Photo courtesy of @SilverSpies
Whether it be juices, smoothies, or matcha, green drinks are all the rage these days. Some people are still hopping on the matcha craze and if you haven’t tried it… we suggest you do! Swap out your morning coffee for a cup of warm or cold matcha tea to get your much-needed energy boost AND some extra health benefits that you can’t get from your average cup of joe.
Matcha is a Japanese green tea that packs a considerable amount of caffeine and offers a calming sense of ritual. Now this isn’t your basic tea that you steep —it’s gyokuro green tea that has been ground into a fine powder and whisked with hot water to create a full-bodied, verdant elixir. It’s often celebrated for its nutritional value as well as its deep vegetal flavor.
Read up on why you should start sipping on matcha below:
HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS
We’ve all read this word before. Antioxidants are the magical nutrients and enzymes responsible for fighting against the negative effects of UV radiation, giving us younger-looking skin, and preventing a number of life-threatening maladies. The first amazing benefit of matcha Green Tea is that just one bowl provides over 5 times as many antioxidants as any other food.
LOADED WITH CATECHIN, EGCg
Furthermore, on that note… You may have already heard that not all antioxidants are created equal. Green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins. Among antioxidants, catechins are the most potent and beneficial. One specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) makes up 60% of the catechins in matcha Green Tea. Out of all the antioxidants, EGCg is the most widely recognized for its cancer fighting properties. Scientists have found that matcha contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market.
For over a millennium, matcha green tea has been used by Chinese Daoists and Japanese Zen Buddhist monks as a means to relax and meditate while remaining alert. Now we know that this higher state of consciousness is due to the amino acid L-Theanine contained in the leaves used to make matcha. L-Theanine promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain which induces relaxation without the inherent drowsiness caused by other “downers.”
BOOSTS MEMORY AND CONCENTRATION
Another side-effect of L-Theanine is the production of dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals serve to enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration – something that can benefit everyone!
INCREASES ENERGY AND ENDURANCE
While all green tea naturally contains caffeine, the energy boost received from matcha is largely due to its unique combination of other nutrients. The increased endurance from matcha can last up to 6 hours and because of the effects of L-Theanine, drinkers experience none of the usual side effects of stimulants such as nervousness and hypertension. It’s good, clean energy.
DETOXIFIES THE BODY
During the last three weeks before tealeaves are harvested to be made into matcha, they are covered to deprive them of sunlight. This causes a tremendous increase in chlorophyll production in the new growth of these plants. The resulting high levels of chlorophyll in matcha green tea give the tea its beautiful vibrant green color and make it a powerful detoxifier capable of naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.
FORTIFIES THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
The catechins in matcha green tea have been shown to have antibiotic properties which promote overall health. Additionally, matcha green tea provides substantial quantities of Potassium, Vitamins A & C, Iron, Protein, and Calcium.
Photo courtesy of @TheChalkboardMag
It’s time to whip up some matcha for yourself! If you’re interested, go online and search for the traditional method in which matcha is made. It’s a process that has tons of history behind it however, it takes a bit longer and requires specific tools. For your convenience, we’ve included the American method which is much more common in kitchens in the US.
What you’ll need:
- A whisk
- A deep cup or bowl
- A measuring spoon
- Matcha powder
- To start, pour one teaspoon of matcha into your bowl/cup.
- Pour two ounces of steaming water into the bowl. Hold the bowl tightly with one hand as you quickly blend the matcha for one or two minutes using the whisk.
- Continue whisking until the matcha is thoroughly blended and a layer of foam is created.
- Serve and enjoy.
Note: If you need a little sweetness, try whisking in brown-rice syrup or honey and you can always add in your preference of milk.