August 23, 2018 8:57 am 2 Comments
Matcha tea is a low-caffeine, premium, Japanese green tea – and if you’re a celebrity, you’ll already be drinking it. If you’re not a celebrity, well, we’re here to give you just a little taste of that red-carpet lifestyle….
Matcha tea is the big new thing in green tea. It’s just made its way into our Superfoods range, outclassing all the other kinds of green, black, pink – or just plain brown – teas we stock. Once known only to aficionados of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, it’s now widely consumed for health and taste reasons. We thought we’d don our celebrity sunglasses and find out a little more.
What exactly is matcha tea?
Matcha tea is made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, as are other green teas. For two-three weeks before harvesting, the leaves are covered (or ‘shaded’). This has the effect of dramatically increasing their chlorophyll levels, making the leaves a vibrant green colour.
The leaves are then dried and very slowly ground, by stone, into a fine powder.
With standard green tea, boiling water is poured over the leaves, which are then discarded, leaving an infusion in the water. With matcha tea, the powdered leaves themselves form part of the drink and are themselves ingested.
Because you’re drinking the leaves themselves, it’s particularly important to buy high-quality matcha from plants grown in unpolluted rural areas. This is what we stock at Naturally Good Food – take a look here.
What’s so great about matcha tea?
It’s the difference in harvesting and preparation that makes matcha tea so distinctive among green teas. Its high levels of chlorophyll are matched by an impressive dose of amino acids. In particular, it’s rich in a polyphenol called catechin, a type of antioxidant – containing up to three times as much of this as standard green teas.
What’s it like to taste?
Unlike many other super-foods favoured by celebrities, matcha tea is genuinely delicious. It’s mild, light and refreshing to drink. To make it in the traditional way – which gives a lovely, silky-smooth result – add hot, but not boiling water to the powder and whisk it (with a bamboo whisk) to a froth.
Matcha tea is naturally low in caffeine, with only about one-quarter of the caffeine of a normal cup of coffee. If you’re trying to cut down on caffeine, but can’t bear to lose it altogether from your morning brew, matcha is a good option, bringing what’s been described as a ‘calm alertness’ to your mind.
The powdered leaves can of course be added to many other things: you might whisk half a teaspoonful into fruit juice, smoothies or yoghurt. And many people swear by it in chocolate brownies….green tea, Japanese tea, matcha, matcha tea
This post was written by Yzanne