We all know about Green tea, which we infuse in hot water and enjoy for its many health benefits. But, do you know about its close relative Matcha Green Tea? A powdered tea made from crushed green tea leaves. Lets find some interesting facts about it!
The literal meaning of Matcha is powdered tea. In the conventional green tea, you infuse hot water with the green tea leaves and then discard the leaves. But in Matcha tea, you are actually drinking the tea leaves, which have been finely powdered to make a tea-mix.
The harvesting process for Matcha tea leaves is also different from your traditional green tea. In this, tea plants are shaded with cloth before harvesting to trigger the growth of leaves with better texture and flavor. After that, fully grown tea leaves are hand picked, steamed briefly to stop fermentation and then dried before being put into deep cold storage for deepening the flavor. Finally, the dried leaves are stone ground to make a fine powder and packed for consumption.
This clears that Matcha tea is made only from high-quality tea leaves. The fact that we ingest the whole tea leaf while consuming Matcha tea itself makes it a more potent source of nutrients found in green tea leaves. Additionally, Matcha tea is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and natural antioxidants like polyphenols, which are known for providing protection against heart disease and cancer. These antioxidants also help in regulating blood sugar, controlling blood pressure, slowing down aging process, etc. Matcha is also an excellent source of an antioxidant called EGCG, which not only boosts metabolism but also halts the growth of cancer cells.
While these are the basic health benefits of Match tea, there is a lot more to this wonder drink that you must learn about. Here we have compiled 5 facts you must know about Matcha tea.
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With Matcha tea, you consume whole leaves, which means you are getting at least three times more caffeine that you will get from a cup of steeped tea. This much amount of caffeine is equal to a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Experts suggest that when compared to the caffeine buzz, Matcha creates more of an ‘alert calmness’. The presence of a natural substance called L-theanine in Matcha induces relaxation without making you feel drowsy. However, no matter how natural and relaxing it may be, you must avoid having Matcha tea at least six hours before your bed time.
A word of caution is always recommended when you think of buying Matcha powders as most of the manufacturers mix them with powdered milk and sugar to improve its taste. These additional ingredients make Matcha tea a more of a hot chocolate thus reducing its benefits of a natural green tea. Checking the ingredients on the label should be the first thing you should do when buying Matcha tea. If the label says sugar, then you have a valid reason to put that pack back and look for a purer version this amazing tea. The natural and purer Matcha is likely to be on the expensive side and will also have a grassy, spinach-like taste. If you want your Matcha to be creamy and sweet, consider doing it yourself instead of buying something loaded with sugar.
Consuming Matcha in the form of tea is the most common practice, but the fact is, it is not the only way of adding it to your diet. Since Matcha leaves are sold in the powdered form, you can easily add that powder in solid foods too. Right from your muffins, to smoothies, or soups, or cakes, Matcha powder can be added to anything. If you want to satiate your sweet tooth with a hint of good health, then make Matcha tea ice cream at home for a healthy dessert.
It is a known fact that green tea is loaded with catechins. These catechins contain some thermogenic properties that help your body in torching calories. Studies have shown that drinking green tea can increase your thermogenesis (calorie burning) rate from 8 to 10 percent. Thus, adding Matcha green tea to your daily diet not only improves your resting metabolic rate but can also increase your fat burning up to 25 percent during a workout. However, for that, you must consume Matcha green tea immediately before your workout session.
Matcha green tea contains an amino compound known as L-theanine, which is known for bringing a relaxing and calming effect to the body. However, that is not the only think it does, it also creates and releases gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA, on the other hand, is know for stimulating the release of two hormones dopamine and serotonin that make you happy.
In addition to this, Matcha tea comes with a special mix of brain boosters that improve your ability to multi-task, reduce task-induced fatigue, improves your memory, increases the speed of perception and improves your concentration power.
Which means, drinking Matcha tea in office will improve your productivity while making your day blissful and energetic.
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Unlike other green teas, the delectable Matcha flavors can be enjoyed in a variety of ways to savor its goodness without keeping it too bland for your taste buds. Here are the 5 ways in which you can enjoy your daily dose of Matcha green tea.
1. Regular Matcha Green Tea: Scoop 1 1/2 tsp of Matcha green tea powder in a fine-mesh strainer placed over a ceramic bowl and sift it into the bowl. Pour about 1/4 cup of boiling water over the powder and allow it to cool for a minute. Whisk the mixture in a zigzag motion for about 15 seconds until it becomes foamy and bright green.
Now that you have successfully brewed the Matcha green tea using its basic formula, enjoy it directly from the bowl or pour in your favorite tea cup.
2. Matcha Iced Tea: Brew Matcha in a regular manner and then top it with cold water.
3. Matcha Latte: Bring 1 cup of unsweetened low-fat milk to boil. Sift 1 tsp of Matcha powder and whisk in the milk to make a smooth mixture. Sweeten with sugar to taste and enjoy a hot latte.
4. Matcha Smoothie: This one is Simple, just add Matcha powder to your favorite green smoothie and its done.
5. Matcha Cocktail: Sift 1 1/2 tsp of Matcha into 1/4 cup of simmering hot water. Cool down the mixture. Pour the cooled and concentrated mixture into a gin and tonic mix. Muddle with mint leaves, add crushed ice and serve.
So, don’t hold back! Go and savour your matcha anyway you want. And, brace yourself for a healthy life!