory and enhances the immune system.

It induces relaxation and calm, hence the reason Chinese Diaosts and Japanese monks used it for meditation.

It has cancer fighting properties due to the high content of catechins (EGCg)

It detoxifies heavy metal toxins, thanks to chlorophyll, which gives it its gorgeous, green color.

Matcha myths

All matcha is made equally. Wish that were true. The fact is there are lots of low grade matcha on the market. The premium quality matcha are hand picked and cost more than the lower grade matcha, which are reaped using machines. In addition, matcha in beauty products or supplements is much ado about nothing, because there are no benefits to the body due to it’s low grade content. So, buyer beware.

Matcha contain 137X more antioxidants than regular tea. This is the biggest matcha myth swirling around. Though it’s higher in antioxidant content, those numbers were obtained from a study done comparing 1 particular brand.

On a precautionary note, it’s recommended that children should not consume matcha. Also, limit your intake to 1 cup per day and 6 hours before bedtime. You don’t want to be bouncing off the walls when you should be sleeping.

I must confess, my 13 year old daughter and I had a matcha latte for the first time, a few weeks ago, and it was delicious. I am not a caffeine drinker, and I’m not about to start with matcha. I did feel pretty relaxed after.

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