What is Matcha Green Tea?
Matcha green tea is a type of powdered green tea. It is grown differently than regular green tea. The tea bushes are covered for about 20–30 days before harvest, to prevent direct sunlight. The shade stimulates an increase in chlorophyll levels, which turns the leaves into a darker shade of green and increases the production of amino acids. After harvesting, the stems and veins are removed from the leaves. They are then stone-ground into a fine, bright green powder, known as matcha. Matcha can have a grassy and bitter taste, higher quality matcha will often have a more grassy or bitter taste.
The Health Benefits of Matcha are Numerous
but I’m just going to go over three of them.
1st, Matcha may Help Fight Cancer
Some research has shown that green tea consumption can reduce the risk of Bladder cancer,5 Breast cancer,6 Colon and Rectal cancers,7 and Prostate cancer.8 According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the catechins in matcha green tea (EGCG, EGC, ECG and EC) are so powerful that they may help prevent cancer, potentially making matcha one of the top natural cancer prevention options.9
2nd, Matcha can Boost your Metabolism and aid in Weight Loss
This is mainly due to the catechins, and more precisely the amount of catechins. As shown by this study,10 published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that compared the affects that higher levels of catechins consumed have compared to lower levels. The researchers confidently concluded that the higher amounts of catechins leads to reduced body fat levels.
3rd, Matcha can Reduce Risk of Heart Disease and Hypertension (high blood pressure)
The antioxidants in green tea (which matcha green tea contains more of) can help block the oxidation of LDL cholesterol particles, increase HDL cholesterol and improve artery function. A 2004 Chinese study showed a 46 percent to 65 percent reduction in hypertension risk in regular consumers of oolong or green tea compared to non-consumers of tea.11
Getting Quality Matcha Powder
It can be very easy to buy low quality matcha, which if you look at the label the first ingredient might be sugar and the second ingredient could be milk powder. Leaving matcha behind in a lonely third place. The goal is to look for matcha that only contains one ingredient – Matcha. The next step is finding a reputable producer or retailer of Matcha. Bella Donna Herbs in Lemont is one local retailer of quality Matcha that I like. If buying online I recommend the companies: Wildfoods company (www.wildfoods.co) and Adagio Tea company (www.adagio.com).
No sweat recipe of the week
Matcha (Green Tea) Latte
- 1 cup Raw Milk, Coconut Milk (not beverage), or Almond Milk
- 1 tsp of Matcha Green Tea powder
- ¼ tsp of Ceylon cinnamon
- 2 TBSP of Hot water (but not boiling)
- ¼ tsp of pure Madagascar vanilla (not imitation vanilla)
- 1 TBSP of Raw Honey (optional sweetener)
- In a small saucepan, heat milk to a warm temperature (make sure not let boil or get close to boiling temperature)
- While Milk is warming, Heat 2 TBSP of water and whisk (or stir) in Matcha Green tea and Cinnamon
- Once the Milk is warm, turn the heat off, then add matcha green tea mixture and the vanilla to the saucepan
- At this point, either whisk vigorously or transfer to a blender and blend for about 5 seconds
- Once whisked or blended, your Matcha Latte is ready to drink