Tea is the second most-consumed beverage in the world, so it is no surprise that this age-old Japanese tea, Matcha, is gaining massive popularity in America and fast. Here are 4 things you probably didn’t know about Matcha.
Green Tea, That’s All?
Matcha the word translates to, ‘powdered tea’. Simply put it is green tea leaves grounded into a fine powder, sometimes described as gun-powder. When you make a traditional cup of green tea, you use an infuser or tea bags to extract the flavor from the tea leaves tossing them prior to drinking. With Matcha you are drinking the leaves, the finely grounded powder, which you actually mix into the drink, most commonly with a bamboo whisk. But, what really sets Matcha apart from common green tea is that the leaves prior to harvest are covered with a cloth to protect the plants with shade, helping the leaves produce a better flavor and texture. After the plants are hand-picked they are steamed, dried and aged until ready to be stone-ground into the fine product.
The Health Factor
Matcha is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Unlike most other common teas, with Matcha, you are actually consuming the tea leaves in powder form, which in turn is giving you a more concentrated amount per cup. This green tea powder also contains antioxidants called polyphenols that protect from heart disease, boost metabolism, help prevent or slow down cancer, reduce blood pressure, and help with blood sugar regulation. Not to mention Matcha has been tied to help with anti-aging.
Spice Up Dinner
In recent years Matcha has been used to add a unique twist on many popular entrees and desserts. Many chefs are using Matcha as an ingredients to spice up their dish. Recently, I discovered a website boasting over 100 different recipes, ranging from chicken to cheesecake, that incorporate this green tea powder as a main ingredient.
While typical tea contains caffeine, you are only getting that infuses from the leaves while you steep it. With Matcha again you are consuming the entire leave, this providing a substantially larger amount of caffeine per cup, roughly equal to that of a normal cup of coffee. One more reason this bold beverage is gaining more traction and becoming an alternative to the daily java.