If you’ve never tried it before, I know what you’re thinking…
‘What exactly is this green goo?’
You know green tea? Well matcha is its wholesome, powdered companion. Instead of chopping up and infusing with hot water, the green tea leaves are ground into a delicate powder. When mixed with water, you get the same goodness as you would drinking 10 cups of regular green tea. That’s because you’re ingesting the entire leaf, not just the watery dregs.
Made uniquely in Japan, this miracle elixir has been part of their culture for hundreds of years. It’s no coincidence that the Japanese have the longest life expectancy in the world. Now we’ve caught on, it’s becoming the top superfood across the globe.
‘What makes it so special?’
The green tea leaves are grown in the shade, so they produce lots of chlorophyll, giving them their characteristic green colour. That means they’re absolutely bursting with nutrients. The luscious young leaves are picked, steamed, air dried, de-stemmed and ground on stone grinding wheels. It’s a tireless process, which the Japanese have been perfecting over the past 1000 years.
‘Why should I drink it?’
People say you should always eat your greens, so why shouldn’t you drink your greens too? Basically: it’s ridiculously good for you.
1. Boosts energy
It contains caffeine, but not nearly as much as coffee. Combined with its other nutrients, this makes you feel energised and focused throughout the day. So no jitters or afternoon slumps.
2. Helps you relax
L-Theanine, an amino acid in matcha, produces dopamine and serotonin. This helps to calm your mind without making you feel drowsy. Fun fact: Buddhist monks drink matcha to help with meditation as it keeps them alert yet calm.
The high concentration of chlorophyll helps flush chemicals out of your body.
4. Stimulates metabolism
Drinking matcha can help your body burn calories four times faster than normal, with no negative side-effects.
It’s loaded with antioxidants (137 times more than green tea and 17 times more than blueberries). These reduce inflammation, to help you look and feel younger.
6. Fights cancer
It’s the best source of catechins (a type of antioxidant), specifically EGCg, which is widely known for its cancer-fighting properties.
7. Strengthens the immune system
It provides plenty of potassium, vitamins A & C, iron, protein, and calcium. The catechins in matcha have also been shown to have antibiotic properties.
8. It tastes good
Matcha’s distinctive leafy flavour is tasty on its tod, lovely as a latte, and can even be added to desserts for guilt-free gluttony.
‘Where can I get some?!’
We can’t all go galavanting off to Kyoto for ceremonial grade matcha. But you can buy reasonably priced powder from Wholefoods, Holland and Barratt and plenty of online retailers. My favourites are Clearspring and Teapigs:
Or…you could just go and buy a cup someone else has made. There are plenty of places in London to get you matcha fix. Stay tuned for my ‘Top 6 matcha lattes in London’ post…
Yoga Panther x