Matcha madness has taken over coffee shops around the country. Praised for its rich flavor and health benefits, matcha is a potent green tea that has been loved by Zen Buddhists for centuries. Zen Buddhists prefer matcha — made from leaves with the highest concentration of caffeine — over coffee for meditation weeks that call for them to be awake for long periods of time. The tea is about 10 times stronger than a steeped green tea because the entire leaf is ground to make it.
In Japan, matcha (which translates to tea powder) is the tea used in traditional tea ceremonies. The ritual requires concentration and poise, with the host performing a series of precise and graceful hand movements and choreography. After it’s prepared, each guest takes a drink from the bowl of matcha, which is supposed to promote social bonding.
Just like ordinary green tea, matcha has some amazing health benefits. But because it is a more superior grade of tea, it has 15 times more nutrients than loose-leaf tea. It has been shown to decrease levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and can minimize symptoms of PMS. Its high chlorophyll content makes it an ideal detox tea and can help to stabilize blood sugar, boost the immune system, and boost metabolism.
Ready to upgrade your latte to the green variety? Read on for everything you need to know about matcha.