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Matcha Tea: Powerful Health Benefits Steeped In Tradition

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About three years ago, I stopped drinking coffee. I found that espresso and cups of coffee made me too hyped up and I would end up shaking and not sleeping soundly. So, I made the transition to tea.

I find that tea still wakes me up, but it does not have the super jolt effect that coffee would have on me. Since becoming an avid tea drinker, I have learned about the different types of teas and their health benefits. I love green tea and recently learned more about matcha tea.

I spoke with Brock Shillington, the co-owner of Let's Matcha. Brock shared more of the health benefits of matcha tea, how to prepare it and who can drink it.

What is matcha?

In the past, it has been used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Matcha is made from ground green tea leaves and instead of steeping just the green tea leaf, you drink the whole tea in a powder form.

What are the health benefits of matcha tea?

As far as its health benefits go, matcha is a powerful antioxidant. It's being used as a pre-workout supplement to increase energy and focus in the gym. Studies have also shown drinking matcha before a workout increases fat loss. So, it's a win-win. And, of course, it won't stain your teeth or give you bad breath.

Matcha's vibrant green comes from high amounts of chlorophyll. This aids the body's natural cleansing and circulation processes. So, if you're looking for an anti-ager and detoxifier, matcha is a natural choice that's been common knowledge in Japan for generations.

How is matcha prepared?

Matcha is ​p​repare​d differently than a regular tea. It is a powder, so you will need a whisk. Start with water that is approximately 26 degrees Celsius. Temperature matters with tea! Too hot and you can scold your tea and too cold you won't get the full effects.

​You will whisk the hot water and the matcha together until fully blended -- and remember, a little goes a long way. So start with a little and then gradually increase the amount daily. ​

Is there only one kind of matcha tea or different flavours?

There are many factors that attribute to the flavour of matcha, but there is only one flavour. The flavours derive from different levels of quality in altitude, cultivation tactics and soil conditions.

To further that, there's only one real flavour, but many companies have infused matcha with spices and sweetners to make a variety of tasty combinations. I've seen vanilla, chili and coconut-infused matcha.

How is the caffeine in matcha tea? If you are sensitive to caffeine will you feel it?

That's a great question. I urge anyone that is a daily coffee drinker to give matcha a go. If you've been drinking coffee for years, you'll experience a huge shift in your ability to focus, among other health benefits. I'll always love coffee, but it doesn't always love me back. The spikes and crashes of the coffee caffeine "high" can cause untimely jitters and drops in focus throughout the day.

There's no need to give up coffee entirely but if you're bothered at all by coffee's jitteriness, spikes and crashes, then matcha will be more up your alley. There is about half the amount of caffeine and it is released slower into your body, which provides a more calm and alert caffeine buzz for several hours.

Who can drink matcha tea?

Everyone! Whether it be samurai warriors drinking tea before battle or ​everyday people​ drinking matcha​ in the morning -- it happens all over the world, and it's been happening for a very long time.

Your suggestions are always welcome as I continue on my journey to enjoy life to the fullest. Let's have the very best 201​6​!

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