Matcha is a special kind of green tea from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis. It is specifically made from the youngest tea leaves. This tea originally comes from Japan, where it is traditionally drunk by Buddhist monks during Japanese tea ceremonies.
The production of matcha is very labour-intensive. Three weeks before the harvest, the tea bushes are shaded with cloth or straw. In the shade, the plants produce extra chlorophyll, so that the leaves get their bright colour. The most beautiful leaves are picked, then steamed and dried. The veins and stems are separated from the rest of the leaf and then the leaf is ground very slowly between two stones.
The matcha powder is created by grinding the tea leaves. You can recognize matcha powder by its fresh, bright green color. Because matcha is used as a powder, the matcha dissolves completely, and you can taste it! By drinking the ground leaves you get the most out of your cup of tea.
Like black, green and white tea, matcha tea also contains caffeine.
Matcha is often referred to as the superfood among superfoods. According to research, it helps to lower your stress level, improve mental clarity, stimulate better learning performance, counteract aging effects and improve fat burning.
One cup of matcha contains as many antioxidants as 10 cups of 'regular' green tea. Antioxidants counteract aging, ensure that our skin remains in good condition, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and have a cholesterol-lowering effect.
The graph shows the antioxidant effect of matcha and a number of well-known antioxidant-rich foods.
Source: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, Lipophillic and Hydrophillic Antioxidant Capacities of Common Foods (USA).