Best Green Tea Matcha Powder
Matcha green tea powder is having a moment. Matcha is an easy way to add health benefits to your everyday diet as part of a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Matcha shots, lattes, desserts, and teas are popping up in health food stores, coffee shops, and bars in major cities worldwide. Matcha has been redefined in the ‘Superfood’ movement due to its incredible health benefits. Its trending hallmark is a world away from matcha’s simple beginnings in China, before arriving in Japan thousands of years ago.
What is Matcha?
Matcha tea powder can be added to almost all sweet bakes, cookies, and desserts. Matcha is also a 2021 coffee shop menu staple in Iced matcha lattes, matcha teas, and matcha lattes. But what is this green powder that is powerfully persuading our next coffee and tea order?
Matcha tea powder derives from the camellia Sinensis plant, the tea plant most commonly used to grow tea leaves for black tea. Matcha grows with a unique profile packed with nutrients that develop as part of the final stage of the camellia Sinensis tea harvest.
The tea plants are covered, shielding them from sunlight for up to 30 days before being harvested. This process increased chlorophyll generation in the leaves, creating more amino acids and providing the matcha color we know and love.
After tea leaves are harvested and the other plant parts removed, tea leaves are steamed, dried, and stone-ground down into a fine powder – this is matcha. While matcha is an alternative tea plant product, it still retains the nutrients from the entire tea leaf from the plant, giving a higher caffeine kick, packed with catechins which are natural antioxidants.
Making matcha more potent than its fellow teas; green tea and black tea. Despite having such high caffeine levels, once consumed, matcha will provide a calm, lasting energy for between 4-6 hours while balancing out the body, creating a focused and relaxed resting state.
Matcha vs. Green Tea
Matcha powder and green tea have been included in traditional healing for thousands of years as elements of cleanses, detoxes, and beauty rituals, as well as tea ceremonies.
Matcha and green tea are sisters rather than twins. Both harvested from the same camellia Sinensis plant, green tea is in a tea bag form, whereas matcha is a ground powder that’s been stone ground and is used to create a paste formulation before being used in drinks or bakes.
Both regular green tea and matcha contain caffeine, but less than coffee or black tea. Matcha provides more caffeine than regular green tea, giving almost four times more caffeine per regular cup serving. Both are safe to drink and include within your diet unless you are sensitive to caffeine. If you have caffeine sensitivity, be conscious of how much green tea or matcha you have, as both will provide caffeine-linked stimulant sensations.
What Does Matcha Taste Like?
Grassy, earthy and vegetal are all common descriptors to matcha’s flavor profile, giving a potato, celery, or mushroom likening flavor. Matcha’s more intense flavor is brought out in its powder pairings; when blended with milk, using traditional matcha whisking or frothed with a milk frother or accompanied by a sweeter creating a velvety texture.
Where Does Matcha Come From?
Matcha has been made and ground into powder for nearly 5,000 years.
Matcha gained popularity when it emerged from China and into Japan by a Monk, who brought Matcha to Japan and introduced it into Japanese culture and adopted it by Samurai warriors whose pre-battle tea ceremonies became a part of the tea ceremony Japanese tradition.
Despite its high international exporting to keep up with demand, most of the world’s matcha originates from Japan, with the South of Japan producing the most exported matcha. Even though matcha has become a global powder and flavoring, matcha is still included in Japanese tea ceremonies, retaining its importance and cultural stance within Japan.
Health Benefits of Matcha
- Protects the liver
- Boosts your brain cells! (Memory, function, reaction times)
- Aids weight loss due to boosting metabolism
- Promotes a healthy heart, decreasing many heart issues
- High in antioxidants
- Research suggests it can reduce developing diabetes.
There are so many benefits to including matcha into your daily ritual, weekend baking, or morning cup of tea or morning latte. Having stronger health benefits compared to green tea, matcha can help power up for a morning workout or balance out your busy mind.
Due to the antioxidants within matcha called ECGCs, your metabolism can be boosted through consuming matcha, boosting thermogenesis. You are burning up to 40% more calories when you work out compared to a non-matcha workout.
As matcha can be used in so many ways and provides so many internal and external health and beauty benefits, consult your doctor, nutritionist, or beautician for the specific elements that matcha can benefit your mind and body.
Always consult your doctor or nutritionist before making any significant diet or lifestyle changes, changes to eating or drinking habits, and always listen to what your body and your gut are telling you!
How To Use Matcha Powder?
- Smoothie or Juice
- Sweet Snacks
- Health protein balls
Matcha Tea is the simplest form in which to experience the taste and health benefits of matcha. Take 1-2 teaspoons of matcha into your mug and add hot water, stirring the powder as you pour in the water. Or use a matcha whisk if you have one.
For a lighter matcha tea taste, use less matcha powder. For a thicker consistency, add more. For coffee, try it in your next latte to power up your caffeine hit.
Matcha-powder is easily added to smoothies and juices for an additional kick. If you’d prefer to eat your matcha, add matcha powder to baking mixes such as cookies, brownies, and loaf cakes.
Savory and sweet sauces can also have matcha powder mixed in. If you’re uncertain how much to add, add a small amount and stir in and taste. You can always add more later.
Been waiting to give matcha a try but worried about making a matcha mistake?
Don’t worry! Trying something new doesn’t always go to plan, so here are some troubleshoots to help you create your perfect matcha creation!
- Don’t boil your water! While this is a standard tea-making process, boiling water creates bitter-tasting matcha tea. Scientifically, matcha’s sweet spot is 176F or 80C. If you only have a kettle, allow it to boil, then leave it to settle for around 5 minutes.
- A little matcha goes a long way – depending on your experience level with matcha and your familiarity with its flavor, you’re best to start with a small amount of matcha due to its highly concentrated flavor when used in tea.
- Be wary of your matcha grading. Different matcha gradings create different results. The grading of the exported matcha is very clear; however, grading in japan is very nuanced, depending on where you are and where you are drinking it.
Matcha Taste Makers and Creators
Matcha has long been a trending superfood in the digital world, driven by social media and the search for the latest, greatest food concept. Pinterest is awash with amazing matcha inspiration and creations.
- Dalgona Matcha
- Matcha Chia Pudding
- Matcha Filled Oatmeal Creams
- Matcha No-Bake Energy Bites
- Matcha Vegan Cheesecake Bars
For further inspiration, search #Matcha #MatchaFacts #MatchaLover #Matchaholic #MatchaLatte across social media platforms.
How to Store Matcha
Whether you buy matcha in a leaf form or in a packet, Treat matcha the same as you would with any other spices, herbs, or loose leaf tea: store in an airtight, opaque container, away from direct sunlight for up to 12 months but for the best flavor, use within three months. It’s imperative to keep matcha powder away from heat and light so as not to disturb or ruin the matcha’s flavor.
What is the difference between ceremonial matcha and regular matcha?
Japan, home of the tea ceremony, where matcha is ceremonially prepared and presented, is without a doubt one of the highest things to do on people’s holiday ‘To do list when visiting Japan. When experiencing a tea ceremony, there are so many cultural nuances that you’ll learn.
In terms of tea ceremonies and drinking matcha in one, individual matcha blends are graded on different characteristics such as color, flavor, and smell. In Japan, matcha is more likely to be used as a tea rather than a flavoring. So, where in Japan your matcha is from, how it has been harvested, and the cultivator of your matcha will all determine your matcha’s profile and how it is then used.
Chakai – Informal Ceremony
A chakai ceremony, a regular presentation of matcha, is often simple hospitality that includes a thin tea preparation followed by a light meal and confections.
Usucha Preparation (thin matcha tea)
Heat 8oz of water until almost boiling but not fully boiled, then whisk into a small bowl or teacup with one spoon of matcha until slightly frothy.
Chaji - Ceremonial Matcha
A Cjaji , Sado, or chanoyu orchado meaning ‘The way of tea,’ is a more formal gathering including a full multi-course Japanese dinner followed by both thick and thin tea and confections.
Koicha Preparation (thick matcha tea)
Two spoonfuls of matcha paired with 4oz of water, again whisk to blend the water and matcha together until it presents a sauce-like consistency.
Japanese tea ceremonies last around four hours. They are held in tea rooms with tatami mats on the floor. With low structured entrances, symbolizing humility, the rustic surroundings of a tea ceremony is designed to focus on the purpose of the ceremony, creating harmony and spiritual fulfillment for both the giver and receiver of the tea.
In Japan, it is traditional to measure your matcha using a Chashuku, which looks like a flat stick with a curved end. Matcha spoons have become more widely used and readily available as matcha has grown in popularity. Tea ceremonies also use Chawan (Tea bowls), Chaikin (Small wiping cloth), and the Chasen (Tea whisk).
Each piece of equipment used is specially selected and meticulously planned, just like the ceremony itself. Guests are given the prepared tea in their right hand, then placed into their left palm. The bowl is then turned, facing away 90 degrees before the bowl is raised to the guest’s forehead and then lowered. After talking a few sips, the guest bows and compliments the host on their tea.
The rim of the bowl is then wiped and passed along to the next guest, who will then repeat the activity. At the end of the ceremony, the host kneels and bows at the door as they leave.
While tea ceremonies vary from location to location and season to season, the traditional elements and ethos remain the same. There are many tea schools in Japan where you can learn more about these ancient traditions of tea culture in Japan.
Which brand of matcha is best?
Looking for the best matcha powders? Here are some to check out:
Epic Matcha was born out of curiosity on a trip to Japan. Founded run by Cristie and driven by intuition and the search for balance, Epic Matcha is all about taking note of the small things, the daily rituals, and savoring that perfect cup of matcha.
‘Epic Matcha can help you enjoy a natural, authentic sense of focus.
In less than half an hour, you can experience a calming transformation. Your memory can improve.
Your concentration can expand exponentially. And your creativity, which becomes unshackled, can blossom.’ – Epic Matcha.
Winner of 137 great taste awards and the authors of the book Of Matcha, Teapigs is a plastic-free tea maker with a big community heart, selling tea and raising funds as part of their giving back scheme.
They offer a range of premium matcha powders that are all organic. Ready for whatever happens in your day, Teapigs come in on the go sachets, in tins and pouches for both your home and your bag. They also offer all the must-have matcha-making equipment you need, including match spoons and matcha whisks.
Matcha source has a wide range of matcha-themed resources and recipes, as well as their matcha teas and powders, which all hail from Japan. They also have a matcha tea club subscription service where you can get your daily ritual delivered to your door—for extraordinary flavor in every sip, every day, taking matcha from the mountaintop to the countertop.
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