Mighty Matcha

Mar 5, 2024

What is Matcha?

We all know matcha today for its mellow, earthy taste, but matcha is so much more than just a delectable morning drink.
Matcha is a finely ground powder made from cultivated and processed green tea leaves. Unlike most green teas where the leaves are exposed to full sunlight, matcha leaves are grown under shade for several weeks before harvest. This shade slows down growth, increasing the levels of chlorophyll and L-theanine, contributing to the bright green color and unique flavor profile. The leaves are then steamed to stop enzymatic activity and preserve nutrients. Finally, they are dried, ground into a fine powder, and stored.

What is the History of Matcha?

The origin of matcha traces all the way back to the Tang Dynasty in China during the 27th through 10th centuries. However, its popularity began to grow during the 10th - 13th century during the reign of the Song Dynasty. A Japanese Buddhist Monk by the name Eisai, spent most of his life studying Buddhism in China. When he returned to Japan, he brought home tea seeds and the methods of their preparation. The cultivation and consumption of matcha became highly valued in Japanese Culture, particularly in the development of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. This ceremony is called “Chado” or “The way of Tea”.

Health Benefits of Matcha

Matcha has a range of health benefits, some of which include:
Rich in Antioxidants: Matcha is packed with antioxidants, specifically catechins, most notably epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These antioxidants fight free radicals in the body, potentially reducing oxidative stress and contributing to the prevention of chronic diseases.
Boosts Brain Function: The combination of caffeine and L-theanine in matcha can enhance cognitive function. Caffeine provides an energy boost, while L-theanine promotes relaxation and focus, leading to increased alertness and improved cognitive performance.
Potential Heart Health Benefits: Studies suggest matcha may contribute to improved heart health by positively impacting cholesterol levels and potentially lowering blood pressure. However, more research is needed to confirm these benefits conclusively.
Promotes Relaxation and Stress Relief: L-theanine, present in matcha, promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain, leading to a state of relaxation and stress reduction. This can potentially improve sleep quality and overall well-being.
May support skin health: The antioxidants in matcha may help protect skin from sun damage and inflammation, potentially contributing to improved skin health and appearance.

Matcha vs. Coffee

Both matcha and coffee have their own set of drawbacks and benefits. While coffee provides a quicker and stronger energy boost due to its slightly higher caffeine content, it can lead to a crash later. Matcha, on the other hand, offers a sustained energy boost combined with increased focus due to a combination of caffeine and L-theanine, promoting both alertness and relaxation.
Coffee may offer benefits like improving athletic performance, and reducing the risk of certain diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. In comparison, matcha offers a higher concentration of antioxidants and may contribute to improved heart health, weight management, stress reduction, and potentially skin and oral health. Matcha may also be a better option for those who suffer with anxiety due to its lower caffeine content and its anxiety reducing nutrients like L-theanine.
Overall, the choice is yours. But if you are looking to change up your cafe order, give matcha a try! Who knows, maybe this grassy green drink will become your new go-to! Matcha offers a range of potential health benefits, but it's essential to be mindful of its limitations and responsible consumption practices.

What to Look for when Buying Matcha

It is important to be pay attention to the matcha you are buying to ensure that it's good quality. Here are some tips on what to look for!

Look for:

Origin: Ideally, the matcha should be from Uji, Japan, known for its high-quality matcha production.
Color: High-quality matcha has a vibrant, bright green color. Avoid matcha with a dull or yellowish hue.
Texture: Good quality matcha is a fine powder with a smooth texture. Clumps can occur due to static electricity during transport but should easily break up when sifted.
Grade: While not always a perfect indicator, "ceremonial grade" or "premium grade" matcha is generally considered higher quality.
Source: Purchase from reputable tea shops or specialty stores that prioritize quality and freshness.
Organic certification: While not a guarantee of quality, choosing organic matcha indicates no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers were used during cultivation.
Stone-ground: Traditionally, matcha is stone-ground, preserving its delicate flavor and texture. However, high-quality matcha can also be processed using other methods.


Artificial colors: Opt for matcha with only natural color, indicating minimal processing.
Added sugars or flavorings: Pure matcha has a natural, slightly sweet, and earthy flavor. Avoid matcha with added sugars or artificial flavorings.
For all our clean-ingredient matcha product recommendations, check out our full shopping list of Matcha Picks!
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How to Make Matcha at Home

Matcha is so easy to make at home, it only requires two ingredients: matcha powder and water!
Here are the steps to make your own!
Sift the matcha tea powder (about 1 teaspoon). Doing this will help it dissolve more easily.
Prep your water. Bring 70 ml or 2.4 ounces of water to a boil in a pot without a lid and then let it cool to your desired temperature.
Add your matcha tea powder to a bowl and add the previously boiled water. Using a chasen tea whisk, whisk the matcha together until the tea is frothy.
Enjoy it as is or add milk to make a latte!
Matcha is not only rich in nutrients, but history as well. It is important that we understand where matcha came from and its use in traditional practices.
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