Why matcha tea is the latest buzz among tea lovers and health advocates
Quickly growing in popularity with health-nuts and tea lovers alike is the use of matcha in everything from lattes and smoothies to baked goods and savory recipes. But if you are like me, you might be wondering what matcha is and why it is good for you?
Matcha is a fine powder made from ground green tea leaves. The vibrant green hue of the matcha powder comes from the increased levels of chlorophyll present in the leaves from the growing process. The green tea leaves used to create matcha powder differ from the traditional green tea leaves in the growing and harvesting processes. Matcha tea leaves are grown under shade cloths before harvesting while traditional green tea leaves are not shaded before harvesting. Shade cloths allow the leaves to grow, yet retain amazing flavor and the maximum amount of nutrients. This process also creates a matcha that is very delicate and smooth. While traditional green tea leaves are harvested and processed by steaming the tea leaves for several minutes, then rolling and drying them; matcha tea leaves are steamed, stemmed, and the veins removed before being ground into a very fine powder.
Filled with antioxidants known as polyphenols, matcha contains many health benefits. The antioxidants in matcha have been are known to protect against heart disease and cancer and help to improve blood pressure, regulate blood sugar levels and boost metabolism. Even more amazingly, research has shown one of the polyphenol antioxidants in matcha called EGCG can slow or stop the growth of cancer cells! Matcha is a natural detoxifier and a source of numerous vitamins including vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium. To obtain the same health benefits in one cup of matcha, you would need to drink ten cups of green tea. And although one cup of matcha contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, it does not cause jitteriness. This is due to an amino acid in matcha called L-theanine, which induces relaxation without causing drowsiness. L-theanine has also been known to help with concentration, memory and frame of mind.
So what have we learned today? Matcha powder is made from green tea leaves, is all the rage, tastes delicious and contains a massive amount of health benefits. Try this delicious and nutritious matcha recipe during your next summer get together!
2 cups hot water
½ teaspoon Matcha green tea powder
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 ½ quarts cold filtered water
Combine the Matcha green tea and the sugar in hot water.
When sugar has dissolved, add the lemon juice and cold water.
Chill for at least 30 minutes and serve on ice with a slice of lemon on the side.
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