Matcha green tea first came to fruition in Japan, around 850 AD, when the matcha tea process was engineered.
Towards the end of their growing cycle and before harvest, green tea plants are covered with a shade cloth to promote better flavour and texture. After harvest, the leaves are steamed to prevent fermentation and dried, then aged to further deepen their flavour. Once ready, the dried, aged leaves are ground to make a very fine powder. This is how matcha green tea is made!
To make a good cup of matcha green tea, it is actually much simpler than its green tea (leave) counterpart, which has to be steeped in hot water to reap the benefits. Matcha tea, which uses the entire leaf, and is measured into a heated bowl, traditionally known as a chawan from its Japanese origins. Hot water is then added to the bowl and, with a bamboo whisk, it is briskly agitated until it becomes smooth and frothy on top. Of course, not many of us have access to the traditional chasen (bamboo) whisk, so a conventional whisk will work just as well.
Matcha green tea is well known to be full of health and nutritional properties. More importantly, matcha green tea has an abundance of evidence indicating its ability to ward off inflammation, lower the risk of heart disease, reduce levels of triglycerides (bad cholesterol) and blood sugar in people with diabetes.
Some of these well-known benefits offered by enjoying a cup of matcha green tea include:
- Matcha green tea is extremely rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds within food, which seek out and neutralise free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for conditions such as deterioration of eye health, arthritis, accelerated signs of ageing, a greater risk of heart disease, some cancers, and nerve cell damage that can lead to Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Macha green tea contains catechins - antibiotic properties that are great for promoting overall health and boosting the immune system. One such catechin which is found in matcha tea is the cancer-fighting EGCG. It is believed that matcha green tea contains over 100 times more of these particular catechins than any other tea available for sale.
- Contains the amino acid L-theanine, which is great for enhancing your mood, helping with focus, and increasing your sense of relaxation without the sleepy feeling. Studies on L-theanine show it has a potential of offering neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing agents as well.
- Through the process of shading the leaves at the end of their growing cycle, this gives a boost to the levels of chlorophyll contained within the plant. This results in a powerful detoxifier, very effective at removing metals and toxins from the body.
- The matcha tea powder we have at Bondi Beach Tea Co., is flavoursome and offers all of these great health promoters. Without the need to add processed sweeteners to the tea, you can enjoy a cup of matcha green tea in an instant.
If you are interested in seeing additional benefits of matcha green tea, check out this infographic here.