Uniquely produced in Japan, Matcha powder has been drunk as tea or used as an ingredient in a variety of recipes, for along time now.
Production of the Japanese Matcha tea
The local farmers in Japan cultivate the tea using traditional methods starting with the growing to the grinding. It is known to be cultivated on the banks of Yahagi River, with a misty fog and a micro-climate conducive for it to grow. A few weeks before the harvest during the spring season, the tree plants are covered by use of bamboo mats. This reduces the sunlight that gets to the plants and at the same time increases the content of chlorophyll in the leaves thus offering the matcha green tea its distinctive green color.
Once it has been harvested, the tea is steamed before being air dried. The next step involves the sorting for grade before they are stems and veins are removed. In this stage, the leaves are known as tencha, and once it is ground, it is called matcha.
The stone mill grinds the tea grade version and this is finer as compared to the industrial version.
Contents in Matcha powder
Matcha green tea comes with a number of ingredients including:
- Amino Acids- It is known to content L-theanine amino acid which is useful in relaxing the mind. It is also what gives the tea its distinctive taste.
- Caffeine- Just like other green teas, Japanese matcha tea comes with caffeine which offers the drinkers a mild steady energy.
- Antioxidants- It is believed that the amount of oxidants in this powder is higher than in other foods.
The benefits accrued from using the Matcha
This type of tea comes with a wide variety of benefits to the users some of them include the following:
- Delayed Aging- With the antioxidants in the powder, the users will be able to enjoy a number of benefits. One of them is delayed aging as the antioxidants fight against the free radicals occurring in the body and this protects the body from the adverse effects of elements such as external toxins.
- Protection against chronic diseases- The antioxidants found in this product is also helpful in protecting the body against diseases such as cancer. One of the main antioxidants is catechins which are known for its cancer-fighting properties. It is also known to reduce the risk of heart diseases, thanks to catechins. The beverage also has the ability to inhibit a number of enzymes responsible for arthritic inflammation. It also comes with a number of compounds known to protect the users against ulcers that are caused by NSAIDS.
- Cleansing the body- The chlorophyll in the leaves has a number of roles. One of the main is getting rid of the heavy metals as well as the chemical toxins in the body. This is facilitated by the fact that the powder is completely ingested when it is consumed.
- Enhances the Mood- This product comes with an amino acid known as L-theanine which is responsible for relaxing the mind. Over the years, the monks have been taking matcha to help in their meditation. When combined with caffeine, it L-theanine provides the drinkers a calm alertness sustainable over time.
- Weight Loss- It is noted that the powder comes with the ability to increase the energy expenditure as well as fat oxidation in many people. The consumption of this beverage will increase the thermogenesis and this will work in helping the users reduce weight. The other advantage is that the use of this powder does not come with any side effects as compared to the weight loss products available in the market today.
Preparation of Japanese Matcha
Before preparing this beverage, the users need to determine the version they want as it is available in the thin style and the thick style. The basic steps to take include:
- Heating water
- Rinsing the tea bowl with heated water before drying it up with a cloth
- Rinsing the bamboo whisk
- Once the tools have been prepared, the users need to sift or scoop-sift the powder directly to into the bowl.
- They should then add water after it has boiled between 165 degrees F and 180 degrees F.
- Using the bamboo whisk, they should whisk quickly back and forth for sometime and the Matcha is ready to drink.
When preparing the thin style version, they need to get 2 bamboo sticks of the powder to 3 Ounces of water and for the thick style; they should between 2 and 4 tea scoops to 1.5 ounces of water.