Matcha is the king of green teas! Rich in EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate which is a potent cancer fighting catechin), it contains 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea and by consuming the whole leaf you are reaping all of the chlorophyll, catechins, antioxidants and nutritional benefits found in Matcha! Just one 1 cup of Matcha is equivalent to 10 cups of regular green tea.
It was first discovered in China and then made its way over to Japan where it’s been used in tea ceremonies and favoured by Buddhist monks for over 1,000 years. Matcha tea is made from shade grown tea leaves which are covered to protect the leaves from direct sunlight, by doing this the leaves become a darker shade of green which increases the levels of chlorophyll. The leaves are then steamed, air dried, roasted and then ground into a fine powder. There are many benefits to drinking green tea including white tea too which actually contains more antioxidants than green (but not as much as Matcha), white tea is harvested from the young buds and leaves and is less processed preventing oxidation which in turn retains more of the nutrients.
In experimental studies the polyphenols in green tea (which are potent antioxidants) have demonstrated stronger antioxidant protection than vitamins C and E. EGCG has been found to activate old skin cells in the upper part of the skin (where they naturally start to die) to start dividing again, this action along with the high levels of antioxidants is why green tea is associated with skin health in particular youthfulness and is included in many skin care products. Matcha green tea has been reported to boost the metabolism by up to 40% which helps aid the body in efficiently utilizing energy, it also helps to regulate the hormone Leptin which is responsible for signalling to the brain when we are full therefore aiding weight loss. The anti-inflammatory effects associated with EGCG are of great benefit as many diseases within the body start off as inflammation, it also helps to control blood sugar and has protective properties for the liver. The naturally occurring amino acid L-Theanine contained in Matcha appears to improve both alertness and concentration which could be one reason why Buddhist monks have been drinking Matcha green tea for many years when meditating.
I buy the Doctor King brand of Matcha from Amazon, it’s good quality, fresh and organic and the pack of three works out at a reasonable price.
To drink Matcha green tea just add 1/2 teaspoon of the powder to boiled or warm water and stir, the leaves don’t completely dissolve into the water so you may need to stir again as you are drinking. My favourite way to consume Match is to make a Match hot chocolate, it not only tastes better but I get a potent boost of nutrition and antioxidants by adding in raw cacao. You can read more about the health benefits of raw cacao here.
Matcha hot chocolate
Your favourite nut milk or organic soya milk (just measure the amount of milk in the cup that you are using), warm the milk in a pot then add into to the cup with the following ingredients:
2 heaped teaspoons of raw cacao (or cocoa) powder
1/2 teaspoon of Matcha green tea powder
2-3 teaspoons of maple syrup or sweetener of your choice (adjust to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Optional extra 2 drops of raspberry extract