WHAT IS MATCHA?
Matcha is a high-quality green tea in which whole tea leaves are crushed to become a fine-ground powder. Traditionally, it’s whisked in a bowl with hot water to become a rich, frothy beverage.
It has a slightly bitter, vegetal taste. The bright green color comes from the high chlorophyll content in the leaves.
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HOW IS MATCHA DIFFERENT?
Matcha is special because it’s the only form of green tea in which the entire leaf is consumed (as opposed to brewed tea bags which you steep then throw out the bag).
Ingesting the entire leaf makes it an antioxidant powerhouse, providing health benefits that are said to far exceed other teas or beverages.
Also exclusive to matcha is “zenergy” which is feeling calm yet energized and focused. This comes from the unique combination of caffeine + theanine.
Theanine (which is not present in coffee) is found in very small amounts in most types of tea, except in matcha where it is much higher. This is because matcha green tea plants are deliberately shaded from direct sunlight for 3 weeks before harvest.
During this shading, the plant grows more theanine. Theanine (an amino acid) helps induce a state of wakeful calmness. It works its effect in our body more gradually across a longer span of hours, providing long-lasting energy without the jitters or crash typical from coffee.
Studies also show theanine is effective at reducing stress and promoting relaxation (without sedation) while improving attention/focus.
Long ago in ancient civilizations, tea began as a medicine. Only later did it turn into the casual daytime beverage that we enjoy today.
But modern studies are continually revealing the wide range of health benefits of matcha which may include:
- High in antioxidants
- Increases energy level
- Enhances mood
- Helps support immune system
- May help lower cholesterol
- Helps prevent cancer
- Improves skin tone
- Boosts concentration
CATECHINS AND EGCG
What’s also uniquely special is that matcha contains a particular kind of antioxidant called catechins. Of all antioxidants, catechins are said to be the most potent and beneficial.
Matcha is especially high in one specific catechin, called EGCG, which is recognized for its cancer fighting properties.