August 23rd, 2019 | Updated on September 9th, 2019
If you’ve spent even a moment in Internet land over the past few years, matcha powder is probably on your radar.
Experiencing a spectacular revival and entry onto the Western wellness scene over the past few years, there is so matcha to love about this beautiful green powder.
You’d be forgiven for thinking it was a bit of a buzzword and wellness “fad”, but matcha tea powder has in fact been around for centuries rising to prominence among the Zen Buddhist monks in their meditative practices for its sustained energy boost and the relaxed alertness it promotes.
With its roots deeply ingrained in Japanese culture and the tea ceremony ritual, the many matcha benefits have once again drawn the world’s attention and it is becoming increasingly celebrated in the modern world as a healthier, more sustained caffeine alternative, an antioxidant powerhouse and a versatile, daily use superfood.
How Is Matcha Tea Different?
Easily confused with regular green tea, matcha is closely linked to regular green tea but sits in a league of its own.
It simply consists of pure green tea leaves stone ground into a fine powdered form, so is based on the same leaves but just comes in a different format.
Unlike regular green tea that is brewed in water with the leaves later being thrown out, matcha drinkers dissolve and consume the whole leaf along with the greater benefits this concentrated form allows.
It is grown in the lush rolling hills of Japan under special shades to enhance the chlorophyll content in the leaves and becomes a deeper, richer green colour in the process.
Why Is Matcha Better For You?
Versatility – Its powdered form makes matcha much more versatile than regular dried green tea leaves or tea bags as it can be used not only as a hot beverage but also a dry ingredient, wet ingredient or daily superfood supplement.
- It Is Packed With Antioxidants – like regular green tea, matcha tea powder is hailed as antioxidant powerhouse but has up to 137 x the antioxidants of regular green tea. It is laden with a particular class of antioxidants known as catechins, most notably containing EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to have cancer fighting properties. These antioxidants are the body’s defence system, protecting the body from the chemical compounds that cause cell damage, aging, infections and chronic diseases. The high level of antioxidants can help preserve the body’s wellbeing and sense of balance. Unlike the antioxidant sources we regularly turn to like blueberries of pomegranates, experts at Tufts University found that matcha green tea possesses an amazing twenty times more antioxidants according to the antioxidant testing method known as the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) scale.
- Boost Energy And Focus – There’s another reason matcha is gaining favour among caffeine lovers, sometimes even replacing coffee altogether. While it contains our beloved caffeine to help give you a good boost of energy, matcha tea also contains a unique amino acid called L-theanine that makes the caffeine slow release into the blood stream making the energy boost more sustained. L-theanine can promote a state of relaxation and the production of alpha brain waves, so it doesn’t just give you a boost of energy but also a sense of relaxed alertness as opposed to the crash or jitters you can get from coffee. Hello, healthier caffeination!
- Boost Metabolism – If there wasn’t already so matcha to love, matcha can also help burn calories and fat, due to its high catechins content and thermogenetic properties. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that drinking matcha can contribute to increasing thermogenesis, which is the body’s rate of burning calories. Another study from the same journal showed that green tea with caffeine can help lower BMI, body weight and weight circumference when compared to caffeine-free green tea because of the impact of the decaffeination process.
Suffice to say, there are so many reasons to love matcha green tea powder! The perfect daily dose of green goodness!