I cannot rave enough about the amazing health benefits of green tea. It is filled with antioxidants, boosts your metabolism helping you to efficiently burn fat and it gives you an awesome energy kick that I sometimes need and love!
The other day a friend had me try a matcha iced tea. To be honest I thought the frothy green liquid looked more like a mint milkshake and was not like any tea I had ever seen. Yet it tasted great (though admittedly a little like sweet grass), and it got me interested in finding out more about matcha tea, where it came from and whether it was any good for me.
Matcha tea is a type of powdered green tea, traditionally from Japan. With green tea and most other teas, hot water is poured over dried leaves and allowed to steep, so that some of the nutrients and taste from the leaves becomes infused in the water. With matcha tea, the leaves themselves are dried and then ground into a powder. The process is a little different to normal green tea because when making matcha tea the plants are covered in shade cloth before being harvested. This triggers the growth of new leaves which adds both flavour and texture to the plant. It is these new leaves that are harvested and then lightly steamed to prevent them fermenting. They are then dried and allowed to age slightly in cold storage, before being ground into a powder.
The preparation and drinking of matcha tea is traditionally considered a meditative process. A spoonful of the green matcha powder is added to water that has been boiled to 60 degrees, then whisked with a special bamboo tool that combines it and makes it frothy. This relaxing process is believed to reduce the stress hormone in the body known as cortisol, helping to aid in relaxation and mindfulness.
The matcha powder itself can be used for hot tea, iced tea and is also used in a variety of foods, especially desserts.
Just like with green tea, matcha tea is packed full of antioxidants which are known to help fight off cancer cells and prevent the free radicals that cause premature ageing. This means that whilst enjoying your matcha tea, you are reducing stress, becoming more energised, boosting your metabolism and staying youthful looking! Sounds good to me!