MATCHA TEA GUIDE

What is Matcha?

Matcha is tea that has been ground with special granite wheels into a fine powder. Because it is powdered, the tea is not steeped like a normal tea, rather infused and consumed directly. Matcha traces its origins to Japan where the tea is used for drinking or in cooking. It is the tea that is used for the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Because you are literally drinking the tea leaf, Matcha is a much richer cup than regular tea.

 

How is Matcha made?

Traditional Matcha is made using pure Gyokuro leaves, a Japanese tea variety that is shaded beneath special mats for 3 weeks before plucking. The shading forces the plants to produce a higher than normal chlorophyll content, which gives the leaves a rich green color. Once plucked, the leaves are steamed and dried. Tea at this stage of the process is known as Aracha. Next, the Aracha is stripped of all stems and veins resulting in a pure leaf known as Tencha. Tencha is then stone ground into its finely powdered form.

matcha grinder

What types of Matcha are there?

Matcha from Japan can come in different grades. However there are additional varieties available from other regions like China and Kenya. Some types are well suited for cooking and smoothies, while the top Japanese grades are recommended to be consumed directly.

What does Matcha taste like?

Matcha is a fuller bodied experience than its non-powdered cousin. Japanese matchas maintains the rich, vegetative flavor of their parent teas. Japanese teas are the only ones shaded, so non-Japanese Matchas will have a somewhat lighter, less grassy, more astringent flavor.

What are the health benefits of matcha?

Like green tea, matcha is loaded with antioxidants. The matcha drinker consumes the entire leaf and not just the brew. As a result, 1 cup of matcha contains the equivalent of multiple cups of green tea in terms of nutritional value & antioxidant content.

Green tea contains catechin, and anti-oxidant. EGCg (epicgallocatechin gallate) is the catechin with broadest and most potent cancer-fighting properties. Sixty percent of the catechin content of matcha tea is EGCg. One gram of matcha contains 105 mg of total catechin content, or roughly 61% EGCg.

Cleansing

Japanese varieties contain high levels of Chlorophyll which helps to remove heavy metals and toxins from the body.

Mood enhancing, Energy Booster

The amino acid L-Theanine combines with caffeine and causes our body to absorb it slowly for 3-6 hours of calm, sustainable alertness without the crash and side effects of highly sugared, over-caffeinated beverages found in stores.

Diabetes

ECCg has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Research indicates that this blood sugar lowering quality was enhanced by ingesting it with dietary fiber, both of which are abundantly present in matcha.

Weight Loss

Consuming matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis (the body's own rate of burning calories) from a normal 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure, to between 35% and 43% of daily energy expenditure. Of critical importance is the fact that none of the research subjects reported any side effects and no significant differences in heart rates were noticed.

Brewing Methods, Recipes

There are many ways to prepare matcha, both hot, cold, as a latte or in a smoothie.

Hot Brewing Method:

  1. 1. Use 1 tsp per 6oz of water. Adjust to taste
  2. 2. Sift matcha into a cup using a fine mesh sieve to help break clumps. Add a small amount of 180°F water and mix into a paste with frother or spoon.
  3. 3. Add additional hot water and stir

 

Cold Brewing Method:

  1. 1. Add 1/2 tsp of matcha to a little water and mix until you have a nice paste.
  2. 2. Add paste to resto of glass of water. Stir well.
  3. 3. Squeeze lemon into the mixture and add sugar to taste.
  4. 4. Add ice. Enjoy!

 

Matcha Banana Smoothie

  1. 1. Dissolve 1 tsp matcha in 2 tsp hot water.
  2. 2. In a blender, add 1 banana; 1 cup skim milk, soy, or almond milk; 1 tsp honey & cup of ice.
  3. 3. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

 

Matcha Face Mask Recipe:

Green tea face mask: image from octoviana.com

Because our Izu matcha is made from powdered gyokuru leaves, it has a particularly high concentration of antioxidants. This high concentration of antioxidants insures the most health benefits. Also, the powdered tea is an ideal consistency for a face mask.

Matcha may be applied as a paste with equal parts water directly on the skin, however, it tends to have a drying effect. In order to moisturize the skin, honey is added to this recipe. Honey posesses antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and has been used as a topical treatment since antiquity.

The recipe is as follows:

-1/2 teaspoon powdered Izu matcha

-1/2 teaspoon honey

-1/2 teaspoon spring water or mineral water

Instructions:

we recommend testing a patch of skin for your first treatment to determine any potential reactions to honey or tea.

1. Mix ingredients in a shallow dish. Make sure the mixture is free of clumps.

2. Apply the mixture to the face using a cotton swap or fingertips. Let sit for 10-30 minutes. This allows the antioxidants to mop up any free radicals and to stimulate skin cell growth.

3. Rinse face thoroughly. Towel dry. Follow up with a cotton ball dipped in spring water. Swab face until any lingering matcha is removed.

4. Apply a facial moisturizer

Maintain this face mask as a daily regiment for optimum results. If your face is slightly dry after a treatment, try adding water and honey in equal parts to your recipe, or remove matcha powder.

You may experience noticable differences in your skin right after your first treatment. However, results will improve over time, so keep at it.

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