Matcha Green Tea and its benefits
Matcha is 100% natural, organic green tea originated in Japan and because the entire leaf is ground down to form a fine powder, it is the most concentrated green tea in the world.
Matcha, as a form of powdered tea, first appeared in China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Freshly picked tea leaves were steamed to preserve color and freshness, then dried and ground into a fine powder called “tea mud”. The tea mud was placed into special forms, then pressed and left to solidify. Later it was dried in the sun and then baked to avoid rotting. These “tea cakes” were perfect for storing and transportation. In order make a cup of tea little piece of such tea cake was enough. It was just broken off and then whisked the tea powder up in a drinking bowl.
This way of processing and preparing tea was finally gone in China. But in the early 8th century traveling Zen monks from Japan had begun to bring tea and tea seeds back with them and started growing tea plants in Japan. Soon the Japanese Zen priests began their own tradition of cultivating, processing and preparing powdered green tea — and thereby Matcha was born.
In Japanese “cha” means tea, and “ma” means powder. So, the word Matcha translates literally as powdered green tea. By the legend Zen Monk Eisai, who introduced the Zen philosophy to
Japan, was the first person ground and used green tea leaves in powdered form. That’s why Zen and Matcha became tightly connected to each other, in the form of elegant tea ceremony. Drinking of Matcha tea as the top point of the tea ceremony was a perfect choice, as Matcha stimulates presence of mind, mental alertness, focusing and calm, meditative state at the same time.
Matcha is grown only in Japan in regions with climate, waters and fertile soils perfect for highest quality tea leaves. Local tea farmers cultivate it using traditionary ways, from growing to grinding. A couple of weeks before harvesting in spring, farmers cover the tea plants with bamboo mats or tarp, little by little decreasing the intensity of sunlight that reaches the plants. This step rises the amount of chlorophyll, increases the production of amino acids and gives the leaves a very dark, rich shade of green. Once harvested, the tea leaves are steamed. Then the leaves are sorted for grade, air-dried, all stems and veins thoroughly removed.
At this stage, the leaves become “Tencha”, the raw material for making Matcha. Then Tencha is slowly ground on a stone mill between two granite rocks to a very fine powder texture and becomes the tea known as Matcha. Slow granite grinding is necessary to avoid heat and friction, allowing the Matcha to retain more nutrients. Matcha Green Tea powder is then kept away from direct light and air in order to preserve its brilliant green color and antioxidant properties.
Probably all health-conscious individuals in modern world know very well what the word “antioxidant” means. Antioxidants are such enchanting organic compounds responsible for protecting against the negative effects of UV radiation, preventing skin aging and fighting a number of life-threatening deceases. So the first benefit of Matcha Green Tea is that just one cup provides over 5 times more antioxidants as any other food (raw fruits and green vegetables). But not all the antioxidants are equal. Green tea contains a specific organic combination known as catechins.
Among antioxidants, catechins are the most powerful and salutary. One specific catechin named EpigalloCatechin Gallate (EGCG) occupies up 60% of the catechins in Matcha Green Tea. Exactly EGCG is about 30-80 times more strong antioxidant than vitamins C and E and known for its cancer protecting properties. Researchers have discovered that Matcha Green Tea contains over 100 times more EGCG than any other tea. Also Matcha Green Tea is famous by its energizing properties. While all green tea naturally contains caffeine, the energy boost effect mostly appear because of presence exceptional combination of other nutrients. The prolonged energizing effect from a bowl of Matcha Green Tea can last up to 6 hours without experiencing none of the usual side-effects of stimulants. It’s clean vital energy.
Now Matcha is using for cooking many tasty things like cakes, cocktails, drinks, ice creams, etc.
Excellent source of trace minerals and vitamins (A, B-complex, C, E, and K), also rich in catechin polyphenols.
Handmade White Bamboo Whisk for preparing Matcha Powder tea. 100% natural.