What Is Matcha Green Tea Powder – Unique Characteristics and More
Matcha, more than just a coffeehouse fad nowadays. You see matcha as tea, in foods, in literature, and more! It has become so popular and is quoted as being a superfood and more.
So what is matcha green tea powder? What makes it different or the same as green tea? Where did it originate? What are the health benefits? And so much more!
When discussing matcha it is important to know where this wonder tea began. The earliest record of matcha goes back to the Tang Dynasty of China. This dates back to the 7th – 10th centuries.
The Tang Dynasty first formed the green tea leaves that make up matcha into bricks to transfer with ease. When they finally arrived at their final location, they would pulverize the bricks and add them to hot water and salt. While this is the first indication of matcha being used, the Song Dynasty popularized the beverage.
The Song Dynasty reigned from the 10th – 13th centuries. During this time a Zen Buddhist Monk named Eisai traveled from China to Japan bringing along with him Chinese green tea seeds. When he introduced Kyoto to these leaves and tea, they loved them and grew them in the main temple area. This led to a boom in matcha being popularized and revered
Later, this tea became so popularized in Japan that a complete and total ceremony was developed. The details and procedures for that will have to be explained in another article :).
Matcha later in these centuries was transitioned to being grown in shade. This is said to boost the health benefits in the tea.
How is matcha different than loose-leaf or bagged green tea you buy anywhere? As we eluded a bit to in the origins story from the Tang Dynasty, matcha is actually the green tea leaf that is pulverized to a fine powder. Instead of steeping the tea leaves to extract the oils and healthy components, matcha utilizes the whole leaf.
Matcha is known for its vibrant, dark green color. This comes from that change in growing process done in the late 14th – 16th centuries.
When the plant is transitioned from growing in direct sunlight to growing in shade, the chlorophyll content of the plant increases. This happens because the plant is looking for more sun to conduct it food producing process called photosynthesis. Ultimately this leads to a darker & bolder color in the plant and therefore the tea.
When consuming the full leaf of the plant the health benefits of a normal cup of green tea skyrocket!
Green tea and matcha come from the same plant. All the wonderful healthy traits of green tea are the same in matcha, times 10!
It is said that one cup of matcha has the equivalent nutrient quality of 10 cups of green tea. That’s insane!!! What are those awesome nutrients that we are talking about? Here are a few:
- EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate): EGCG is the wonder catechin. It is responsible for possibly preventing some cancers, heart disease, strokes, arthritis and other inflammatory issues. It also can help aid in weight loss due to its ability to boost metabolism!
- L-Theanine: An amino acid linked to helping boost mental cognition, alertness and relaxation. This amino acid paired with caffeine has been known to be a super combo! The energizing kick from the caffeine paired with the relaxing calmness of the L-Theanine allows there to be far less of a peak and crash. This too will aid in regulating dopamine and serotonin levels in the mind and body.
- Chlorophyll: A boosted amount of chlorophyll acts as a detox for the body. Chlorophyll has been known to remove heavy metals and toxins from the body. This can lead to healthier skin, fewer wrinkles and a reduction in acne.
While our favorite way to consume matcha is in the tea form, there are many other uses for it!
Try it in baking recipes! There are countless recipes that call for matcha to be used. Primarily in baked goods, you can use matcha in cakes, muffins, donuts, pancakes, waffles, the list goes on!
You can also find matcha in healthcare and beauty products. There are face and body washes, shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, and more.
Fresh Steeps always will recommend the authentic and true way to enjoy matcha (AKA tea), but if you are feeling like exploring new options, try mixing it into your favorite baked good or moisturizer!
Matcha Every Day!
Matcha is an old drink that is only becoming more and more popular by the day. Originally from China, made popular by Japan and now found all over the world, matcha is one of its kind.
It is known for the fine, dark, vibrant and beautifully green powder form it comes in. Along with its popular look, matcha is well know for the health benefits.
Whether it is EGCG, L-Theanine, chlorophyll, caffeine, or something else, you are getting the best and highest quality with matcha!
On top of all of this, matcha can be used not only as a delicious tea, but also in cooking as well as beauty products and more! So what is matcha green tea powder? Well, matcha is truly a one of a kind that you need to try!
If you would like to pick out some of your own matcha to try today, check out Matcha Kari here or by clicking on the picture to the right. one of Fresh Steeps favorite matcha carriers!
Let us know in the comments what you think about matcha green tea powder.