What is Matcha Tea?

What is Matcha Tea?

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From smoothies and bubble teas to cakes and swiss rolls, the Matcha flavor has taken the world by storm. Green, creamy and luxurious, the Matcha flavor is on a fast track to becoming a household name in the world of Beverages.

 matcha tea and whisk

What is Matcha

A natural weight loss aid, pH balancer, and detox agent, matcha powdered green tea is a sugar-free coffee alternative without the jitters. A Green tea powder from Japan that can be used to make tea or as an ingredient in recipes. For hundreds of years, it has been celebrated in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony as the heart of the Japanese tea culture.

Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to help people relax. As a result, matcha is also referred to as a mood enhancer. Amino acids are also responsible for matcha's distinct flavor. They contribute to chara, or the fifth taste, also known as umami, distinctly recognized by its creamy mouthfeel.

Matcha Tea's Complex and Enticing Flavor comes from chlorophyll and amino acids. An experience in itself it has an initial vegetal, astringent flavor followed by a lingering sweetness. Matcha is a full-bodied green tea made in the traditional Japanese style, with water whisked in. The intensity of the sensation is comparable to the first bite of dark chocolate or a glass of red wine.

When used as an ingredient, matcha takes on a more subtle flavor. It infuses your creation with the flavor and color of green tea, whether it's a smoothie, latte, savory sauce, or pastry.

 matcha tea and whisk

History of Matcha Tea

Green tea has a long history in China, dating back to the eighth century, and the method of making powdered tea from steam-dried tea leaves became popular in the 12th century. That's when a Buddhist monk named Myoan Eisai discovered matcha and brought it to Japan. Esai discovered that drinking matcha improved his Zen meditation sessions by creating a calm alert state.

Matcha became the foundation for the sophisticated art of Japanese Tea Ceremony, or "chado," as the benefits of matcha became more widely recognised.

Drinking matcha not only aided Zen monks' meditation efforts, but it also became a means of achieving enlightenment. A bowl of the drink was sacrificed to Buddha as part of daily temple rituals. A simple version of the tea ceremony that has survived for centuries.

It was a reaction to the Japanese aristocracy's love of ornate and sumptuous style, which they copied from Chinese patterns. Monk Murata Shuko, who attained enlightenment when he realized that the eternal law of the Buddha is revealed by a simple gesture of filling the bowl with hot water, was a proponent of radical simplicity.

The beauty of the tea ceremony stems from the harmony that develops between the host and their guests' minds. The spirit of the tea can be summed up in four words: peace, purity, respect, and, of course, harmony. A properly conducted ceremony relieves anxiety and demonstrates the perfection of nature and human activities.

Throughout the centuries, “chado” spread throughout Japan, reaching all levels of society, not just the court and samurai class. Many schools of Japanese tea ceremony have developed over time and are still active today.

Today, the matcha tea ceremony facilitates social interaction and intellectual exchange, as well as deepening erudition and serving as a symbol of care and preservation of tradition.

Nutrition and health benefits:

Matcha has a long list of health benefits. It's chock-full of vitamins, antioxidants, fibre, and chlorophyll. Because matcha drinkers consume the entire leaf rather than just the brewed water, the health benefits of matcha far outweigh those of other green teas. In terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content, one glass of matcha is equivalent to ten glasses of green tea.

A quick and easy way to boost the health benefits of your regular diet. Matcha’s health benefits include:

  • Being chock-full of antioxidants, including the potent EGCg.
  • Boosting metabolism and helping in weight loss.
  • Detoxifiying in a safe and natural way.
  • It's high in fibre, chlorophyll, and vitamins, and it calms the mind and relaxes the body.
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium to improve mood and concentration.
  • Aids in the prevention of disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.

Matcha is considered an Anti-oxidant powerhouse, this has resounding significance because Antioxidants are the body's natural defense mechanisms. They are chemical compounds that help to slow down the ageing process and prevent chronic diseases. Simply put, the more you have, the better your body is equipped to fight infections and disease.

These chemical compounds occur naturally and help to prevent ageing and chronic diseases. Nowadays, a wide range of fruits and vegetables are praised for their antioxidant properties, resulting in a slew of products touting various health benefits. In comparison, matcha is unrivaled. To begin with, according to the most recent antioxidant research, matcha contains exponentially more antioxidants.

Matcha powder

How is Matcha Made?

Matcha is made from the same camellia sinensis plant as black, oolong, and other green teas. Matcha is a finely milled green tea powder made from unfermented tea that has been steamed and dried.

Matcha’s production process is a delicate art form of its own, with four distinct stages:

1) . Shade Grown: The tea leaves are shaded by bamboo mats or rice straws mounted on top of them. The leaves are protected from direct sunlight by these covers, which alter the natural balance of caffeine, sugar, and flavanols. Furthermore, this process begins approximately two to six weeks prior to harvest. This is thought to increase chlorophyll content and force the antioxidant system to work harder.

2) Hand Picked: Hachijuhachiya marks the start of the year's first tea harvest, which usually takes place in the spring, between mid-April and mid-May. Only the youngest and greenest tea leaves are selected by the harvesters. Connoisseurs believe that the first harvest tea leaves are of the highest quality, as opposed to the second harvest, which occurs 40-45 days later.

3) Steamed and Air Dried: After the leaves are harvested, they are immediately steamed for approximately 20 seconds. This is done to keep the leaves from turning brown. It also allows the leaves to keep their vibrant green color, as well as their amino acids and other nutritional components. The leaves will then be blown through to remove any moisture condensation.

4) De-veined and de-stemmed tea leaves are de-veined and de-stemmed before being stone-ground into rich green matcha powder to ensure only the finest leaves are ground into matcha. Tea processors will now sort them into containers based on color, texture, and aroma, and grade the quality of the tea by adding hot water to the tencha. After grading, the tea will finally go through the labeling process.

If preparing match tea seems a little daunting for you, start off with our green tea range instead!

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