Matcha. One of the newly labelled phenomenons in “superfoods” today.
It is so popular because it has triple the amounts of antioxidants than green tea, tons of chlorophyl, lots fiber, and it even gives you energy.
What it is & Why it’s Good for You
In simple terms, matcha is a uniquely grown form of green tea. The green tea leaves are grown in the shade for three weeks. Then, the veins and stems are removed. This process promotes the growth of the amino acid theanine. Theanine is a part of the same amino acid group as glutamine which promotes a healthy metabolism. Theanine has the ability to reduce physical and mental stress, improve cognition and when combined with caffeine, it can boost mood and mental abilities.
Once a year, harvesters hand pick the leaves, roll them out to dry and stone grind them to become the tea. The leaves are grown for 20 days in the shade! These stone ground leaves (there should be no machines involved) are consumed with hot water, and there you have it…Matcha!
Never Compromise on Quality
The quality of the leaves determines the grade of the tea and impacts the price. At MatchaSecrets we ensure that our leaves are:
- sufficiently shade grown indoors
- stone ground
- processed with love, care and attention from the best matcha growing area in beautiful Japan
We also know (and a bunch of other companies won’t tell you) that the soft leaves at the top are fuller and produce a finer grade of the tea. This is what we use! The harder, developed leaves tend to be a little sandy or grainy and can be used to make a lower grade of tea which is what you get when you purchase the lower grades of tea or what we like to playfully (but seriously) call “the fakers”! The lime green matchas…the yellows. Run and don’t look back! Don’t waste your hard earned money.
Remember, the green tea leaves that make the wondrous matcha must always remain in the shade, even during the drying process. In the past, this part of production was done outdoors in the shade. Years later, the process of drying was moved indoors and the results were a brighter shade of leaves that produced better quality the tea.
Oxidation also has an effect on the tea. If the leaves receive too much oxygen, the powder will smell like hay and have a brownish-green color, which produces a lower grade. Matcha making is an intricate process and every little detail matters. We even make sure our oxidation levels are up to the highest quality assurance standards because.. who wants to have a cup of tea that smells like hay! We certainly do not.
The matcha leaves should be then ground by hand (old school style) in a stone mill to produce the highest quality powder.
The History Of Our Favorite Tea…It May Surprise You
Production of this super beverage began in China. During the Tang dynasty in China, the leaves were steamed and made into tea bricks for storage and trade. The leaves were ground and mixed with hot water and salt for serving. In the Song dynasty, they began to make steam-dried tea leaves and whipped them together with hot water in a bowl. This method was adopted by the Zen Buddhists and became a part of their rituals. The Chinese and Buddhist methods were brought to Japan in 1911 by the Buddhist monk Eisai and continued to be a tradition in the Zen monasteries.
The drinking of this form of powdered tea slowly lost importance in China, but remained traditional in Japan, especially amongst the upper echelon. These days, the Japanese are the keepers of the matcha tradition as it represents an integral part of their ancient history. Known for its amazing benefits, Japanese warriors would consume matcha before going into battle. They knew without the modern scientific proof that we have today, that matcha helped relax the mind and imparted a sense of calmness while rendering them more alert. It is no secret why today the best matchas comes from Japan.
Please make sure your matcha comes from Japan!
At MatchaSecrets our, organic, USDA, and JAS (Japanese Agricultural standard) approved, 3-layers of shade grown wonderful tea, comes from Nishio Japan, a region which is world-renowned for producing excellent matchas.
Traditional Serving Method
Traditionally, to prepare for serving the tea, the powder is put into a stainless steel sieve accompanied by a wire mesh sieve. The tea is put into the sieve and forced through with a wooded spatula, or a small stone can be placed on top of the sieve and gently shaken. The tea is then placed into a storage container.
Traditionally, the tea is served with a bowl (chawan), a spoon (chashaku) and a whisk (chasen). Two to four grams of the tea are scooped into the bowl, which is heated, and hot water is added. The tea is then whisked into a smooth consistency. There should be no residuals on the sides of the bowl and no clumps, because the tea is bitter. Before consumption, a traditional sweet is eaten.
But fear not matcha fan! You already have everything in your kitchen to make matcha and you don’t have to buy the special whisks and bowls if you don’t want to! Need proof? Check out our article on the different way to make matcha!
Consuming mtacha in the traditional tea form is fantastic…but it is the 21st century and we have found a plethora of new and amazing ways to incorporate matcha in many types of meals and beverages.
Some examples of how the tea has been implemented into foods are: as a topping for shaved ice; mixed with water or milk and sugar as a drink; it is mixed with salt to make a batter for tempura; as a coffee drink (green tea lattes) and in sundry sweets, drinks and desserts. The younger generation in Japan tends to like the tea mixed with sugar these days. There are matcha tea flavored cakes, milkshakes, ice creams, candies, chocolates…you name it.
At MatchaSecrets we have an army of recipes ready for your matcha journey. No matter what you need… whether you’re the health conscious, the foodie or adventurous cook, the fat burner, or the cancer survivor, our matcha blog has tones of recipes that meet your every need.
The Life Benefits
Let’s get right down to the science of it because the numbers always speak for themselves.
This tea is packed with health benefits.
- One cup of the tea reportedly has the effects of ten cups of green tea and 127 percent of its antioxidants, because the entire leaf is being ingested, according to Health.com.
- The leaves are shade grown, which produces a lot of chlorophyll. The ingestion of chlorophyll helps remove harmful chemicals from the body and is good for detoxing.
- Due to its relation to the glutamine family, it relaxes the mind and boosts concentration levels. the tea is often used in the place of coffee because it keeps the mind alert while maintaining calmness. This is why the Zen buddhists used the tea during meditation.
- Huge weight loss benefits. It is said that the tea helps with weight reduction because it has close to zero calories, it promotes a high metabolism without any effects on blood pressure or heart rates, and it is said to increase thermogenesis (which is the production of heat in your body that helps burn fat) from the normal rate of 8 to 10 percent per day to 35 to 43 percent per day.
- Another antioxidant found in green tea is the polyphenol compound, catechin. The leaves of the tea carry three times the epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG of regular green tea. These catechins target free radicals in the body and can help stem the affects of cancer. The tea has even been suggested to help fight HIV against the T-cells in the body.
- Cholesterol levels of people who drink the tea are recorded as lower than those who do not drink it. They tend to have higher HDL and lower LDL levels.
- Also due to its relation to L-glutamine, a free form amino acid used for muscle recovery and to prevent lactic acid build up after a workout, it is also used for recovery after working out. The reduction of hypertension, diabetes and various types of cancer are also said to be results of drinking the tea.
Only Trust Real, Researched, Science
Matcha is not going to magically cures what ails you.
Let us be straightforward with you with our biomedical science degrees, and our mountains of research and tell you the truth so you aren’t duped by anyone.
At MatchaSecrets we recommend that you do not trust companies out there that say that matcha will cure…well anything. What we can contend is that matcha is an excellent helper for cancers, cholesterol, heart disease, sex drive and performance, weight loss etc. And, most importantly, we can only make this statement about high quality matchas.
In her article in on thetelegraph.com, Matcha: is this cult green tea really that good for you?, Sue Quinn questions some of the studies done on the tea. She cites some types of cancer seemed to have a reduced effect in correlation with the consumption of green tea. These are colon, breast, ovary, prostate and lung cancer. Her article also states that the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition implies that the consumption of one cup of the tea a day can increase lifestyle and prevent obesity.
A significant part of Quinn’s article talks about how the tea is consumed. She argues that not all consumption of this tea is beneficial and the way that it is prepared is related to its effects. Combining the tea with other ingredients stymies its effects and dilutes it natural properties.
Although the taste is phenomenal, consuming the tea in these ways is not as potent as drinking a cup of brewed tea prepared traditionally.
It is suggested that a lower grade of the tea is used to prepare foods and a higher grade be used simply for drinking it. This is why you should be grabbing our MatchaSecrets Premium Organic.
We offer “Koicha” matcha which is a thicker version of the tea that contains twice the amount of the tea. This form of tea contains twice the amount of benefits than thinner ground matchas.
Our Personal Matcha Journey and the Friends We Made
As we at MatchaSecrets embarked on our matcha journey, we put our biomedical education to use and evaluated the validity of the data from a ton of respected of medical journals. We didn’t stop there. We went to Japan (many times) and talked to their experts in modern medicine and natropathic medicine to get the info right from the source. We then held countless seminars in the US with long time matcha drinkers.
We wanted to share with you the results of one particular interview.
Meet Fiona Michaels. A female user of the tea between the ages of 30 to 40 years old, who implemented the tea into her daily diet.
In a nutshell, her unbiased final determination was that it was a superfood and worth the investment. Michaels was an avid coffee drinker who typically drank 2 to three cups of coffee a day. During her studies of Asian culture, she implemented this tea into her diet and began to drink it daily in the place of coffee.
She spoke of previous efforts of using a green tea powder by adding it to soft-drinks or as a tea alone, and being underwhelmed its effects. Michaels said that the green tea alone did not give major results. “I am not a tea drinker, so, using the green tea powder was seldom and a little laborius”, says Michaels. Her experience with the matcha tea was vastly different. It gave her more energy than coffee ever did, even Starbucks! An added bonus was that she never felt jittery or hyper. “Sometimes too much caffeine can make you feel like you are on speed”, Michaels said.
Fiona’s Michaels Health Issues
In terms of health benefits, Fiona Michaels was brave in admitting that she suffered from a mild peptic ulcer. She says that this tea never bothered her stomach. In fact, she was able to stop taking the medication that was prescribed to her three times a day. Bodybuilding.com claims that another benefit is muscle recovery.
Michaels is an avid hiker and distance walker. She says, “I often walk and hike for hours, and I almost never got tired or felt sore when I consumed the tea in the morning. Unlike coffee, I only drank one cup, usually with milk or water and a sugar substitute. I also drank it brewed and iced in the hot weather”.
She argues that it is also great for weight loss and maintaining a svelt waistline when accompanied by a healthy diet. Foods like apples and kale pack enough fiber to regulate the digestive system. This tea also has enough fiber to keep you regular and reduce bloating.
Michaels agrees with Ms. Quinns’ opinions about the sugary snacks that contain the tea. She loves green tea ice cream, and some cakes and chocolates cooked with the tea or with its flavor. Her determination was that they did not have the same effects as drinking a single brewed cup of the tea in the morning.
Michaels said that she gained mental clarity from the tea. “I felt a heightened lucidity in my thought processes and planning. I was able to remain approachable and calm even in times that were very stressful and busy. Prior to drinking the tea, I would feel overwhelmed and out of control”. Based on this personal account and the article from Sue Quinn, nothing beats a cup of steamed tea. As for the price, Michaels buys her tea online and has paid no more than $20 for one bag. It can be a little more costly in the store, but the matcha benefits seem to be well worth it.
We Want You To Take Care of YOU- Because You Deserve It
Do something good for your body, mind, and spirit. Do something that is natural that finally science can back up!
Just make sure you’re doing it right. This MatchaSecrets post has given you all the tools and information that you need to know in the compact, all-inclusive article!
It is important to know the difference between this tea and regular green tea powder. Remember that quality is always key. We know matcha isn’t the cheapest thing out there so don’t spend your hard earned cash on something that will give you zero benefits.
From our personal interviews, especially the one we share with Fiona Michaels (THANK YOU FIONA!), matcha is one of the celebrated foods that should be suggested as an promoter for good health. Michaels’ overall health was invigorated after the implementation of this tea into her diet. It’s time you started invigorating yours!
We appreciate your feedback. Let us know if this article was helpful and we will get you more! Have a great matcha journey…