Mad About Matcha: 7 Facts About This Green Tea Beverage

Mad About Matcha: 7 Facts about this Green Tea BeverageMad About Matcha: 7 Facts about this Green Tea BeverageI'm mad over matcha. It has officially replaced espresso and coffee in my morning energizing beverage routine. Have you heard the buzz about this green tea beverage? Get seven facts that just may persuade you to trade in your coffee mug for a matcha whisk!

1. Matcha is Green Tea...at its best
You know all about green tea, right? It is rich in antioxidants, calorie free and filled with "healthy superfood" buzz. Well, matcha is green tea too. But instead of drinking the soaked tea leaves via tea bags or sachets, you are actually consuming the entire green tea leaf. Yup that is right. The entire leaf. Whole green tea leaves ground into a fine powder. So obviously all those same green tea drinking pluses get carried over into this beverage, and they are possibly amplified because of the more intense concentration of green tea you are consuming. "By consuming green tea in the form of matcha - as opposed to drinking it - you are consuming 10 to 15 times more nutrients," according to the American Tea Room matcha fact sheet.

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2. Matcha is Versatile
The traditional way to prepare matcha green tea is to whisk it slowly until it dissolves in warmish-hot water - not too hot though! You want to see "shrimp eyes" as one matcha expert described the bubbles to me: there should be shrimp eye water bubbles forming just before the water reaches boiling. However, you don't have to drink matcha straight up, as matcha is quite versatile. I enjoy it in matcha shakes, such as in the secret ingredient matcha shake on Healthy. Happy. Life. You can even bake matcha into cookies and muffins and even pancakes! Of course, the antioxidant capacity of the matcha green tea is most likely best when consumed without interacting with high temperatures. Make matcha muffins and get more matcha facts.

3. Matcha is an Ancient Tradition
Matcha tea drinking is a 800- or 900-year-old tradition. Teasan says, "In Japan, matcha has been drunk mainly by royalties, nobles, samurais and Buddhist monks for the last 900 years."

4. True Matcha is Rare
True matcha is only produced in Japan. In fact, you can only find true Japanese matcha made in 4 regions, with Kyoto being the most sought-after regional matcha. "True genuine premium quality matcha is only produced in Japan, in four main areas: Uji/Kyoto, Shizuoka, Nishio and Sayama. Matcha produced in Uji / Kyoto are recognised in Japan to be the best. Kyoto is also known as the birthplace of green tea in Japan," says Teasan.

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5. Matcha is Delicate
Matcha is quite expensive when it comes to tea: prices for a small jar may range from 10 to 50 dollars. So storing your matcha to keep it at its best and freshest is key. Matcha is sensitive to light and heat, so store matcha in the fridge in an opaque container, like a tin, to preserve those precious antioxidants. Get more matcha storage facts on Zen Matcha Tea.

6. Matcha Without Dairy
German researchers found that casein found in dairy milk binds to the delicate catechins in green tea, inhibiting the absorption. This means that you may want to skip the dairy milk in your matcha recipes and instead use soy, almond or rice milks, which are casein free. More info at Dr Weil's website.

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7. Matcha is a Wonder Drink
OK, so this last "fact" is really just speculation. But after researching the "health benefits" of matcha you will quickly find a laundry list of possible things including energy, focus, Zen or calmness, weight loss, improved digestion, clearer skin and on and on. While these health benefits are yet to be "proven" you can certainly try matcha for yourself and see how you feel. I personally love the slow release of energy I receive from my morning matcha shake and that Zen factor? Yes, I feel it! See all health benefits at Zen Matcha Tea.

- By Kathy Patalsky
Follow Kathy on Babble

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