What is Matcha Tea?
Traditionally Matcha is a special type of powdered green tea that is grown and produced in Japan. The green tea leaves are kept shaded from the sun during the last few weeks of growth, this increases the chlorophyll content and creates a gorgeous green colour. When the leaves are picked, they are then carefully ground with stone grinding wheels to produce a fine powder.
While most Matchas are produced using green tea leaves, in recent years the same practice as been used on white, black and even rooibos tea leaves. Many blends now also include herbs and spices for added flavours.
Matcha powder can be used to brew an antioxidant rich frothy tea or in recipes like smoothies, health drinks or baking. Unlike other types of teas, the matcha powder is not strained out before consuming. As such you are consuming the entire leaf, making Matcha more potent than other tea varieties.
What's the big deal?
While some drink it for its taste, the real draw towards Matcha teas are the health benefits.
Matcha contains trace minerals and vitamins (A, B-complex, C, E, and K), and are rich in catechin polyphenols – antioxidants. These compounds protect against many forms of cancer, help to prevent cardiovascular disease and slow the ageing process. They also reduce harmful cholesterol in the blood, stabilise blood sugar levels, help to reduce high blood pressure and enhance the resistance of the body to toxins. On top of all that Matcha teas have a significant amount of dietary fibre and practically no calories.
Boosting your immune system and the awesomeness of antioxidants aside, Matcha teas helps with Type-2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy metabolism in diabetic individuals and reducing the levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and hepatic glucose.
It's also full of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is great for your cardiovascular health and gives you protection from all sorts of infections, bacterial, viral and fungal. The epigallocatechin in matcha is also efficient in the prevention of HIV.
Talk about your super powered tea!