What is Matcha?
Guest blog post by Aidan Murray for Organic Matcha
Matcha means “powdered tea” in Japanese, it is a premium green tea from Japan and is the ultimate “superdrink”. When prepared traditionally, it could be seen as a healthy green tea but it is more than just that, it is also a very versatile health supplement.
For preparation the leaves are ground into a powder and then whisked with hot water which is different from regular tea where the leaves are infused with water and then separated. The reason for this is because to get the full benefits of matcha the powder itself has to be consumed also, hence the reason for grinding. It can then be consumed either as a liquid - cold or hot - or as a dry powder supplement to add to the normal foods you eat every day.
Where does your matcha come from?
Matcha leaves are grown under shade in Japan to increase and preserve the amount of chlorophyll content in the leaves which gives the plant it's bright green colouring. When ready for harvesting the leaves are then hand-picked and the stems and veins removed and then steamed, dried and ground by granite stone mills into the ultra-fine powder that is matcha.
So what are the benefits for you dear reader?
Well matcha contains antioxidants, amino acids, the aforementioned chlorophyll along with other vitamins and nutrients.
With normal tea, you only consume the nutritional benefits that are steeped outside into the water.
With matcha the leaf is consumed in powder form to provide all the nutritional benefits it contains.
Specifically, matcha enhances antioxidant activity, supports metabolism and promotes energy and alertness.
Also matcha is high in a catechin called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to have cancer-fighting effects on the body. Other studies have linked green tea to a variety of health benefits, like helping to prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes while also encouraging weight loss.
Now it is important to remember that much of this research isn’t from clinical trials which show green tea causes a precise benefit but from population-based studies, where researchers studied groups of people who drink green tea to make a comparison with the health outcome of groups that didn’t drink it.
A 2011 study reported that drinking normal green tea appeared to be linked with lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol, but more research is needed. Because matcha is also a type of green tea, they may share similar benefits, so while we await the next study there’s not enough conclusive data as yet to make that claim.
Also in 2014 one study looked at 25 randomized controlled trials on the link between consuming tea and blood pressure and reported that when people drank green tea for 12 weeks, their blood pressure dropped significantly.
Studies have shown there are associations between tea and better health, but causation has yet to be proved conclusively but there is no actual detrimental effect either way which is good news.
So if we have piqued your interest why not visit www.organicmatcha.ie to find out more