That green drink at the coffee shop, ya that’s the one! That’s what we’re talking about here. The drink that has earned its respective spot on the menus of so many coffee shops across the nation known as the matcha latte. Macha is a green tea with its roots stemming from China and Japan, it differs from other teas in that it is not loose leaf but instead is a powder. This powder is formed by grinding up tea leaves specifically from the Camellia sinensis plant. The process in cultivating this particular plant is different; these plants are shade grown, meaning they are protected from direct sunlight which allows for increased chlorophyll production. This creates the deep green pigmentation of the plant. By controlling the sun the grower can in turn, control the chemical makeup of the plant itself. The window of production is narrow, only the newest spring buds and the greenest of the shade grown tea leaves are picked for matcha. WIthin hours of being picked, they are steamed to stop the oxidation process and further extract the green color of the leaves. After, the leaves are dried, stripped of their stem and leaves and ground into a fine powder. Traditionally, this drink is served hot but it can also be served iced depending on the consumer.
Due to its unique growth and production process; this delicious blend of earthy and rich flavors provides so much more than just a drink to be sipped on and enjoyed. For those of you who need a little boost of caffeine, but are either not a coffee fan, it bothers your stomach or gives you the jitters; then matcha may be the thing for you. Matcha tea gives you about 70 mg of caffeine (slightly less than a 96 mg cup of coffee) to help get the day going as a caffeine-rich alternative. And caffeine is just the least of it, there are so many other benefits!
Matcha can improve cardiovascular health. It is abundantly high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which is a compound that has shown to reduce the risk of cardiac hypertrophy, myocardial infarction (heart attack) and atherosclerosis.
Green teas are known to contain antioxidants like catechins and polyphenols. Antioxidants work to stabilize free radicals in the body that can contribute to chronic disease and cell damage. Matcha powder offers a large dose of these antioxidants (137 times more than regular green teas to be exact) that can help reduce inflammation, cell damage and chronic disease.
We will revisit EGCGs because this catechin has been shown in studies to have powerful cancer-combating properties. Some studies have shown its ability to fight prostate, skin, liver and lung cancers.
Matcha can be used topically to help improve skin complexion. It can promote skin regeneration, wound healing, reduce redness and create a natural glow. This can be achieved by a simple face mask.
These are but a few of the many benefits to matcha. I have been on a matcha kick and have been loving the results. I struggled with needing a little caffeine to get me through work days, but wasn’t happy with my body’s response to coffee. Matcha has been an amazing caffeine alternative for me and just feel better finishing a cup of matcha versus coffee. It is definitely an adjustment if you’re an avid coffee drinker, but highly recommend giving it a try. But don’t just take my word for it, look at the chemical makeup, the science and studies behind it and make a decision to improve your health. You’re gonna love it so matcha!
And that’s the dirt!