Matcha Green Tea has become increasingly popular in the West over the years and has become the latest health trend. People are using this bright-green powder to make everything from iced tea, smoothies, popsicles, ice-cream, biscuits, muffins, pancakes, brownies, truffles and the list goes on…
Matcha is the tea used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony (also known as chado or “the way of tea”), which was greatly influenced by Zen Buddhism.
In Japanese “cha” means tea, and “ma” means powder, thus the word matcha translates literally as powdered green tea.
For more than eight centuries, Zen masters and their students have valued matcha as a prized ingredient in the ritual of the tea ceremony. The tea ceremony celebrates the profound beauty of simple things, the extraordinary in the ordinary, and is intended to bring all participants into the here and now. The traditional way to drink Matcha green tea is in a bowl, the drinking of matcha tea as the focal point of the tea ceremony helps to enhance alertness, to increase presence of mind, and to enable a placid meditative state.
Matcha green tea is the highest quality powdered green tea available. Matcha green tea leaves are grown in the same way as those used for regular green tea, only with matcha, the leaves are grown under a protective cover for the final two weeks.
This extra love and care gives them that extra ‘green-ness’ as it boosts their chlorophyll content and is the secret to their exceptional health benefits.
Only the finest green tea leaves are used to make matcha tea powder, and they are always harvested by hand.
Once they are powered up and good to go, the tea leaves are dried and slowly ground to a very fine powder, which can be turned into a delicious tea, or mixed with fruit juice.
Benefits Of Matcha Green Tea
1. High in Antioxidants
Matcha’s antioxidant power is based on catechins which hunt down and destroy the free radicals that can trigger various diseases. One specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) makes up 60% of the catechins in Matcha green tea. Scientists have found that Matcha contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market.
2. Improves and calms the mind
For over a millennium, Matcha green tea has been used by Chinese Daoists and Japanese Zen Buddhist monks as a means to relax and meditate while remaining alert. This higher state of consciousness is due to the amino acid L-Theanine contained in the leaves used to make Matcha. L-Theanine promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain which induces relaxation without the inherent drowsiness caused by other “downers.”
3. Boosts memory and concentration
L-Theanine increases the production of dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals serve to enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration.
4. Increases Energy Levels and Endurance
Samurai, the noble warriors of medieval and early-modern Japan, drank Matcha green tea before going into battle due to the tea’s energizing properties. While all green tea naturally contains caffeine, the energy boost received from Matcha is largely due to its unique combination of other nutrients. The increased endurance from drinking Matcha Green Tea can last up to 6 hours and because of the effects of L-Theanine, Matcha drinkers experience none of the usual side-effects of stimulants such as nervousness and hypertension. It’s good, clean energy.
5. Aids weight loss
Research shows that catechins have a positive impact on body mass index. Matcha has been said to boost your metabolism by some 40 percent, with weight loss being a common effect of regular matcha drinking.
6. Detoxifies the body
During the last three weeks before tea leaves are harvested to be made into Matcha, Camellia sinensis are covered to deprive them of sunlight. This causes a tremendous increase in chlorophyll production in the new growth of these plants. The resulting high levels of chlorophyll in Matcha green tea not only give this tea its beautiful vibrant green color. Matcha is also a powerful detoxifier capable of naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.
7. Fortifies the Immune System
The catechins in Matcha green tea have been shown to have antibiotic properties which promote overall health. Additionally, just one bowl of Matcha green tea provides substantial quantities of potassium, vitamins A & C, iron, protein, and calcium.
8. Improves Cholesterol
Studies show that the catechins found in matcha green tea are effective for lowering cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease
There are various grades of matcha and brands out there, so when making a choice take into account the colour, texture and origin. Look for pure Japanese ceremonial matcha.
PureChimp is the home of high quality Japanese ceremonial matcha at affordable prices. Their Japanese supplier has been producing the best matcha green tea for over 30 years.
I’ve been loving their lemon and mint matcha green tea.
PureChimp Lemon Matcha Green Tea (50g | £11.95)
Finely ground ceremonial grade matcha green tea leaves with lemongrass.
80% finely ground matcha green tea leaves (ceremonial grade), 20% lemongrass. That is all!
For best results: Mix 1/2 a level teaspoon (around 1g) with a dash of water & whisk away. Top up with hot water or hot/cold milk of your choice & whisk again.
Can be used with juice/smoothies/baking.
Purechimp Mint Matcha Green Tea (50g | £11.95)
Matcha made the traditional Japanese way, packed with antioxidants and fit to bursting with fragrant peppermint leaves. Our Mint Matcha is glorious, and provides a lift of well being we think just can’t be matcha-d!
90% finely ground matcha green tea leaves (ceremonial grade), 10% fresh mint leaves (peppermint). That is all!
Matcha Latte (Vanilla)
- 3/4 cup (170ml) milk of choice
- 1/4 cup (50ml) boiling water (80°C/176°F)
- 1/2 a tsp PureChimp matcha green tea powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
Add the matcha to a glass then pour over the boiling water. Mix well.
Pour the milk into a small pan along with the vanilla and maple syrup.
Heat until the milk starts to simmer. Take off the heat and pour into the glass.
Serve warm & enjoy your matcha latte!
If you’re a fan of green tea, then you’re sure to love matcha green tea as it has more oomph!
In fact, you’d have to drink 10 to 15 cups of green tea to equal the nutrients in one cup of matcha.
I’ve tried several matcha tea, some tasted quite vile to be honest and put me off. Clearly not all matcha is created equal!
Purechimp matcha is definitely high quality. The powder is smooth and dissolves well.
To make the perfect cup of matcha make sure your water temperature is around 80°C/176°F. Do not use boiling water as it scorches the matcha powder, destroys the nutrients and makes it taste bitter.
I enjoy alternating between the mint and lemon flavours. Both flavours work really well with the matcha. They both have a distinctive earthy taste with a slight sweet note.
As Matcha is higher in caffeine than green tea I typically have 1-2 servings a day – mid-morning and mid-afternoon as a pick me up.
I love all the health benefits it provides and it tastes delicious as well.
Are you keen to try matcha? Why not try some exciting Matcha Green Tea Recipes
Disclosure: Products chosen as part of the LLABP. As always I give honest and unbiased reviews of products I receive. This post contains affiliate links.