For centuries, matcha has been used to aid in meditation. During long hours of sitting, monks would drink matcha to remain alert and calm.
Matcha is the finely ground powder form of green tea.
Unlike the more traditional green tea leaves used in commercial tea bags, matcha is harvested and processed differently. Shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest, the plant Camellia sinensis produces more theanine and caffeine. This combination of chemicals is considered to account for the calm energy and clarity people feel from drinking matcha. Once the leaves are dried, they are stone ground into the beautifully vibrant green, fine powder we know as matcha.
Because matcha is ground into a fine powder, you are consuming the entire leaf versus the liquid that remains after steeping a tea bag in hot water. Consuming the actual leaves means you are consuming all of the amazing goodness along with it.
Health benefits of matcha
- Fights infection, protects against disease. Antioxidants…those lovely little chemical compounds the Western world cannot get enough of. And rightfully so. With their anti-aging and disease-preventing properties, they keep you energized, healthy, and able to fight off infections and diseases. Catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate), also found in matcha, have powerful cancer-fighting properties as well.
- Creates a sense of calm and focus. You can thank this beloved amino acid, L-theanine, for this. As an avid coffee lover, it takes something pretty awesome to make me even consider ditching my morning (and afternoon) cup of joe for something green, and healthy. But, I have to say, the way I feel after drinking a delicious, iced green tea latte it better than any coffee caffeine high could ever be. With matcha you feel awake, not jittery, and alert. L-Theanine promotes a state of relaxation and well-being by inducing alpha waves. While stress can induce beta waves that leave you feeling excited and agitated, L-Theanine creates alpha waves, which lead to a state of relaxed alertness.
- Detoxes and restores. Chlorophyll, also found in matcha, is the element that gives green tea and other plants their radiant green color. It is a powerful detoxifier, helping to eliminate both chemicals and heavy metals from the body. And because matcha is carefully shade-grown, it is substantially richer in chlorophyll than other green teas.
Read more about the benefits of this green superhero, preparation tips, etc.
Ready to give matcha a try? Stop by your local Starbucks and order a Green Tea Latte. Their latte is different from their regular green tea because they use matcha that is slightly sweetened. You can try it hot or iced, with or without milk. If you opt for dairy free, ask for a venti iced green tea with a scoop or two of matcha!
Drink up and enjoy!
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