Drinking matcha green tea has been a time-honored tradition in Japan for more than 900 years. Buddhist monks valued matcha as a health elixir and consumed it prior to meditation. Matcha is cultivated from a high-quality leaf known as tencha. The tencha leaves are sheltered from the sun to produce a vibrant shade of green due to the increased amount of chlorophyll. Matcha leaves are carefully harvested by hand and briefly steamed to protect the leaves from oxidation.
The careful production of matcha ensures its unique flavor and high levels of antioxidants. Here are five reasons I love matcha green tea and why you should be drinking more of it:
1. It contains high levels of antioxidants.
The first amazing benefit of matcha is that just 1 cup provides at least three times as many antioxidants as regular green tea — the highest rated by the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method.
2. It has energy-boosting power.
Move over, coffee! Matcha is a perfect energy enhancer but with no caffeine jitters. Matcha contains about half the amount of caffeine than regular coffee. So go ahead and enjoy a matcha latte!
3. It aids in weight loss.
When it comes to boosting your metabolism and helping with weight loss, few things are more beneficial than matcha green tea, due to its high concentration of catechins (an antioxidant).
Green tea extract, rich in catechins, has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by the tea’s caffeine content.
4. It offers immune system support.
Matcha contains incredible immune-boosting properties in every cup. Like many antioxidants, catechins have a multitude of healing properties on a cellular level.
These catechins are also effective in fighting various bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Just one bowl of matcha provides substantial quantities of potassium, vitamins A and C, iron, enzymes, and calcium.
5. It gives you mental alertness along with a calm feeling.
Matcha tea works effectively in providing a calming effect to the mind and body.
Matcha green tea contains L-theanine, a unique amino acid that assists in boosting alpha waves in the brain. These alpha waves promote mental relaxation and induce a feeling of mental clarity and a more alert state of mind.
How to Drink It
A fantastic way to include matcha in your daily routine is by simple drinking it on its own, or by adding it to a green smoothie or other beverage.
Here’s a quick and easy recipe that is perfect for the warm spring and summer months when you want a cooling and refreshing pick me up! It is lightly sweetened with a subtle hint of vanilla. This version uses vanilla almond milk but feel free to use the milk of your choice!
12 ounces vanilla almond milk
1 1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder
2 tsp honey, maple syrup or sweetener of choice
splash of vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a blender for about 30 seconds or until powder is fully dissolved. Taste and add more sweetener if needed. Pour over ice and enjoy!
You can triple the recipe and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just pour your desired amount over ice when you’re ready to drink it. It’s perfect for those mornings when you need to get out the door quick.
You can add some vanilla protein powder as well to the mixture to get an extra protein boost.