words by Molly Jennings
We all know the amazing benefits of green tea, but lets talk Matcha! Matcha tea has been consumed in Japan for almost 900 years. Buddhist monks drink it to keep them focused and awake during long days of meditation. It’s now made its way to the UK and can be found in lots of health food shops and even smoothie bars! Matcha is grown under a shaded environment. By cutting out sunlight, the leaf retains more amino acids and results in a leaf rich in chlorophyll, which is what gives it a vibrant green colour.
What’s the difference between Green tea and Matcha tea?
It’s all in the brewing! You make green tea by soaking the leaves in water and then throwing them away, with the infused, light green water left behind. Matcha leaves are actually ground up in to a fine powder, which you whisk together with hot water. This means you are essentially drinking the whole leaf.
Benefits of drinking Matcha tea
Because you are ingesting the whole leaf, the concentration of the tea is a lot stronger than green tea. This is why it’s so awesome… it contains 130 times more antioxidants than green tea! It’s also a great support for the immune system which is why so many people drink it when they are unwell. Matcha contains two important amino acids called Theophylline and L-theanine. The reason why they are so important is because they work together with the naturally occurring caffeine to give you sustained energy for up to 6 hours. No crazy energy spurts and no zombie crashes either! It’s also great for your skin as it contains something called polyphenols, yes folks, we’re getting technical. These polyphenols inhibit UV radiation-induced skin damage, which will help keep your skin looking young and fresh!
How do I eat it?
This is the fun part! Because it comes in a powdered form you can mix/put it in anything you fancy!
Traditional – Put 1/2 teaspoon of Matcha in a bowl, gradually add some boiled water and whisk until it forms a smooth texture. Transfer to your favourite mug and sip away!
Smoothie – Add 1/2 teaspoon to any combination you like! I like to mix it with strawberries, spinach, banana, flaxseed and a splash of almond/oat milk.
Baking – you don’t have to get your daily matcha fix by drinking it! I like to throw in 1/2 teaspoon of matcha in to my gluten and sugar free pancakes for a delicious breakfast boost!
Where can I buy it?
You can get it from most health food stores, and even supermarkets have started to sell it. We like to get ours from Clearspring, because their organic premium Matcha comes from Uji, a region high in the hills around Kyoto, renowned for producing the best Japanese teas.