Matcha tea: everything you need to know
March 10, 2022
In Japanese "cha" means tea, and "ma" means powder, so the word Matcha literally translates as powdered green tea.
Matcha tea is a centuries-old beverage whose popularity comes thanks to the Zen monks of Japan, although the origin of the ground tea is from China.
What is matcha and what is it used for?
Matcha tea is a type of green tea but has a different harvesting process, which strengthens its properties compared to other conventional green teas. It is a tea that comes in the form of an intense green powder.
How should matcha tea be drunk?
Matcha tea is soluble, so you can use it diluted in water or milk (we recommend vegetable milk, such as rice or almond milk).
You should not heat the water/milk to more than 70 degrees.
- To dilute the matcha tea powder you should use a kind of brush called Chasen, made of bamboo wood (this is the traditional way and the one used in Japanese tea ceremonies) or you can also use an electric skimmer.
- It can also be added to smoothies or even in pastries.
The origin of matcha goes back centuries, to the Tang dynasty in China. Zen Buddhism brought tea to Japanese culture. While its popularity declined in China, Zen monasteries in Japan consolidated the tradition of matcha production.
Thanks to its relaxing properties, monks drank matcha tea during their long days of meditation to keep themselves in a state of constant relaxation, thus favoring concentration without the nervous state caused by caffeine. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, matcha also became very popular in Japanese high society.
Matcha tea properties:
Traditional Chinese medicine and certain Asian cultures attribute to matcha tea antioxidant properties that protect against free radicals. It is an energy drink with intellectual benefits. It has a calming effect that helps promote concentration.
By consuming matcha we are consuming concentrated, the whole leaf of the plant, which is where the plant stores antioxidants. Antioxidants protect against free radicals. It can have a diuretic effect, which helps eliminate excess fluids from the body.
How should matcha tea be taken to lose weight?
If you drink matcha tea 30 minutes before exercising, it helps to burn fat faster and therefore to lose weight.
Who should not drink matcha tea?
Green tea can decrease the absorption of iron, so it is not recommended: "for people suffering from anemia and it is not recommended for patients with stomach ulcers".
Is matcha tea the same as green tea?
Common green tea and matcha tea come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis, native to China and Southeast Asia, although its popularity comes from Japan. However, there are major differences between the harvesting of matcha tea and green tea is completely different.
The bushes used to obtain matcha are completely covered for about 20 to 30 days before the end of the harvest, thus avoiding direct sunlight. Thus, chlorophyll levels are concentrated, giving the leaves a dark green color, as well as increasing the production of amino acids, which gives it a greater sweetness than other green teas.
- During harvesting, the leaves are selected by hand to obtain the highest quality leaves. The leaves are separated from the stems (in matcha tea only the leaf is included) and subjected to a steam bath.
- The last step is grinding, after which we obtain Matcha powder.
If you like the world of tea and want to know more about the different types of tea, origin, preparation... visit our Tea Course. Conscious Television travels to Japan to show you in detail this exciting world.