Have you ever wondered what is matcha tea?
Have you heard or read in any essay paper writing service about Matcha Tea? This drink is the protagonist of conversations, photographs and social networks. And no wonder. Among its many benefits, the main one is that it tastes delicious. The rest, we’ll tell you right away.
Matcha means “powdered tea” in Japanese, and is a type of green tea. It is characterized by a vivid green color and by the way it is obtained and prepared, which is quite particular in relation to other teas.
The leaves and fragments of the stem are used for a conventional tea infusion, which will be discarded after infusion. While for the preparation of Matcha Tea, only the crushed leaves are used and mixed in water without discarding anything, thus preserving all the properties of this tea.
It is a penumbra tea. About three weeks before the spring harvest, the plants are covered with sheds that deprive them of light. This is a way of forcing the plant to bring more nutrients to the leaves for photosynthesis, and the color of the plant becomes darker. Tea leaves treated this way develop a sweeter taste and increase their amino acid and theanine ratio.
While the process of obtaining the teas is largely mechanized, the best quality Matcha tea is still harvested by hand. The best leaves are carefully selected from the plant and steamed to prevent them from oxidizing and to maintain their characteristic green color. Afterwards, they are left to age for a few months on a flat surface to enrich their flavor in nuances without losing qualities, and once this curing process has passed, the veins and stems are removed. The selected leaves are then ground with stone wheels according to the most traditional technique. The more time the tea spends between the wheels, the finer the powdered Matcha texture becomes.
Where does Matcha Tea come from?
Matcha has its origins in China, during the Song Dynasty, the grinding of tea leaves was produced as a new way of preparation for better use in terms of properties, nutrients and benefits of this ancient beverage.
Zen master Myoani Eisai introduced Zen scriptures and tea seeds to Japan after his second trip to China in the 12th century. This monk realized that the consumption of this tea improved meditation, as it allowed the body to remain in a state of calm and alertness while helping the mind to remain in a state of concentration. Eisai considered tea to be so fundamental in aiding physical and spiritual harmony that he wrote a treatise on its benefits.
The consumption of Matcha Tea became widespread in association with the practices of Zen Buddhism, at first among the warrior class of samurai, who were fond of any exercise that meant a sublimation of the actions of daily life.
Subsequently, its consumption also became widespread among the aristocratic classes and it is now a Japanese national tradition, characterized by the sober and calm refinement of the tea ceremony.
Matcha Tea Properties
Matcha is rich in catechins, one of the most potent and beneficial antioxidants. These catechins are also found in fruits, vegetables and cocoa. Matcha Tea is special because it contains up to twenty times more antioxidants than most fruits.
It is richer in chlorophyll than other teas, which makes it a natural detoxifier that helps rid the body of toxins, dioxins, hormone disruptors and other harmful elements present in the body.
It contains caffeine and L-theanine, allowing it to bring the body to a state of wakefulness without excitement, thus helping concentration.
Finally, green tea has polyphenols that help speed up the metabolism and promote the elimination of fats.
Benefits of Matcha Tea
All the properties we have pointed out in the previous point, translate into a series of very interesting benefits, which are responsible for making Matcha Tea a reference drink for anyone who has some interest in health and personal well-being.
Its high level of antioxidants helps eliminate free radicals, prevents aging and strengthens the immune system, as it contains minerals and vitamins that protect our body.
It is ideal to combine with a diet because it helps burn fat and lose weight. It also satisfies hunger and naturally quenches thirst. By keeping us hydrated, the consumption of this tea eliminates constipation and improves the appearance of skin, hair and nails.
Drinking Matcha Tea is a great alternative to coffee because it brings a great vitality during its consumption, but unlike coffee it does not generate nervousness and helps to keep stress at bay.
Drinking tea in general is very beneficial, but Matcha Tea is equivalent to 10 cups of tea in terms of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and beneficial properties that bring harmony to the body and psyche.
Contraindications of Matcha Tea
The high concentration of this type of tea means that it should be avoided in the case of children and pregnant or lactating women.
It is recommended not to drink more than two cups a day, because its caffeine content may cause headache, insomnia, irritability, diarrhea or heartburn if consumed in excess.
How to prepare Matcha Tea
To prepare Matcha in the traditional way, it is passed through a fine sieve to remove lumps before serving. A measure of matcha is poured with a bamboo spoon specifically for this purpose called chashaku, and poured into a bowl called chaki.
Water is poured at 85ºC and mixed with a bamboo brush, the chasen, until a foam appears on the surface.
At first the bubbles will be large, but keep stirring and when the foam bubbles are small and uniform you will know that your tea is ready to drink.
If you like Matcha Tea, but don’t feel like performing this ritual every time you want to enjoy a cup, you can prepare it in a way that is more in keeping with the Western way of life. To do this, pour a teaspoon of Matcha Tea into a cup and pour hot water over it. The ideal water temperature is the one you get before it reaches boiling point. When whipping the tea it is important to keep in mind that you can do it with a milk whisk, but it should not be made of metal. Metal interferes with the properties of the tea and therefore it is important to always handle the tea with wooden or bamboo utensils.
Matcha is usually drunk without any additives, but variants such as Matcha Latte incorporate milk or vegetable milk preparations.
Other uses of Matcha Tea
Matcha is often used in baking, for decorating cakes, cupcakes and ice cream by adding a little Matcha to the dough.
It is also used in savory recipes, in shakes, smoothies and cocktails.
This tea has a strong flavor that you have to know how to combine well, it is not easy to use it in cooking but it is also a great enhancer of other flavors and you can get some delicious blends.
When Matcha is used for cooking, it doesn’t need to be of the best quality, but it is essential to always work with fresh tea.