We’ve been hearing about Matcha Green Tea and its amazing health benefits for a little while now, so we thought that we would dive in, before the hype engulfs everybody, and add this incredibly delightful drink to our menu here at Quest Coffee Roasters.
What is Matcha and where did it originate from?
Matcha Green Tea originated in Japan. The Japanese have been drinking this delicious green gem in their tea ceremonies for hundreds of years. It was used as an aid in meditation.
Monks would drink matcha to remain alert, yet calm, during long hours of sitting. They know a lot about living long and stress free lives. It’s no surprise that one of their secrets is drinking matcha green tea.
Not only is it a superfood; it’s also super good for you and super cool!
Matcha v Green Leaf Tea: What’s the difference?
Matcha is finely ground green tea, is 100% organic and is packaged with no extra ingredients or additives. It is, however, very different from your average green tea due to the way it’s grown and processed. Matcha is carefully shade grown, allowing it to grow slowly. This increases the amount of chlorophyl and amino acid levels in the tea. Only the buds of matcha are harvested, whereas other ground teas may contain the leaves and stems – this would create a more bitter flavour. After matcha is harvested, it’s dried flat and then stone ground into a super fine powder which retains a bright green colour.
Green tea leaves have been cut and dried. Some would argue that this process can actually damage the antioxidants and reduce their overall potency. When you brew a cup of green tea, the water only extracts a small amount of the green tea benefits. The rest remains trapped in the tea leaves and discarded. The best way to take advantage of all that green tea has to offer is to consume the entire leaf.
What does it taste like & what’s the best way to enjoy it?
Like all green tea, matcha has slight grassy notes. It has a richer, almost buttery flavour and can be enjoyed as a latte or a frappe. We have both alternatives available in our James Street, Burleigh Heads cafe, so be sure to ask our wonderful baristas what their recommendation would be.
We have tried (and recommend) the matcha latte and frappe with Barambah Organic milk, as well organic rice and soy milk. Almond milk may be a particularly acquired taste for some, although we have heard that adding a little honey helps!
Health benefits…what’s the buzz?
Well we certainly don’t claim to be scientists or experts in health and wellbeing, but we have done our research and this drink is just too good to pass up! Here’s why:
High in antioxidants: One of the biggest words in nutrition these days is antioxidants, a naturally occurring chemical compound that prevents chronic disease and aging. It has 137x more antioxidants than green tea alone! Basically, the more you have, the better your body is able to fight infections and disease.
Increased metabolism: Matcha is a great addition to any weight loss program due to its ability to boost your metabolism and burn fat. Better still, unlike many questionable quick fixes on the market these days, it won’t put any stress on your body, nor will it raise your blood pressure or heart rate.
Detox your body: That green stuff, chlorophyl, is awesome for helping to detox the body of toxins, heavy metals, poisons, dioxins and hormone disrupters.
Improve wellbeing: Matcha contains up to 5x more L-theanine than green leaf tea! Without getting too technical, L-theanine is an amino acid which is capable of inducing alpha wave activity in the brain. This can relieve stress, promote relaxation and make us more alert, yet calm, at the same time.
Increase energy levels: Matcha provides a sustained release of energy throughout the day, minus the jitters! One study suggests that this was caused from the caffeine, but they found that it was actually a combination of matcha’s natural properties. Another recent study found an improvement in physical endurance by 24%. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me!
So next time you are visiting us, be sure to try out this incredible beverage. You won’t be disappointed!
Written by Therese Glowaski.