What is Matcha? It is a green powder, exactly in Japan, ‘matcha’ means powdered tea. It began to be drunk in China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
In that period, there was a large wave of Japanese immigrants traveling to China to learn a new form of Buddhism.
That is, the Chan Buddhism we know today as Zen Buddhism.
It seems that this form of Buddhism makes use of meditation in its ritual and religious practices.
Buddhist monks have long discovered that tea helps keep the mind alert.
That is why it favors the relaxation of the body, ideal conditions for meditation.
Subsequently, many Japanese traveled to China to study Zen Buddhism and as a result, they took back the custom of drinking matcha tea.
Later it became an important element of the Japanese tea ceremony: Chanoyu.
Unlike the rest of the teas that occur in strands (in loose leaves), matcha has a particularity.
That is, its leaves are ground in the form of a very fine powder.
Related article: What is Matcha green tea latte good for?
What is Matcha?
It is a bright green powder very popular in Japanese culture. It is obtained from the leaves of green tea, in reality, they are crushed until they are pulverized.
This tea is delicate to get, since, unlike conventional tea, before collecting the leaves of the tea bushes you have to cover them with a transparent cloth so that they develop a better texture and flavor.
Its leaves are collected by hand, allowed to dry, a steam process is applied so that they do not oxidize or lose properties and, after a few months, they are crushed, thus obtaining matcha tea.
Matcha tea has a strong flavor and those of us who have tried it can say that it has a slight flavor of fresh grass and spinach but is very pleasant to the palate.
When buying a few grams of this tea, make sure it is not mixed with sugar or sweeteners and is as pure as possible.
Types of Matcha.
Ceremonial organic matcha tea is the most common. Perhaps not everyone carries out all the protocol that the Japanese tea ceremony requires, but the reality is that the best quality is always used because it is the way they have to give a warm welcome to their guests.
The ceremonial grade is of high quality. It has been carefully collected, steamed, and ground.
Its color is vibrant green, with hints of blue and yellow. It has a sweet aroma and a slightly bitter aftertaste.
Umami persists on the tongue and its texture is creamy and rough at the same time.
High-quality matcha comes at a higher price but for a reason: preparing authentic traditional matcha is a delicate process.
The best and finest tea leaves are selected after harvest. They are carefully cooked and air-dried and the stems are removed to reduce oxidation and maintain a high level of antioxidants.
The culinary grade is of low quality. It is more economical and is mainly used for cooking and baking desserts.
Its color is a dark and muddy green, rather pulling brown. In this degree of matcha, there is very little or no umami flavor.
It is very bitter when mixed with pure water and has a pasty and muddy flavor profile. It is not the best option for drinking, better to use it only for cooking.
Related article: How to make iced matcha green tea latte.
How to store it.
Matcha is very sensitive to the effects of humidity and high temperature. Because of this, it is important to store Matcha correctly.
We recommend that you store it in a dark, cool place or in a refrigerator.
It is not advisable to store Matcha in wet areas as it can affect the quality of Matcha.
On hot, humid days, when you take Matcha tea out of the fridge, wait for it to turn to room temperature to prevent it from absorbing moisture.
Direct sunlight and fluorescent light can also damage the quality of Matcha.
Be sure to close the container and do not leave the bag open.
How to make matcha tea.
To prepare it most traditionally in a bowl, add a small amount of matcha if you can one to two tablespoons with the traditional bamboo spoon called chashaku.
Then add a small amount of hot water that is not boiling and mix until uniform consistency with the Chasen bamboo mixer.
It will be prepared when there are no lumps in the liquid or other tea in the bowl.
What is a Matcha latte?
Try this delicious prepared drink that combines the healthy matcha and latte flavor.
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon matcha
- 1/4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon sweetener
Heat vegetable milk and water separately, when boiling water mixes a tablespoon and dissolves it very well. Then add the vegetable milk to the matcha water to create foam and complement each other, you can sweeten it with honey.
Related article: 9 Matcha tea benefits you should be aware of.
Does Matcha contain theine?
First of all, it is good to clarify that theine is the same as caffeine: it is an alkaloid that has the property of putting the mind alert and also has a thermogenic effect that helps to burn fats.
Given Matcha’s specific method of cultivation, it has a little more theine than green teas in strands.
On the other hand, matcha has a high content of catechins, a famous polyphenolic antioxidant that comes from plants.
Tea antioxidants are responsible for slowing down the rate of caffeine absorption.
So, although the effect is mild, it shows more slowly and is more durable than when compared to coffee
Related article: Can matcha green tea help with weight loss?
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