Matcha powdered green tea is so hot right now. If it weren't green, it would be the new black. From Hollywood stars to Starbucks, everyone is going gaga about matcha. But just what is all the fuss about anyway?
Far from being a new food fad, matcha tea has been around for centuries. It has formed the cornerstone of Japanese tea ceremonies for over 900 years. It is being touted as a wonderfully nutritious brew with a ton of health benefits and the kind of calm focus that puts the jitters of a caffeine high to shame.
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It's estimated that you lose around 90 per cent of the benefits of other herbal teas because you strain the leaves. Matcha is a concentrated, powdered green tea so you consume the actual leaves and get far greater health benefits.
Matcha's got anti-oxidants up the Ying-Yang with 137 times more than regular green tea.
If you suffer from diabetes, matcha tea can help maintain a healthy metabolism. Studies show that matcha inhibits the renal and hepatic damage that many diabetic patients suffer.
Matcha tea contains antioxidants catechin and EGCg, so you get all the perks of caffeine without the jitters. Because matcha is shade-grown, it is packed with amino acids like L-theanine which relaxes the body and allows for sharp concentration. This is why the Zen Buddhist monks have used it for centuries to augment meditation.
The EGCg in matcha tea helps to promote cardiovascular health and keeps cholesterol levels low. It also has chemopreventitive properties which prevent the proliferation of cancer cells in bladder and colorectal cancers.
OK, so what does it taste like?
If this is sounding too good to be true, then surely there must be a catch. My first reaction was that it probably tastes like medicine, but it is reminiscent of strong green tea with a sweet aftertaste. If you like green tea, you'll love this. Matcha is also whipped to make a froth which I know all you cappuccino drinkers will enjoy.
The only caveat is that those with sensitive stomachs or IBS may experience adverse effects thanks to the caffeine content. While the caffeine in matcha doesn't leave you jittery, it may cause diarrhea and cardiac arrhythmia in those with a sensitivity to caffeine.
If you can drink coffee, you're probably going to enjoy the benefits and taste of drinking matcha tea. Ensure that you get a good quality matcha tea, and you don't need all the bamboo accessories, you can just use your kitchen whisk to get that frothy goodness!