For some time now, matcha tea has been a constant in all the magazines of nutrition, fashion, and even those of “gossip”. It is one of those “new fashions” brought by American celebrities, as was the day of green smoothies. But like green smoothies, matcha tea is much older than all those celebrities. It is one of the oldest known drinks, tracing its origins to 10th-century China. It is known for being the favorite tea in Japan for the realization of the traditional tea ceremony, where it has been ingrained since the beginning of the 15th century.
Matcha tea is a green tea that is obtained from the same leaves that are used to obtain Gyokuro tea, which is the most appreciated and expensive in Japan. That also makes it a very popular and equally expensive tea. It can only be harvested once a year, and it is the only tea that needs its leaves to remain in the shade until it is collected, which allows it to better preserve all its properties. This makes it the tea with more antioxidants and polyphenols of all known, in addition to adding a plus of caffeine compared to other teas. Luckily, the teas caffeine (called teine) is inferior to that of coffee, and it is also absorbed more slowly, which is not as exciting as coffee. The greatest particularity of matcha tea is that it is not taken as an infusion, like most teas, but is dissolved. It is a powdered tea, obtained directly from grinding green tea plants. We are literally “eating” the freshest, most tender and valued tea leaves in the world. And this is how this tea has come to us, because after having investigated whether “fashion” had a nutritional basis, we see that it is really true, and can bring great benefits to our health.
Matcha Tea Benefits:
Any tea we consume has good antioxidant properties, and depending on the variety, they can have other properties: astringent, diuretic, stimulant, stomach protector … we can choose many varieties with multiple results. But it is matcha tea that gives us more beneficial properties. When coming from the green tea leaf, ground directly, it has not undergone oxidation processes and therefore it is the one that contains the most vitamins, antioxidants and chlorophyll. Up to ten times more than other teas!
Its Benefits are Many:
- Its high protein content, together with the presence of tannins that make its absorption more progressive, achieves a slightly stimulating effect throughout the day. They improve the functioning of our nervous system and stimulate our digestive system. The overall result is an extra energy throughout our day: an effect similar to coffee but more moderate and persistent over time.
- Its high content of polyphenols (Tannins in this case) makes it the most potent tea against oxidation: it prevents cell aging and poor circulation, key factors for our general health, and very important for our appearance: skin and hair look Very benefited by them. A curious note is that those same tannins are the ones we can find in red wine, from which we have always heard that “one glass a day is very good”… Well, with matcha tea we can have those same benefits (the concentration of Tannins is quite similar in both drinks), but without the inconvenience of the alcohol that wine does have.
- Also polyphenols have been studied as an element that could reduce the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and some cancers.
- Like all green teas, it is highly recommended for weight loss diets, due to its duirhetic properties that counteract fluid retention.
- It is also considered a powerful detox to “clean” our body. By caring for and improving our digestive system, we facilitate the expulsion of impurities in our intestinal tract, and we will also improve our immune system.
- It provides interesting minerals, the most notable being potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and fluorine.
- Precisely the presence of fluoride and the anti-pathogenic and fungicidal properties of tannins, make this tea a recommended drink to improve our dental health.
Matcha Tea Preparation:
About the preparation itself, it is very simple. Just you have to be careful with the temperature of water and tea powder measures that add to it.
Here are Some Tips to Get the Perfect Matcha Tea:
- Heat water at 80ºC, that is, almost until it boils. A simple way to achieve this temperature without a thermometer by hand, is to bring the water to the beginning of its boiling, and remove from heat by letting stand a minute. In that time it will have cooled sufficiently and will be around 80º.
- Add one or two teaspoons of tea to half a cup of hot water. The spoon should not be large, one of those commonly used for coffee is ideal. The recommended amount is 1gr. of tea powder (1 teaspoon) per 100ml of water.
- Stir for 15-20 seconds until it dissolves, with special emphasis on possible lumps that have formed. This is where a quality and well ground tea brings differences. A good matcha tea will dissolve without lumps or foreign bodies in the cup, and will form a thin foamy layer on its surface.
- If we wish, we can complete our cup of tea with more hot water, up to the desired level.
It is important that the water is not boiling or we will spoil the taste of tea and many of its properties.
How does Matcha Tea Taste?
The result after proper preparation is an intensely herbal tea, denser than usual. Surprising to mix nuances of traditional green tea with a flavor almost close to fresh vegetables. It does not have the intense bitterness of other teas, again a sign that this matcha tea is of high quality, but a slight natural, almost imperceptible sweetness is guessed. We were quite surprised!
So you know: teas can be a very interesting complement to our diet, and matcha tea in particular is the king of teas.
“It brings the best of green tea, multiplying its benefits over conventional tea”.
If you are interested in trying the brand that we have tried, it is this one: Te Matcha Naturalebio
Green Smoothies and Matcha Tea:
At this point, we want to add a touch of attention to the consumption of tea and green smoothies. As we have seen before, matcha tea has a lot of tannins. These are very beneficial for the body, but they also have a side effect: they prevent the absorption of non-heme iron (the iron that vegetables have) and calcium. For this reason, it is advisable to consume the tea at least two hours after having taken a green smoothie (or any vegetable dish). This way there will be no negative interactions between them and take advantage of all the nutrients.