What’s the deal with.. matcha?

a special kind of green tea

You’ve probably seen this green powder somewhere already (or heard the name but had no idea what it was): matcha. It’s traditional use is for making tea. But what exactly is matcha and are there any health benefits?

matchalarge

What is it?

Matcha originates from Japan and is a special kind of green tea. The leaves are ground into fine, bright green powder. The color is so intense because the green tea gets shaded from the sun in the lasts weeks of their growth. This way, the leaves generate more chlorophyll. Chlorophyll causes the green color of plants and, hence, is found in leafy greens as spinach, kale and broccoli.

How do you use it?

In Japan, there is an entire ceremony dedicated to making and drinking matcha tea. A special bamboo whisk is used to whisk the matcha powder in hot water. This gives it a creamy, foamy texture. Just like with green tea, you shouldn’t use boiling hot water because that will make the taste bitter. Let the temperature drop to at least 80 degrees Celsius after boiling. Unlike regular tea, you consume the entire leaf when you drink matcha (instead of straining out the leaves before drinking).

Because it’s a powder, it’s use isn’t limited to brewing tea. You can also add it to smoothies or use it in your healthy recipes.

matchacont
Thanks to whisking, matcha tea has a creamy, foamy texture

Is it healthy?

Since you drink the entire green tea leaf when drinking matcha, you reap the benefits of drinking green tea in a magnified way. The chlorophyll in matcha helps to clean your body, especially the gut. Matcha also contains a high concentration of antioxidants: 60 x more than in spinach and 7 x more than high quality dark chocolate.

But please be aware of the quality when you’re buying matcha. Matcha is more expensive than regular green tea because of the labor-intensive way it is produced. It should be bright green, not dark green, and should taste kind of ‘creamy’. The matcha latte from Starbucks is all the hype now, but don?t drink this for the health benefits: a tall matcha latte already contains 40 gram sugar.

Lots of love,
Sophia

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