9 Things You Didn't Know About Matcha Tea

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Matcha Tea

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.

It Can Calm You Down

Sometimes, you just need to sit down, relax, and have a warm cup of goodness. Matcha tea has been proven to help with meditation and relaxation. This is thanks to the amino acid L-theanine in the leaves used to make matcha.

It Can Boost Your Immune System

A bowl or mug of matcha green tea offers vitamins A and C, potassium, protein, and calcium. These nutrients give your immune system the boost it needs to fight off sickness and heal your wounds.

It Helps Your Memory and Concentration

L-theanine has done it again. This amino acid aids the production of serotonin and dopamine — two powerful neurotransmitters in your brain that help your memory, concentration, and the balance of mood levels.

It’s High in Fiber

Matcha is high in dietary fiber. So much so that it can help prevent insulin spikes and slow down the development of type 1 diabetes.

It Will Make You Look Younger

Matcha is loaded with antioxidants — specifically catechin, which can strengthen body cells and help prevent aging.

Its Nutrient Count Surpasses Many Fruits and Vegetables

Popeye would probably be sad to learn that matcha has 60 times more antioxidant levels than spinach and nine times the beta-carotene.

It’s Good for the Skin

Thanks to its powdery consistency, matcha is ideal for creating topical cleansers and scrubs. Plus, it's anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties help to eliminate blemishes. The type of matcha used in this ritual is the ceremonial-grade matcha powder, the same kind that is used for making lattes.

It’s The Most Potent Green Tea in the World

The concentrated powder and caffeine found in matcha comes from the way it is grown. Matcha is made of the tips of budding tea bushes that have been shaded with bamboo mats for three weeks in the spring, making it a potent powder. Because the entire leaf of the plant is ingested in powder form, matcha is the most powerful green tea on Earth.

There Are Two Types of Matcha

There are two types of matcha known as usucha, which produces a thin tea, and koicha, which produces a thick one. Usucha is typically made from the leaves of tea bushes that are less than 30 years old, and koicha is made from the first harvest of plants that are over 30 years old.