Certainly no longer for monks, matcha tea may just be the “it” beverage of the 21st century. Translated literally, matcha means “powdered tea.” Unlike common green tea, matcha is made from tea leaves grown in shade for several weeks before harvesting. Once reserved for tea ceremonies and originally associated with Zen Buddhism, matcha can now be enjoyed minus the formalities of yesteryear, and everyone can take advantage of its health benefits.
Matcha’s current popularity still draws from its traditional roots. It symbolizes a healthy lifestyle and reminds people today to take time out from their stressful days to embrace a beverage that fuels and invigorates us while leaving us clear of mind.
The modern world is beginning to embrace a more Zen attitude overall: We know our need to curb stress is more important than ever if we are to care for our families and ourselves. Instead of burning the candle at both ends, how about a daily cup of matcha or two!
Are you new to matcha tea? Here’s what you should know about this vivid green tea powder:
- It’s full of antioxidants. What does stress loathe? That’s right, antioxidants. The high levels of antioxidant polyphenols in matcha help reduce free-radical damage from normal metabolism, stress, and exposure to toxins, reducing risks of certain cancers and heart disease and blunting age-related cell and tissue changes. Its regular use also helps keep blood sugar in check. The main polyphenol in matcha — EGCG — has been found to halt growth of some cancers and improve metabolism.
- Fuel for modern times. We all know how great that first cup of coffee tastes in the morning, but after the second cup’s effects wear off, many people experience a crash in energy, mood, and blood sugar. When we drink that third cup later in the day, the following crash can be no fun at all! A bowl of matcha has about the same amount of caffeine as one cup of coffee, but the effect is different due to the modifying influence of other components, especially the amino acid L-theanine. Matcha gives you calm alertness without the jolt and crash. It boosts energy and sharpens mental focus.
- Matcha can be added to foods to jazz them up. In fact, it is a modern, multi-faceted, functional food. You don’t have to drink it to get the health benefits. We love adding matcha to yogurt, soups, and dips (think hummus and guacamole and desserts).
- It might be the best tea for your health overall because it is the only form of tea that gives you the whole leaf.
Ready to add matcha to your daily routine? What you’ll need to get started: hot purified water, a tea whisk, and your matcha powder. It’s really that simple — no need for a fancy ceremony, only a wish to fuel your body and mind!
Have a favorite way that matcha is making your life better? Share with our readers in the comments below.