I was fortunate enough to be introduced to matcha by an experienced vegan who sings its praises as highest among all natural modern culinary beverage delights. For those who have not yet tried this magical drink, matcha is actually the leaves of the green tea plant in finely ground green powder form. Because these tea leaves are extremely rich in their antioxidant content, every time you consume a cup of this delicious drink you are also enhancing your overall health.
Many former coffee addicts have now become avid drinkers of green powdered tea. Although this very popular and healthful beverage contains much less caffeine than coffee, it provides drinkers with the amazing combination of zen calmness and a caffeine high. You can mix this healthy powder with other bevie favorites such as soy lattes and smoothies. Most matcha users agree that enjoying the uplifting, delicate flavor of matcha green tea is huge in comparison to consuming a dark, muddy, unhealthy beverage every time you visit Starbucks or your neighborhood cafe.
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Here are 6 Cool Tips for Purchasing Top-Tier Matcha Green Tea Powder!
1. Choose Rich, Spring Green Matcha
When you buy fresh, vibrant green matcha, you will enjoy full-bodied, smooth flavor while benefiting from high antioxidant content. Valuable antioxidants combat oxidation, an ongoing chemical process within the body, which can be advanced by every-day stress or excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages and heavy smoking. These activities interfere with natural oxidation, creating potential health hazards in the form of unstable molecules called free radicals. If not controlled, these free radicals can damage bodily cells and cause serious health problems.
A good illustration of such harmful oxidation is the altered brown surface that forms on fresh cut fruit left uncovered. Just imagine this same effect taking place inside your body and affecting your cellular structure, and you will gain appreciation for the protective work of antioxidants. The fact that matcha green tea is rich in these valuable health aids increases its attractiveness as a modern, organic beverage of choice.
Since antioxidants can help delay the aging process and prevent the onset of many diseases, this delicious and potent green tea leaf drink offers special benefits to active, high-energy young people and to women aged 40 to 50+. This mid-aged group of females is typically involved with the promotion of good mental, physical and emotional health plus anti-aging products and practices, while the youthful population favors cool options for supporting their high-energy lifestyles and activities. For both of these age groups, this health-promoting, organic beverage aligns with a shared interest in yoga, meditation and active exercise programs at the gym. Also, the cost is right, since average priced matcha ($0.75 to $1.00 per gram) offers very good quality.
2. Buy Only Organic Matcha
As an organic product from the evergreen Camellia sinensis bush, green tea is recognized and valued for its strong-acting polyphenols, powerful antioxidants. Green tea is not oxidized in comparison to both oolong and black teas, which are oxidized. In order to enhance and emphasize its high caliber attributes over any less attractive characteristics, such as occasional bitterness, green tea is processed through three stages: steaming (or, sometimes, pan-frying), rolling and firing. The popular brands of matcha sold today, such as Taste of Kyoto, Dr. Mercola, and Encha all have origins in Japan and are organic matcha varieties. After all, why purchase a health-promoting product that has been blemished and tainted by exposure to harsh, potentially harmful chemicals found in many pesticides and fertilizers?
During the rapid heating of the tea leaves, they grow soft and flexible while any enzymes that could cause harmful oxidation are eliminated. After the rolling and heating steps, these tea leaves contain just two percent of their initial moisture content. Although the earliest known Camellia sinensis bushes grew in China, the highest quality organic green tea leaves obtainable today are produced in Japan and used for making the finest ceremonial teas. High caliber green tea leaves and matcha green tea powder contain less than one-quarter the caffeine count in an equal serving of the finest coffees. In modern herbal greenhouse environments, tea bushes are either nurtured in organic soils rich in nutrients or hydroponically grown (in water), ensuring additional purity for each plant and the tea leaves it produces. Consuming less caffeine means healthier hair and skin and leads to easier and more permanent weight loss, especially in young adults aged 30 to 40 who prefer organic foods that are grown in pure environments.
3. Select Matcha from Japan
Because the production of matcha got its start in Japan rather than in China, home of the earliest known tea bushes, I prefer to buy and use fine quality matcha green tea powder produced in Japan. Some matcha enthusiasts are now hesitant to purchase Japanese matcha due to concern about lasting contamination of naturally grown products from the Fukushima radiation tragedy. However, ongoing environmental tests in Japan do not reveal any harm to vegetation currently from effects of radiation. Yet for matcha users who still worry about this issue, Chinese matcha products are readily available on the global consumer natural products market. Green powdered tea from both countries can produce an awesome cup of tea for total Zen relaxation, complete bodily rejuvenation and ultimate enjoyment.
4. Purchase Ceremonial Matcha Before Culinary
The highest quality matcha teas are used in the celebrated traditional Japanese tea ceremony. This vivid fresh green matcha creates a delicious green tea flavor that is subtle and pleasing to the palate. This finest of green teas is intended to be consumed plain, without any additions or embellishments that might mask or mar the true tea taste and consistency. Ceremonial matcha is sold as a delicate, finely textured powder of the freshest spring green hue.
Culinary grade matcha can be used for multiple purposes. Intended to be mixed with other drinks and ingredients, this type of matcha has a somewhat bitter and astringent flavor and quality that ceremonial teas do not. Culinary matcha is frequently mixed in smoothies and other health drinks and often included in ice cream recipes. Many people also use this grade of matcha green tea powder in baking and in creating sauces, stews and soups.
5. Buy Matcha that is Stored in a Cool, Dark, Dry Space
To preserve its delicate flavor and consistency, matcha should be stored in the absence of moisture, light and heat. The fridge is actually a very good place to keep your matcha, and I always keep it separate from other foods, in a closed storage container, to keep it from absorbing other food aromas. It is best to purchase and store matcha in small quantities so you can enjoy it while it is at its freshest and most flavorful.
6. Never Overpay for Fine Quality Matcha
A fair price for excellent quality matcha green tea powder of ceremonial grade is $0.75 to $1.00 per gram, or $24 to $30 per 30 grams. You can easily find higher prices, even for culinary matcha, but there is no need to overpay. I always shop for matcha in the $24 to $32 range and am always pleased with the fine quality this price range offers. Health-conscious moms who like to shop online like the fact that healthy items such as organic matcha are readily available for sale on the Web, saving in-store shopping time and providing top-quality products.
If you remember to make color, texture and pricing your primary criteria when purchasing matcha, you are sure to buy top grade ceremonial varieties that will please your purse and palate. You deserve the best, and the best can be bought at a reasonable cost for your ultimate enjoyment, relaxation and well-being.