The Best Matcha Tea: A Detailed Introduction
If the word Matcha sounds something catchy or interesting for you, you would even be amazed by what can Matcha tea brings to your health. So, here in this detailed guide, let me fully introduce you to Matcha tea, the health benefits you can get from it, and what are the best products available that you can choose from.
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What Exactly Is Matcha Tea?
The term “Matcha” literally means “powdered tea,” which is believed to have some miraculous power in making someone feels so good, refreshing, and relaxed. In the world of science, it’s known as Camellia Sinensis. It’s actually a special form of green tea which leaves have been finely powdered and made into a rich solution.
Unlike the traditional green tea which leaves are being discarded once infused into hot water, with Matcha you are actually drinking the leaves themselves. Because of this high concentration of pure green tea leaves, Matcha has a strong taste.
Some of those who have tried it likened its taste to grass or spinach-like. For many, it has an umami taste or a pleasant savory taste that is mouth-watering and has long-lasting aftertaste. But you can sweeten it if you want by adding some sugar to improve its palatable taste.
Apart from its strong taste, Matcha tea also contains more caffeine than a cup of steeped tea. Aficionados of Matcha believe that it creates some kind of alert calm that induces relaxation without making you feel drowsy. This is due to the natural substance it contains known as L-theanine, which is proven to promote a relaxed feeling and help ease stress and anxiety.
There are plenty of other health benefits that Matcha tea provides but before we go into the details of what are those, it would be nice to learn a little bit of the history of this nature wonder.
The Brief Origins of Matcha
Matcha is thought to originate from the time of Tang Dynasty in China which spanned during the 7th - 10th centuries. Initially, the steamed green tea leaves were formed into bricks for easy transportation and trading. They were prepared by roasting and pulverizing the leaves and the powder were mixed with water and salt.
The ensuing Song Dynasty during the 10th–13th Century improved this preparation by grinding the steamed leaves and whipping the tea powder with hot water together. This particular tea was then brought from China into Japan by a Buddhist Monk named Eisai.
Once cultivated in Japan by the monk, the tea leaves were considered to be of the highest quality and regarded as a luxurious status symbol. This special green tea provided the Zen Buddhists great meditational benefits, giving them greater sense of clarity, focus, and total well-being.
As such, it later became known as “Matcha, the Ceremonial tea of the temple of the high priests” of the Buddhists. In fact, Eisai has been believed to quote a saying that Matcha tea was the “elixir of the immortals.”
Now, it’s time to know why Matcha has been known for such monomer and what makes it a very potent green tea.
The 5 Great Health Benefits of Matcha Tea
Matcha green tea offers a lot of goodness and wellness, thanks to its leaves that are greatly enriched with chlorophyll and antioxidants called polyphenols which are known to protect your cells from damage. Studies indicate that Matcha tea may contain more of those substances because of the way it’s being made than the loose-leaf green tea.
1. The Mighty Catechins
One particular polyphenol called catechins is very abundant in Matcha. It is claimed to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. So, if you have a high blood pressure of 130 or more, drinking Matcha tea can help lower it, reducing your chances for heart attack, stroke, and heart diseases.
2. The Powerful EGCG
Another polyphenol found in Matcha is called EGCG (EpiGalloCatechin Gallate) which has been proven to boost metabolism and is a great defense against cancer. It is effective at fighting diabetes, viral infections, cardiac diseases, neurodegenerative conditions, and is a perfect weight loss partner.
Matcha is a wonder tea that’s fully packed with EGCG. In fact, a study in the University of Colorado – ‘Journal of Chromatography’ (report published in 2003) stated that “the concentration of EGCG in Matcha is 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG present in other green tea”.
Drinking Matcha green tea regularly will help protect your overall health and guard you against a variety of serious diseases that the antioxidants in this tea are powerful at.
Other potential health benefits that you can enjoy when drinking Matcha green tea are as follows:
3. Keep you alert and focused
No wonder why the Japan warriors were believed to drink Matcha tea first before going to a battle. A cup of tea can help keep you stay alert and focused when needed. That’s mainly because of the caffeine content of Matcha, but don’t overdo it since you know how this substance can make you jittery.
4. Help ease inflammation
The high antioxidants found in Matcha can also help ease any inflammation you might be experiencing, such as arthritis as it can slow cartilage (tissue protecting the joints) breakdown. In addition, it can reduce any platelet aggregation and vascular proliferation that you may be encountering. You can confirm this fact in a research book entitled ‘Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines’.
5. Promote better dental health
In most cases, drinking a cup of Matcha tea daily can promote better dental health. It is due to the Catechins that inhibit the growth of bacteria called Fusobacterium nucleatum – cavity & periodontal disease-causing bacteria. Or, it can also be due to the fact that Matcha helps keep a good amount of acid in your mouth that makes your teeth stay in good condition.
6. Packed with a lot of vitamins
In addition to those two powerful polyphenol antioxidants, Matcha tea is also rich with a number of vitamins such as A, B complex, C, E, K, as well as amino acids and various minerals. All of which are needed by your body to stay healthy and combat most known diseases.
So, it’s not surprising that Matcha tea has become so popular not just in Japan but all around the world now. But you might also be wondering how exactly a Matcha tea is being prepared.
The Best Way To Prepare Matcha Tea
Since Matcha has long been associated with Zen, the traditional way of preparing the tea can be attributed to Japanese tea ceremonies. So, if you want to try and prepare a ceremonial grade Matcha, simply follow the following preparation steps.
- Measure 1 and ½ - 2 scoops of Matcha tea with the use of a chashaku or bamboo tea scoop into a chawan or a tea bowl. This is about about ½ teaspoon.
- Next, add ¼ cup of simmering water to the chawan (boiled to about 16-170 degrees).
- Now, get the chasen or bamboo tea whisk and whisk the powder and hot water together. While whisking, be very particular in the way you do it. The proper way is to hold the chasen vertically as you whisk without touching the bottom of the tea bowl as much as possible.
- Then, stir slowly until the Matcha powder has been dissolved completely. You can now briskly whisk in the middle of the chawan, doing it back and forth. This is necessary to form a light foam.
- You can now enjoy sipping your ceremonial Matcha to the fullest.
If you are not fond of preparing your Matcha the old way and prefer to use your existing kitchen utensils at home, you can still follow those same steps above. Instead of using the traditional preparation tools, you can use a small, round bowl and your usual kitchen whisk instead.
Just in case you have a sweet taste or prefer to add some flavor on your Matcha tea, then, by all means, you can do it. If you want it hot, simply dissolve 2 level teaspoon of Matcha powder in 8 oz of boiling water. If you love it iced, just dissolve 1 tablespoon tea in 8 oz of boiling water and pour over some ice. You can then proceed with the same basic steps identified above. If you want your Matcha tea sweetened, just add some bits of sugar. It’s simple as that.
Matcha Tea Vs. Green Tea: What’s The Difference?
While these two drinks are both made from green tea leaves, they greatly differ from each other. They have distinct colors, textures, flavors, preparation, and the biggest difference between them is in the nutritional contents of each superfood. Here are the aspects where and how they particularly differ from one another to guide you which one to go for.
- Nutrition. Drinking a cup of Matcha tea is equivalent to drinking 10 to 15 cups of regular green tea, that much really! This is, again, because Matcha powder is made from the entire tea leaves and not just steeping them into hot water as is the case with regular green tea.
- Taste. Most users of Matcha agree that it tastes much better than green tea and the ceremonial grade Matcha, in fact, doesn’t need to be added with extra sweetener.
- Color and Texture. Since Matcha is very high with chlorophyll, it has a very vibrant and bright green color than ordinary green tea. Matcha also has a talc-like smoothness powder while green tea feels gritty to the touch.
- Preparation. Because regular green tea is being steeped from the leaves, it’s often boiled to 212°F which may destroy some of its nutritional value. Matcha tea is usually prepared by mixing it with hot water under 175°F.
Matcha Tea Vs. Coffee: Which is Better?
Another popular contender of Matcha tea that many love to sip is coffee. The fact that Matcha outperforms regular green tea in terms of high nutrient value, you can ditch coffee with the same reason. But to give you a clearer picture how come coffee is a no-match for Matcha, it can be simplified in three major nutritional contents.
- Antioxidants: a cup of Matcha contains 140 times more antioxidants (EGCG) than a cup of coffee you’re drinking every morning. One of the great benefits of these antioxidants is it improves your body’s ability to burn excess fats, helping you lose weight much better and faster.
- Caffeine: approximately, coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine per serving, while Matcha only has 35 mg but can already keep you awake the entire day. Having a cup of Matcha a day is enough and you don’t have to drink more shots of espresso every few hours or whenever you feel sleepy and be jittery by having so much of caffeine already.
- L-theanine: Matcha is very abundant of this very powerful amino acid, which can reduce your stress level while giving you the kind of calmness as if you’re in the middle of a meditation. Coffee, unfortunately, don’t have any of this wonderful substance.
The 4 Different Grades of Matcha
Not only Matcha can be compared to regular green tea and coffee, but also to itself because it comes in various grades. When it comes to producing the finest Matcha tea, Kyoto is well-known for it with its great agricultural conditions in producing high quality green tea.
Here are the top four grades of Matcha powdered tea that you can consider.
I can put it in a nice way that Matcha tea is the best source to add effective immune system to your body system.
1. Reserved Grade Matcha
Being the most premium grade of Matcha, this has the highest quality found and cultivated in Uji, Kyoto. You can identify it with deep emerald color that is incredibly fragrant to smell. It also has that distinct freshness and a bit of seaweed taste, without tasting any bitterness when you drink it.
What makes it the best grade is its savory and nutty flavor and a sweet finish. You can feel its soft, velvety texture on your mouth. You can make it through the traditional way.
2. Top Ceremonial Grade Matcha
If you want to treat yourself for a very delightful flavor of Matcha tea, this premium grade is a perfect choice. It has that rich aroma and sweetness that is very pronounced. It also offers that deep earthiness for a unique flavor.
Top ceremonial grade Matcha is great for special occasions or for those who want to divulge themselves in total delight. Its taste profile is a good combination of sweet rice, cream and floral, and is recommended for traditional preparation.
3. Everyday Ceremonial Grade Matcha
This Matcha grade is a good way to try this tea and explore the bountiful benefits and tastes it has to offer. It’s a perfect option for beginners and offers that smoothness you’ll love with the slight sweetness and nutty, bittersweet chocolate taste.
4. Culinary Grade Matcha
This is the cheapest Matcha grade you can find. While it’s not really great for drinking, it’s good for cooking and baking purposes. It tastes quite bitter than the other grades, but it still works perfectly in adding unique flavor to your sweet pastries.
How to Choose The Best Matcha Green Tea
Now that you have learned sufficiently enough to be amazed about Matcha green tea, it’s time to know further about this wonderful tea and be informed of what’s the best product available in the market.
There are plenty of Matcha tea brands you can choose from but not all of them are made equal. Same as there are different grades of Matcha, the different brands available vary and it pays to pick only the best ones for you to enjoy the full benefits of Matcha.
To help save you from the headache of carefully selecting from the plethora of choices out there, here are the four best Matcha tea products worthy to consider.
1. Jade Leaf Matcha
This Matcha tea is highly recommended due to its quality and purity, and has an authentic Japanese origin. It went through thorough and high standard processing to ensure good aroma, sweet taste and premium quality. It is also USDA organic certified which has gone through multiple lab tests to give you potent, pure, and safe drinking nutritious tea to enjoy.
What makes Jade Leaf Matcha even more desirable is the fact that the green tea leaves are shade-grown for almost a month for enhanced nutrient content. Add to that this Matcha product comes in both ceremonial and culinary grades. It means you can also use it to prepare your favorite recipes of desserts, even your smoothies, lattes, and other baked goodies.You can select from three packet variations: 30 grams, 100 grams, and 250 grams. It depends on how addicted you will become in drinking this tea. For a more detailed information about this product, click the button below:
2. Starter Matcha
As the name implies, this Matcha tea powder is a perfect way to get acquainted with. It has a bright green color with a fresh grassy aroma and the mouth-watering umami flavor. Being produced in the regions of Uji, this product is more than worth it to pay for.
Drinking a cup of this Matcha tea lets you enjoy a pack of healthy nutrients in the amount that’s affordable. It’s not only USDA organic but is also JAS certified, non-GMO, vegan and gluten-free green tea, making it a totally healthy option.
If you love preparing cakes, pastries, or smoothies, this product is also your best choice. You can even make lattes, iced teas, and gin cocktail with this Matcha as a perfect accompaniment.
Since it is also available in different packaging sizes, you can opt for a starter packet that can give you 25 cups of super tea with a 100% money back guarantee. Learn more benefits you can get from this product by reading the full review:
3. Matcha DNA
The wonderful and powerful health benefits of Matcha green tea are all in the DNA of this product. It’s 100% pure and organic, farmed from Hiroshi and has been a pioneer in the market since the 13th century. It is known to offer the highest quality of culinary grade Matcha tea in China and Japan.
Unlike other Matcha tea products, this one comes not just in three sizes but in 12 different packages for more options. If you love its fresh, organic taste, you can satisfy yourself in buying as much as 600 bags all at once!
Finally, it is lab tested to ensure purity and safety of its use, packaged in BPA-free container and fully packed with amazing nutrients you need to stay healthy. Love this Matcha tea even more by getting to know it better by reading the following in-depth product review:
4. Enzo Coldpress Matcha
This Matcha product is very popular as it has been featured in several major news channels because of its great reputation in the green tea industry. Apart from the excellent benefits of EGCG and L-theanine abundant in this product, it’s produced in four different varieties you can all try. They all have grassy green texture for extra freshness and natural sweetness, without tasting any bitterness.
Another good thing about this Matcha tea is that every time you purchase it you are also helping others because part of your money goes to charity work. So, you’re not only keeping yourself healthy but also lending a hand to the needy.
What more you’ll enjoy preparing it easily or add it to your yummy smoothies and baking recipes. All of which backed by a lifetime guarantee of high premium quality Matcha green tea. Know more about it through this link to its detailed review:
Common Side Effects of Matcha Tea
You can say that whatever it is, there should be a limit. If something goes limitless, it is obviously not good for health. Because of the caffeine present in Matcha, for some people the side effect symptoms might be a headache, insomnia, diarrhea, irritability, heartburn et al only when goes in excess content. Matcha shows the presence of fluoride, arsenic, and lead. It is because of the Matcha tea plant from the soil. Hence, it is advisable that kids, pregnant ladies, nursing moms and senior citizens should avoid taking a regular intake of Matcha tea.
Clearly, Matcha green tea does not just provide you a great-tasting tea that you can enjoy sipping but offers a whole lot of healthy nutrients that you can rarely find in a single cup. Better yet, you can get all of its wondrous health benefits by simply doing easy preparation steps at home.
Since the greatness of Matcha tea is no secret, a number of product brands are available to choose from which can be a bit stressful. However, selecting from one of the best Matcha green tea products identified above will surely help you get the right one you can confidently rely on drinking every day.
Matcha Tea FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How much can/should you drink per day?
It is recommended that 2 cups one day is a normal dosage to drink. In general, 2 to 3 cups of green tea have 120 to 320 milligrams of catechins and 10 to 60 milligrams of caffeine approximately, which is more than enough for a common/normal person. Wherein, those whoare underweight loss program, it is good to for nutritionist or dieticians’ consultation once.
Where does Matcha Tea come from?
The origin of Matcha tea in Japan. Wherein, the recent markets are from China also. Anyways the regions of Uji – Kyoto, Nishio – Aichi, Shizuoka, and Kyushu of Japan are world’s best Matcha tea harvesters.
Does Matcha Tea contain caffeine?
Yes. In general, green tea has caffeine, and Matcha is even more caffeinated with approx. 34 mg of caffeine.
What kind of scientific research is there on Matcha?
Science states that Matcha has the power of making one feel good, fresh, relaxed and keeps the general health in control. The scientific name is ‘Camellia sinensis’. It has combo combination of caffeine and L-theanine (a form of amino acids) and phytochemicals.
Is Matcha Tea addictive?
Not exactly, however, it depends upon one’s own interest. Anyways I said you earlier; there should be a control of in taking two cups of Matcha tea per day. It is the normal dosage for a normal person.
Why is Matcha tea relatively expensive when compared to other green teas?
Matcha tea costs bit expensive when compared to other green tea. Unlike other green tea plants, Matcha is shade-grown, handpicked, first harvest leaves and stone-ground for fine velvety tea powder. In addition, it is grown only in Japan and few regions in China.
Where to buy Matcha Tea?
To say honestly, Amazon is the best place to buy Matcha tea. You can have in-depth specifications, product description and you can see for different types of flavors & packages in one view. Moreover, you can get 100% money back guarantee and offers while buying.