What is matcha?
Matcha is a fine, high-quality green tea powder used for a variety of purposes. Grown exclusively in Japan, this stuff is definitely not something you’ll come across for a penny or two a gram. It’s got this slightly bitter taste that doesn’t turn you away. Instead, it’s rich and mysterious taste will draw you in and not let you go until you finish things up.
What’s the difference between regular green tea and matcha?
If there’s a difference between matcha and regular green tea, it’s got to be the texture and the taste. Regular green tea is steeped in hot water, while matcha is literally mixed into the water. Heck, even preparing drinking matcha has its own ceremony: chanoyu.
What’s the difference between them with regards to health benefits?
The good thing about that is that matcha has pretty much the same benefits as drinking green tea. That’s because no fermenting takes place. The only thing that happens is that the process of selecting tea leaves, grinding them and serving them differs between regular green tea and matcha.
Are there any other ways that matcha is served?
Interestingly enough, matcha has some pretty creative uses aside from tea-drinking. You have cakes, pastries, candies, sweets, heck even some lattes and prepared meals have this green tea powder in them!
So how exactly is matcha healthy?
Here’s a brief list of benefits you get from drinking matcha:
• Antioxidants – research by scientific bigwigs point out that green tea has a pretty high amount of the catechin polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate in it. In English, that’s the stuff that prevents cancer cells from forming in the first place as well as killing them off when they do form up into tumors.
• Cholesterol Control – research again shows that green tea helps reduce the cholesterol absorption in your intestinal track. That means two things: weight loss and a healthier heart. Of course, no amount of green tea will help you if you literally chug down cholesterol in all its oily forms. But it’ll sure help you stay alive and healthy if you drink around three cups of green tea a day.
• Sugar Control – green tea and its green tea powder matcha help reduce the amount of sugar your body absorbs as food passes through. That’s why diabetes patients are often advised by their doctors to drink green tea to help slow down and prevent the passage of sugar into their blood stream.
• Detoxification – green tea, even green tea powder, still has a lot of chlorophyll in it. This chlorophyll helps absorb heavy metals and other nasty toxins floating around in your blood. So if you’re a recovering alcoholic or a retired chain smoker who is now concerned about recovering your health, green tea is one way to help your body flush out what poison you’ve accumulated in your body for years.
• Relaxation – sitting down with a cup of green tea for five minutes and enjoying the taste and texture of green tea powder may be one thing that’ll help keep you healthy. You’ve got to take care of not only your brain, but your mind as well. After all, it’s not just the chemicals and stuff you take into your body that makes you healthier.
So there you have it: a quick run down of the green tea powder known as matcha. Now you know why the Japanese are so fanatical about their green tea.
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by Josue Maynard
September 9, 2011
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What is matcha?
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