The Miracle of Matcha Green Tea
When I worked at a fair-trade and organic coffee and tea shop, I had the opportunity to learn about 180 different varieties of loose leaf, organic teas. One of my absolute favorites, and one that an increasing amount of clientele kept asking and raving about, was Matcha Green Tea. It truly is a miracle.
What is Matcha?
It is a traditional, stone-ground and shade-grown, powdered green tea from Japan. Matcha has a very smooth, earthy green flavor.
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Mysterious Facts About Matcha
It is used for worship. Matcha is regarded as sacred and renowned for its multitude of miraculous health benefits for total body well-being. For this reason, Matcha has been used in the highest forms of the Japanese Tea Ceremony for centuries.
When you drink Matcha, you consume the entire tea leaf, which amplifies all of the benefits of green tea tenfold, allowing you to consume higher levels of catechins, vitamins, and the amino acid, L-theanine, which not only provides a supreme alertness, but is the responsible element for Matcha’s unique taste. Think of it this way: Instead of steeping your green tea leaves, which extracts natural essential oils and antioxidants from the leaves, you get all of the goodness of the entire leaf. This is another element that sets Matcha apart from all other teas.
Quality is always guaranteed. Matcha tends to be the most expensive type of green tea on the market because it is the most labor-intensive and is made entirely by hand. It’s also the most nutrient-dense green tea out there. It’s a superfood! It is planted by hand, consciously tended to and shaded with bamboo reed mats, exposure to sunlight is carefully monitored for up to two months to ensure rich color (resulting from chlorophyll) and flavor, each tea leaf is harvested by hand, and ground on a traditional stone mill, which has been the secret to sourcing great Matcha for more than 8 centuries.
Coffee or Camellia Sinensis Caffeine?
Matcha contains a relatively high caffeine content compared to other teas, however, it delivers a different kind energy than coffee does. Like all stimulants in the Camellia Sinensis plant, the source from which all types of tea originate, they are absorbed more slowly into the body and thereby produce a mental alertness and energetic lift rather than “the jitters” like some receive from drinking a cup of coffee.
Matcha has traditionally been consumed in a bowl with a bamboo drinking straw. If you really want to look like a pro, this is the way to do it.
How To Prepare Matcha
For starters, it’s important to know that as you get used to drinking Matcha, how you choose to prepare it will be different than how someone else might prefer it. The Japanese, for example, take their Matcha far stronger than most Americans would prefer it. In any case, here is a basis to help you get started:
- Heat purified, filtered water up to 180 degrees.
- Add 1 teaspoon of pure Matcha powder (or 1 tablespoon of Sweet Matcha powder) to the bottom of your teacup or bowl.
- Add a splash of hot water to the bowl and whisk the Matcha into an even paste.
- Add 6 to 8 ounces of hot water (or your choice of milk) and stir.
- Drink immediately. Matcha is a powdered tea and will begin to settle at the bottom of your cup.
*Note: Anyone new to drinking Matcha may prefer to add more water to “thin” it out, and anyone brave enough to try the traditional Japanese style of Matcha, should only add 3 ounces of water and drink the tea in 3 even swallows.
I enjoy using soy milk or rice milk, unsweetened Matcha powder, and a bit of pure, raw honey.
Here’s another great resource that offers super simple instructions on how to prepare Matcha Green Tea.
The Miracle of Matcha – The MakeUp
Matcha contains 10X the amount of antioxidants as a cup of normal green tea.
The “green” in green tea, refers to the minor levels of oxidation applied to the tea leaves in processing. Little to no oxidation results in higher levels of anti-oxidant properties, which help strengthen immunity to disease and illness, reduce signs of aging, repair the body on a cellular level and keep you looking and feeling great.
All teas, but especially Matcha and other green teas, contain high quantities of polyphenols, which some health junkies refer to as the “pac men” of great health that literally eat away at free radicals which “cause cancerous tumors to grow, allow disease to spread, and cause medical havoc in our bodies.”
Matcha contains about half as much caffeine as a cup of black coffee. If you’re in need of a morning pick-me-up but want to cut down on your caffeine consumption, Matcha is a great place to start. Additionally, according to Adagio Teas, “One of the great advantages of drinking tea over coffee is the presence of various xanthines which offer a two-punch benefit: they stimulate the brain while they relax the body.” It goes without saying that green tea health benefits far outweigh the benefits of coffee.
“Milk” The Benefits of Matcha
Matcha Green Tea Latte
Sure, you can get a Matcha Green Tea Latte at Starbucks, however, they use a 50/50 blend of sugar and Matcha powder. If you’re a diehard Matcha green tea drinker like I am, and you’re looking for all of the green tea health benefits without the added sugar, this probably isn’t what you’re looking for.
Or try an Energizing Smoothie!
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- 1 banana
- ½ cup pineapple or mango
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Matcha Green Tea powder
- ½ cup ice cubes
DIY Detox Bath: Match Made Beauty
DIY Coconut! Lavender and Mmm mmm Matcha Bath. Relax and Rejuvenate
This is one of my personal favorites. And Matcha is the star of this stress receiving, skin polishing, and all around soothing bath. Your skin absorbs nutrient uber quick, so bathing in whole tea leaves actually provides more benefits for the skin because the essential oils from the leaves will be nicely drawn out. The hot water from your bath will extract them.
Here is what you need:
- ½ cup dried lavender buds
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
- 3.5 teaspoons of MatchaSecrets green tea
- 1 cup pink Himalayan sea salt or Dead Sea salt
- 2 tablespoons organic olive oil
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 muslin bag or cheesecloth
Combine the lavender and the matcha in a muslin bag or cheesecloth and tie a knot. On your stove, boil about a gallon of water. Turn off the heat and let your lavender matcha amazing concoction steep for at least 30 minutes. Draw you bath and get ready to feel relaxed. Add a few drop of the essential oils the sea salt, olive oil, coconut milk, and the matcha green tea & lavender blend. Relax and rejuvenate in the bath for 20-40 minutes. Remember stay hydrated during this bath. This also makes a fantastic foot soak for those in need of relaxation after a long hard day on your feet.
DIY Energizing and Stress-Relieving Green Tea Bath!
This bath is great because it both energizes and distresses the body by drawing out impurities and toxins, relieving muscle tension, relaxing the nervous system and inverting the body with natural green tea oils. It’s super easy, too. Just add the following ingredients to a hot bath, sit back and breathe deeply.
- 3 drops peppermint essential oil
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 drops rosemary essential oil
- 1 heaping cup epsom salts
- 3 tablespoons of matcha
- *Add your favorite soap for some extra suds!
Relax and enjoy!
So now that we’ve it you with a whirlwind of information, let’s us know. Have you tried it? What did you? Are you a crazy matcha lover like we are!? Let’s hear from you today! 🙂