What Is Matcha?
Matcha or maccha is a finely ground, bright emerald-green teapowder. It is a natural, organic green tea which has been the heart of the famous Japanese tea ceremony for over 900 years. The Buddhist monks honored matcha tea as the ‘health elixir’ for its potential to heighten the concentration and enhance the metabolism.
Originating in China in 9th century, matcha was used as drug for curing various ailments. However, its word somehow got elapsed in China. It was only after the Zen Buddhist monks from Japan realized its truepotential at the end of twelfth century, the perfection in the cultivation of matcha picked up. Matcha is still scarcely grown accounting for just 0.6% of total tea yield.
Matcha is prepared from a high-quality shade-grown leaf known as tencha. The tea bushes are sheltered to avoid the exposure of direct sunlight which reduces the pace of photosynthesis and slows down the growth of the plants. This provides the leaves with a darker shade of green and stimulates the production of chlorophyll and amino acids.
Harvesting of matcha is done by hand to ensure selection of youngest and smallest leaves for the finest quality tea. Unlike other green teas, leaves used for matcha are briefly steamed to protect them from oxidation and preserve its flavor and nutritional content. This is followed by ultra-fine milling of the tencha leaves by using granite stone mills resulting in a beautiful green powder which is the raw material for matcha tea. After being prized in Japan for scores of years, recently matcha has been gaining recognition in the western world attributing to its unique flavor and remarkable therapeutic qualities.
Matcha Tea Nutrition Facts
Matcha is a time-honored beverage which is source of vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamin Kand trace minerals. Matcha is rich in components with super antioxidant activity including polyphenols, catechins and chlorophyll. Presence of amino acids such as L-theanine and theophylline in the matcha tea makes it a multi nutrient-packed drink.