What is matcha?
The new kid on the herbal-tea block isn't really that new at all. Matcha, which literally means “powdered tea”, has been drunk in large quantities in Japan since the 12th Century.
According to matcha legend, a Zen Buddhist Monk, Eisai, introduced the tea to his community, proclaiming it “the ultimate mental and medical remedy”, with “the ability to make one’s life more full and complete”.
Matcha tea is made from the entire leaf of the plant, and its concentration of one particular antioxidant, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is at least three times greater than that of other steeped green teas in literature.
Where is matcha grown?
Grown in Japan, matcha plants are covered with thick, dark cloth three weeks prior to harvesting to encourage new growth. These young leaves are then selected and steamed before going through an extensive process to grind them into fine powder.
What are the benefits of matcha?
The preparation of matcha tea offers its own potential benefits to your health. Based on Zen practices, namely meditation, the ritual of drinking matcha is designed to slow oneself down, and enjoy the entire experience of making, then drinking, the warm treat.
As you sip, your body will begin to enjoy the many health benefits of this super tea.
In Japan, the tea is commonly whipped into a froth, then served in bowls, so you sip, rather than gulp it down. Its amino acid, L-theanine, helps reinforce this ritual’s sense of restorative de-stressing - many describe it as helping to bring on a sense of “alert calm”.
Matcha contains some vitamins and minerals, but what makes this tea a must-have are its polyphenol compounds catechins – which are enjoying interest for their health-promoting potential.
Who is it for?
Feeling a little flat and in need of a vitality boost? Rather than drinking a sugary drink or heart-thumping coffee mid-afternoon to help you get through the rest of the day, or help with mental clarity and focus brew some matcha: it'll help give your mind and body a much-needed boost, while enjoying the sense of replenishment a cup of tea brings.
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